The opening work on the program this year will be the winner of Eurovision 2014, singer-drag queen Conchita Wurst: a large scale concert will be given in conjunction with the Vienna Symphony. This year will also feature a new series of events titled “Academy of Unlearning,” which will consider the post-colonial era from an academic perspective. Directing the program will be Gayatri Spivak, a professor at Columbia University.
Major theatrical works on the program will include Peter Brook’s Battlefield
, Romeo Castellucci directing Democracy in America
and Ivo van Hove directing Obsession
, in a production featuring Jude Law in the lead role. Works of socially marginalized artists—for reasons of nationality, race or religion—have also been featured prominently in the program. Works include Ishvara by Tianzhuo Chen, a native of Beijing, currently based in London, in whom the influence of Shuji Terayama is strong; Distropic
by Brooklyn-resident African American choreographer and also human rights activist Niv Acosta and The Self-made Aristocracy
by the choreographer group La Fleur from the Ivory Coast and currently based in Paris.
This is an international festival held since 1951 each May and June in Vienna on the largest scale of any Austrian festival. The venues include the Museums Quartier, Theater an der Wien, Wiener Konzerthaus and the Schauspielhaus, as well as locations like markets and squares around the city, making virtually the entire city the festival’s stage. The programs feature operas and performing arts from around the world with leading directors, conductors and orchestras providing the latest in performing arts, with works presented in both classical styles and the newest productions, along with contemporary works in new staging. Luc Bondy became the festival’s overall director in 2011, with Stefanie Carp as director of the drama department and Stephanie Listner as director of the music department, presenting 45 works from 23 countries that drew a total audience of 180,000. From Japan, artists including potudo-ru and Akira Takayama