24 July – 31 August
Before the opening of the festival season, artistic director Peter Ruzicka announced that he would not be available to extend his contract beyond 2006. Jürgen Flimm, who directed the opening production in 2004 of Purcell’s King Arthur, was designated artistic director from 2006. The most successful production of the season was Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Die tote Stadt; in particular stage director Willy Decker and soprano Angela Denoke were highly acclaimed. Così fan tutte in the staging by Ursel and Karl-Ernst Herrmann was taken over as a co-production with the Salzburg Easter Festival; Robert Carsen presented a new reading of Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier and set it in the ambience of the years before the First World War. Three of the younger generation of stage directors dominated the drama programme: Falk Richter, who directed Chekhov’s The Seagull in the Landestheater; Sebastian Nübling, who staged Marlowe’s Edward II on the Perner Insel and Elmar Goerden, director of O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night. The Spanish director Alex Rigola received the Young Directors Award for his Catalan version of Brecht’s St. Joan. Guest Writer in the summer of 2004 was a dramatist, Tankred Dorst, one of the most successful theatre writers of the present.
Details of the several years: