Travel Happiness: Mozart 2006: Happy Birthday Mister Mozart
Mozart 2006: Happy Birthday Mister Mozart
January 27, 2006 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, to cite the composer's full name. The work of this universal musical genius from Salzburg has become an integral part of mankind's cultural heritage.
For Mozart traveling was a source of inspiration and musical development. In the course of his thirty-five years, he spent no fewer that 3, 720 days--that is five years--on the road touring Europe. Many European cities and towns have a Mozart-tie and a reason to market the great composer's 250th birthday in 2006 as a tourism event.
But of course, "Cultureland Austria" has the strongest bonds with Mozart, who lived and composed for many years in two of the country's most charming cities, Vienna and Salzburg. Austria will present an exciting spectrum of Mozart-focused cultural and tourism events and offers.
Brand Mozart: The setting up of the Mozart 2006 Marketing Board by the Austrian National Tourist Office, Vienna Tourist Board, SalzburgerLand Tourismus (Salzburg Provincial Tourist Board) and Tourismus Salzburg GmbH (Salzburg Municipal Tourist Board) has staked out Austrian leadership in international tourism theme marketing. "What Austria has to offer culturally and touristically in the 2006 Mozart anniversary year is a tremendous opportunity to attract guests, an opportunity we plan to make the most of through joint activities", explains Austrian National Tourist Office CEO Arthur Oberascher.
In addition to cultural events in Austria's cities--first and foremost Vienna and Salzburg--special anniversary year events in other locations around the country, Linz and Baden for example, are also tied into the Mozart 2006 national marketing platform.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a star whose like spanned the worlds of the Baroque and the French revolution, celebrates his 250th birthday on 27 January 2006. And his two hometowns are part of the festivities--Salzburg, where he was born and the child prodigy studied composition at his father's knee, and Vienna, where he met the imperial family, married and enjoyed his greatest triumphs.
It is still possible to walk in the footsteps of the greatest musical genius of all time, as many of the original sites still exist. And music lovers from around the world can look forward to a wide-ranging program of events.
The President of Austria will officially open Mozart Year 2006 on January 27. The stars of the opening of Mozart Year in Salzburg will be Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Riccardo Muti, who will conduct the Vienna Philharmonic in the Mozarteum and the large Festival Hall. In Vienna, Placido Domingo and star violinist Julian Rachlin are sure to sell out the first performance at the Theater an der Wien, which will serve as a new Mozart opera house, when they appear on January 8.
All 22 Mozart operas will be performed during the Salzburg Festival, and in Vienna Seiji Ozawa, Music Director of the Vienna State Opera, will conduct Mozart operas.
Large Mozart exhibitions will provide a vibrant insight into Mozart's life as a child prodigy, his genius and into his multi-faceted personality-from his passion for gaming through to his adoration of the female sex and his role as a lovingly family man.
In Salzburg, New Residence hosts the "Viva! Mozart" exhibition, and in Vienna "Mozart 2006" will be on show in the magnificent rooms of the Albertina.
Further magnets for the public in Salzburg will be Mozart's birthplace and residence, both of which are mounting special exhibitions, while the Mozarthaus Vienna multimedia museum will be opening in the composer's former home, in the heart of Vienna. Both cities' landmarks are closely associated with Mozart.
He was baptized in Salzburg Cathedral, married Constanze in Vienna's St. Stephen's Cathedral and he performed for Empress Maria Theresia in Schonbrunn Palace at the age of six.
And many beautiful locations near Salzburg are also taking part in the celebrations--from St. Gilgen to the Lake Stage in Seeham, which is staging "Amadeus"
Other highlights of the calendar of for the Mozart Year include appearances by Anne-Sophie Mutter, Neil Shicoff, Thomas Hampson, Bertrand de Billy, Simon Keenlyside, Thomas Quasthoff, Andras Schiff, Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Angelika Kirchschlager, Beni Schmid and Sir Simon Rattle. The celebrations are being organized by Vienna Mozart Year 2006 under the direction of Peter Marboe and the Salzburg Mozart 2006 office headed by General Secretary Inge Brodil.
Anne Myers, Program Coordinator, The Hagerstown Community College Center for Continuing Education is offering a special Tour on April 21 to Salzburg and Vienna to participate in the celebration and the public is invited to join.
Art Richards is the owner of Richards World Travel, Inc. in Hagerstown. (www.richardsworldtravel.com)