After 14 years, the 47th Innsbruck Festival of Early Music marks the end of Alessandro De Marchi's directorship. At this morning's ceremony in the Spanish Hall of Schloss Ambras, he was presented with the Ring of Honor of the City of Innsbruck by Mayor Georg Willi for his many years of service. In the evening, the Vivaldi opera "Olimpiade," which De Marchi will conduct musically, will celebrate its premiere at the Tiroler Landestheater.
It was Alessandro De Marchi's wish that the program of the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music 2023 should focus on the great Italian baroque master, Antonio Vivaldi. And so it comes as no surprise that Vivaldi was also heard at the festive opening of the Festival Weeks in the Spanish Hall of Schloss Ambras. In addition to excerpts from Antonio Vivaldi's opera "La fida ninfa" performed by the ensemble of this year's Barockoper:Jung under the musical direction of Chiara Cattani, the Coro Maghini rang in the opening with a work by Gian Domenico Del Giovane da Nola.
For Intendant Alessandro De Marchi it is a special day. Mayor Georg Willi awarded him the Ring of Honor of the City of Innsbruck and emphasized: "Not only has he had a decisive and lasting influence on the Festival Weeks as artistic director over the past fourteen years, including the founding of the Festival Week Orchestra, but he is also a self-confessed treasure hunter. In 2010, he presented himself for the first time as artistic director of the Festival Weeks with such a treasure, namely with a setting of the 'Olimpiade' by Giovanni Pergolesi. With another setting of the same material - this time by Antonio Vivaldi - he fittingly bids farewell to the Festival Weeks in the Olympic city in 2023."
Visibly moved, De Marchi accepted the ring and expressed: "It is a very great honor for me to receive this ring. It is a beautiful symbol of the support I have always received from the city. They were very formative and wonderful years that I was able to spend here. I'm very grateful for that, and I'm looking forward to the coming weeks when we'll walk a bit through music history together one last time - especially with Vivaldi."
Managing Director Dr. Markus Lutz as well as Operations Director and designated Artistic Director Mag. Eva-Maria Sens welcomed the invited guests, among them ecclesiastical dignitaries, high-ranking politicians as well as representatives from culture, science and business.
Greetings from the federal government were conveyed by Norbert Totschnig, Minister for Agriculture, Forestry, Regions and Water Management. He emphasized the important and special significance of the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music in the Austrian cultural landscape.
Last but not least, Governor Anton Mattle opened the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music with the words: "The Festival of Early Music links the past, present and future of our country: They connect to the importance of Innsbruck as a cultural center in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. In this way, they also raise our awareness of the value of our cultural heritage and the rich cultural life that Innsbruck and Tyrol have to offer. I would like to particularly emphasize the fact that the Festival Weeks also go out into the public sphere with their program - these offers are partly free of charge and enable many people to participate in this highlight of the Tyrolean Summer of Culture."
The Ambraser Schlosskonzerte kicked off the Innsbruck Festival on July 11. Now, in the coming weeks, visitors can look forward to glittering festival concerts, rousing operas, performances of sacred music, free formats and workshops for the whole family. Up to and including August 29, internationally acclaimed ensembles and artists such as Concerto Italiano with Rinaldo Alessandrini, the ensemble Le Concert de la Loge under the direction of Julien Chauvin, Christophe Rousset as well as the soprano Eleonora Bellocci and the mezzo-soprano Marianne Beate Kielland and many more will be on the stages of the most beautiful halls in Innsbruck. The staged operas "Olimpiade" and "La fida ninfa", the staged oratorio "Juditha triumphans" and the 14th International Vocal Competition for Baroque Opera "Pietro Antonio Cesti" are eagerly awaited. The festive finale will be set by Alessandro De Marchi himself. Together with the internationally acclaimed virtuoso Antoine Tamestit, he will present highlights of the "Red Priest" in his last concert on August 29 at Haus der Musik Innsbruck.