“The Great World Theater” in Salzburg: Presentation of Beate Thalberg’s ORF anniversary documentary over 100 years of festival history

A filmic journey through time with Florian Teichtmeister as a servant of a special table company – TV premiere on August 1st in ORF 2

Vienna (OTS) To kick off the 100th Salzburg Festival, to which ORF is dedicating more than 130 hours of TV and radio programming (details at presse.ORF.at), ORF 2 will be showing the new game documentation “The Great World Theater – Salzburg and its Festival” by ORF editor Beate Thalberg (“The Queen of Vienna – Anna Sacher and her hotel”) about the eventful history of the world-famous festival. The film was created – a co-production by ORF, ARTE GEIE, BR and pre tv, funded by Fernsehfonds Austria and Land Salzburg – at Salzburg’s Leopoldskron Palace, where its former owner and important theater maker Max Reinhardt together with writer Hugo von Hofmannsthal and composer Richard Strauss founded the Salzburg Festival. ORF Director General Alexander Wrabetz invited to this historic setting yesterday, on Friday, July 24, 2020, to present the anniversary documentary, in which, in addition to ORF program director Kathrin Zechner and filmmaker Beate Thalberg, Salzburg Festival President Helga Rabl-Stadler and artistic director Markus Hinterhäuser as well as numerous invited guests from art, culture and media took part.

In 30 archives worldwide, the completely researched 54-minute game documentary was able to find partly completely unknown material that shows new facets of the festival. In it, castle and film actor Florian Teichtmeister in the role of Franz Swatosch – long-time servant of Max Reinhardt – rolls out the historical events: from the foundation in 1920, through the artistic resistance after Hitler’s seizure of power, the restart in 1945, to the Karajan era and an excursus in the present. The high-quality, valuable archive material complements the authentic comments and reflections of a special table company around Reinhardt and shows how the festival was invented. “The Great World Theater – Salzburg and its Festival” grants an exceptional keyhole view of the dramas and unknown events behind the scenes of what is probably the world’s most important cultural festival.

Wrabetz: “Exceptional approach to eventful festival history”

“After her glossy documentary about Anna Sacher, ORF filmmaker Beate Thalberg brings the television audience another documentary eye-opening experience worthy of this anniversary with her scenic documentary about 100 years of the Salzburg Festival. As part of the ORF focus, which spans more than 130 hours, the elaborately researched film highlight with its extraordinary approach to the eventful festival history offers a completely new, charming look at a piece of important European cultural history, ”says ORF Director General Dr. Alexander Wrabetz. “At the same time, ‘Das Große Welttheater’ is also a filmic document of the successful partnership with the Salzburg Festival and the importance of public service broadcasting as the country’s electronic memory. I am pleased that the valuable collections of the ORF archive with its thousands of audio and video documents on the history of the festival have also found their way into the soon-to-be-opened national exhibition on the anniversary, ”said Wrabetz.

Rabl-Stadler: “A jewel”

“The documentary by Beate Thalberg is a jewel among the many gems with which the ORF makes the 100th anniversary of the Salzburg Festival a great festival in spite of the corona. This film gives us all the feeling that we were there when the Festival was founded in Leopoldskron, and once again fills us with infinite gratitude to the founding fathers, who wanted to build a beacon of European culture with the Festival in Salzburg in gloomy times and actually did it , Thanked Festival President Dr. Helga Rabl-Stadler at ORF for the wonderful partnership.

Zechner: “A unique journey through time through 100 years of the Salzburg Festival”

“Beate Thalberg has found a terrific stylistic device for this unique journey through time through 100 years of the Salzburg Festival. When Florian Teichtmeister opens the gates to Leopoldskron Palace as a servant, Franz Swatosch, the audience delves deep into the history of the festival together with an illustrious table company. The filmmaker succeeds in captivating the audience with her sensitive lightness and turning them into time travelers, ”says ORF program director Mag. Kathrin Zechner. And: “The documentation shows the diverse and distinctive creative will of this community of artists and enthusiasts. I would like to thank all those involved in the Salzburg Festival, the filmmakers, the actors and actresses, the editors, the archivists, who had the courage to fight for this wonderful cultural asset – the Salzburg Festival – that it can take place this year under difficult conditions . It is no coincidence that after 100 years it is what it is: special! The less seen at first glance is more. More for ‘thinking room’, for reflection, for art, ”says Zechner.

Thalberg: “I am deeply grateful to Max Reinhardt and his festival family.”

“Working with such talented people in front of, behind and on the camera is a great gift – thanks to the team. I also thank the initiator of the project and film expert Kathrin Zechner for her professional supervision, her trust. Thanks to the editors for escort, the co-partners for their European foresight that flows through them into our films. Many thanks to the President, the Director-General and all of the Salzburg Festival for the great support and at the same time for refraining from any intervention. I am deeply grateful to Max Reinhardt and his festival family for showing us to this day: Standing up for humanity and justice is our first task in life, ”says filmmaker Beate Thalberg:

After the documentary premiere: Anniversary “Jedermann” live from the cathedral square

Following the documentation, ORF 2 will present the premiere of Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s traditional play “Jedermann” live at 9:15 p.m. on August 1st as the start of its live broadcasts of this festival summer. The program, co-produced with UNITEL and Bavarian Radio, can be seen simultaneously in the BR (Dakapo in 3sat on August 22). In tune with the Salzburg opening evening on August 1st, ORF 2 is already showing an anniversary edition of the “JedermannJedefrau” magazine produced by the ORF State Studio Salzburg at 6.05pm.

Further details on the production “The Great World Theater – Salzburg and its Festival” as well as on the ORF program focus on the occasion of 100 years of the Salzburg Festival can be found in the press kit at presse.orf.at.

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