Salzburg Global and Salzburg Festival Mark New Partnership by Hosting Max Reinhardt Symposium

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Aug 24, 2018
by Salzburg Global Seminar
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Salzburg Global and Salzburg Festival Mark New Partnership by Hosting Max Reinhardt Symposium

Guests convene at Schloss Leopoldskron for lectures, lunch, and a reception to honor and discuss the life of theater director Max Reinhardt Helga Rabl-Stadler, president of the Salzburg Festival, welcomes guests to Schloss Leopoldskron at the beginning of the symposium

Salzburg Global Seminar and Salzburg Festival marked the beginning of a new three-year partnership by co-hosting a Max Reinhardt Symposium at Schloss Leopoldskron.

Guests convened at Reinhardt’s former home on Wednesday for a series of talks and panel discussions.

It coincided with the anniversary of the beginning of the first Salzburg Festival, which started with a performance of Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s Jedermann in Salzburg’s dome square on August 22, 1920.

The festival was the brainchild of von Hofmannsthal, Reinhardt, and Richard Strauss, who came up with the idea for such an event at Schloss Leopoldskron.

Reinhardt purchased Schloss Leopoldskron in 1918 and brought life to the building through his theater productions. Under his ownership, the Schloss became an important gathering place for theatrical producers, writers, composers, actors, and designers from across the world.

On Wednesday, visitors learned about the influence behind Reinhardt’s productions and his impact on the modern age of theater. They were welcomed by Clare Shine, vice president of Salzburg Global Seminar, and Helga Rabl-Stadler, president of the Salzburg Festival.

Guest speakers included Edda Fuhrich, a research associate at the Max Reinhardt Research and Memorial Center; Johannes Hofinger, an author and historian, whose works include Die Akte Leopoldskron: Max Reinhardt – Das Schloss – Arisierung & Restitution; and Marielle Silhouette, a theater scholar and teacher at Université Paris Nanterre.

They were joined by Peter W. Marx, director of the Theaterwissenschaftliche Sammlung at the Universität zu Köln; Erika Fischer-Lichte, a senior professor at the Institut für Theaterwissenschaft at the Freien Universität Berlin; Guido Hiß, a professor of theater studies at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum; and the widely-acclaimed multimedia artist André Heller.

Reinhardt’s time at Schloss Leopoldskron was brought to an end by the Second World War. In 1938, the Schloss was confiscated by the Nazi government as “Jewish property.” Reinhardt was living in the United States at the time and never returned before his death in 1943.

Before he died, Reinhardt wrote to his wife Helene Thimig, “I have lived in Leopoldskron for eighteen years, truly lived, and I have brought it to life. I have lived every room, every table, every chair, every light, and every picture. I have built, designed, decorated, planted and I have dreamt of it when I was not there. I have always loved it in a festive way, not as something ordinary. Those were my most beautiful, prolific and mature years ... I have lost it without lamenting. I have lost everything that I carried into it. It was the harvest of my life’s work.”

Since the Salzburg Festival was established in 1920, it has emerged as one of the most important festivals for opera, drama and concerts. Reinhardt intended for the festival to bring people together, not only as a “luxury good for the rich and saturated but also food for the needy.”

This year’s festival started on July 20 and comes to an end on August 30. Learn more about the festival by visiting: https://www.salzburgerfestspiele.at/summer.