Selling salzburg

By Chen Jie ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-12-23 07:31:43

Selling salzburg

Operatic productions including The Knight of the Rose, Norma and Il Trovatore will be staged at the 2015 Salzburg Festival. To attract more Chinese tourists to the musical town in the heart of Europe, the festival has hosted promotional events in China since 2012. [Photo/China Daily]

The president of the longtime festival aims to attract more Chinese visitors through promotional events in the country. Chen Jie reports.

Helga Rabl-Stadler, president of the Salzburg Festival, finds fulfillment in working with world-renowned musicians every summer - and also in chats with taxi drivers.

"We have the best baroque operas this year, Mrs President," a taxi driver once told her. Another driver complained: "Why did you make this opera? I heard it last time. It was not that good."

The Salzburg Festival offers a unique experience that can't be found anywhere else in the world, says the 66-year-old Rabl-Stadler.

"Nowadays, you can easily hear many concerts and operas in Beijing, Shanghai, Paris, or London, but in Salzburg, the experience is definitely different. It is a small town far away from the distractions of big cities. You can only concentrate on music. You can talk about what you see with everybody in the town, even a taxi driver," she told China Daily before hosting a banquet in Shanghai on Nov 9.

To attract more Chinese tourists to the musical town in the heart of Europe, Rabl-Stadler and her team have hosted promotional events in China since 2012. The Salzburg Festival's main sponsor, Rolex, helps organize the event in Shanghai, while Audi presents the one in Beijing.

For this year's Shanghai event, the ballroom of Hotel Peninsula Shanghai was decorated to resemble Hofstallgasse, the street where Mozart went to school. The tenor Ildar Abdrazakov from St. Petersburg sang arias by Mozart, Rachmaninoff and Verdi, accompanied by pianist Alessandro Misciasci from Salzburg.

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