Does it come or does it not come? This was the worried question, as soprano Anna Netrebko had caught a cold. Ultimately, however, she came to Salzburg. “Tosca” was on the program.

Salzburg (dpa) – At first it seemed like the social highlight of this year’s Salzburg Festival was going to fall into the water. Star soprano Anna Netrebko caught a cold shortly before her highly anticipated performance of Tosca in Giacomo Puccini’s hit opera of the same name.

But the Russian diva recovered on time and completed her compulsory musical visit to the world’s largest music and theater festival on Saturday night in the Great Hall of Feasts alongside her husband Yusif Eyvazov.

The fact that the final applause only reached moderate hurricane force may also be due to the robust direction of the proven Italian conductor Marco Armilato on the podium of the Vienna Philharmonic, which tended to drown the singers. with too much phonetic force. Netrebko was particularly brilliant in the aria “Vissi d’arte”, which was greeted with heavy applause, while Eyvazov, like his lover Mario Cavaradossi, received conscientious and friendly applause with his tenor bravery piece ” E lucevan le stelle ”.

On this opera evening, the staging of the Austrian director Michael Stürminger of the 2018 Easter Festival, at the time with Christian Thielemann on the podium of the Staatskapelle Dresden. He had shifted the intrigue of the repressive papal state from the Napoleonic era to the mafia setting of modern Rome – with a spectacular shootout in an underground parking lot early on. In the end, Tosca does not plunge into death, but, unlike the original, is shot by the godfather of the underworld Scarpia, sung by baritone Ludovic Tézier, after having assassinated his opponent Cavaradossi.

Despite the corona pandemic, there is again a full program in Salzburg this year with 168 opera, theater and concert performances over 46 days. The Salzburg Festival ends on August 31.