A Lower Austrian institution that goes far beyond the country's borders is celebrating its 15th anniversary. Since 2006, the Summer Night Gala has ushered in the summer festival season of this area so steeped in history, and thanks to the TV images that go around the world, it is also a media flagship of Grafenegg. The focus is always on the best artists, who captivate the audience in front of the idyllic backdrop of the spacious castle park. After last year's Corona-related cancellation of the gala, which ORF replaced at short notice with a musical Grafenegg trip with Rudolf Buchbinder and members of the Tonkünstler Orchestra, this year's gala may take place in the presence of 50% of the usual concertgoers. After the cancellation at short notice of the South African soprano Golda Schultz, artistic director Rudolf Buchbinder has now invited the American Rachel Willis-Sørensen to participate in the gala. In addition, German tenor Benjamin Bruns will take part in the early summer concert for the first time, and pianist Rudolf Buchbinder will once again do the honors himself as soloist on the occasion of the anniversary. The program is composed of a number of catchy tunes from the world of opera, operetta and musical, ranging from Engelbert Humperdinck's overture to "Hansel and Gretel" to the Leonora aria from Verdi's "Il trovatore," sung by Rachel Willis-Sørensen, to Franz Lehár's duet "Lippen schweigen," which Benjamin Bruns will sing together with the soprano. Instead of the previously customary fireworks, the festival management has decided, for ecological reasons, to install a laser and video projection on the Wolken Turm, which will artistically accompany the entire concert. As usual, the Tonkünstler Orchestra under its chief conductor Yutaka Sado will perform the lion's share of the evening, which will end with an excerpt from Igor Stravinsky's ballet "Firebird".


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Summer in Grafenegg