Nocturnal Side of Reason (July 27–August 31)

This is a strange title for the Salzburg Festival in 2007. At the end of Così fan tutte, after the terrible experiment on the open heart, the two couples allow themselves to be guided by reason, “da ragione guidar si fa”, as that is the solution. No more emotional confusion, no dramas of jealousy, no aggrieved souls. Many operas, not only those by Mozart, end with this kind of appeal to reason; lovers, those who stammer about longing, as well as kings and rulers are overwhelmed by this clear moment of insight into reasonable, indeed moral action. “Che al primo impero la ragione in me ritorni”… is a verse from Mitridate. That’s how Amadé approached us last year. Is reason therefore the panacea that now guides us forwards, accompanying us across the black, nocturnal, immense depths of our soul? “The human being is an abyss, when one looks inside”, stammered the hunted Woyzeck about 45 years after Mozart’s death.

-Jürgen Flimm, SFS Artistic Director