Wiener Festwochen 2021: Previews #1

Along with many artists and cultural workers it is our sincere wish to see the arts centre-stage once again as soon as possible, able to contribute to the development of an open-minded and healthy society. We are now working on the next edition of the Festival, which is scheduled from 14 May to 20 June 2021.

Before we announce the complete programme in April we’d like to give you a sneak preview into what we have planned – and it won’t be the last!

2021 will feature a multitude of new works for the stage, with the Wiener Festwochen substantially involved in commissioning and supporting their production. These works reflect the context in which they are created, a time shaped by uncertainty and the need for a re-think.

Milo Rau, whose influential work for the theatre never fail to strike a chord with the times, will be taking his first steps into the world of opera. His radical interpretation of La Clemenza di Tito will be one of the major events of next year’s edition of the Festival. In 2019, French artist Phia Ménard thrilled the Festwochen audience with her genre-crossing performance. She returns in 2021 with a world premiere, a trilogy that deals with no less a subject matter than the rise and fall of Western civilisation. The many exciting premieres featured on the programme include a new theatre piece by up-and-coming Iranian playwright and director Azade Shahmiri, and a performance by Tim Etchells co-written with composer Aisha Orazbayeva. Austrian artist Markus Schinwald, a highly regarded voice on the international visual arts scene, will be presenting a new performative work commissioned by the Festwochen. Danse Macabre promises to be yet another highlight of the forthcoming Festival. As for our exhibitions, we are teaming up with the Vienna Secession to produce and present Maria Hassabi’s new performative installation.

More previews to follow!

Festwochen Clubticket. So many advantages!

Experience the Wiener Festwochen 2021 from a new angle. Discounts on all performances and invitations to dress rehearsals and guided tours are just some of the special advantages the Clubticket has to offer you. And, for the first time, the popular ticket is now available in two versions: the ICH Clubticket for one person and the WIR Clubticket for you and one accompanying person. By the way, the Festwochen Clubticket also makes for a perfect gift!

On show in 2021:

© Bea Borgers

La clemenza di Tito

With La Clemenza di Tito, Milo Rau, a leading protagonist of activist theatre, brilliantly updates one of Mozart’s most popular operas. Rau teams up with the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg and the Arnold Schoenberg Choir.

© Markus Schinwald

Danse Macabre

Markus Schinwald, renowned for his visual manipulations of bodies and spaces, returns to the medium of the performing arts with Danse Macabre, adapting one of the major iconographic themes of the Late Middle Ages for a present that is threatened by pandemic and consequential crises.

© Jean Luc Beaujault

La Trilogie des Contes Immoraux (pour l’Europe)

The uncompromisingly interdisciplinary artist is presenting three Immoral Tales as a dazzling triptych. From Maison Mère (Mother House) to Temple Père (Father Temple) and La Rencontre Interdite (The Forbidden Encounter), Phia Ménard questions the foundations of a united Europe.

© Leila Ahmadi Abadeh


Azade Shahmiri interweaves unfinished, quasi documentary film footage with live narrations spoken by three characters, illustrating the need for resistance to oppressive circumstances.

© Maria Hassabi


Six dancers move at a measured pace. Their bodies morph at imperceptible velocities appearing in various constellations amongst each other and throughout the space as they alternate between representation and abstraction. Maria Hassabi’s live installation HERE is commissioned by the Wiener Festwochen and the Vienna Secession.

© Hugo Glendinning

Heartbreaking Final

Working from intense joint improvisations, Tim Etchells and Aisha Orazbayeva are staging a premiere for four performers and two musicians: a frenetic ping-pong of language and music!

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