The 2006 Festival opens with a concert performance of Strauss's Elektra conducted by Edward Gardner. Other concert performances include Rossini's La donna del lago, and Wagner's Die Meistersinger von N‹rnberg, with David Robertson conducting.
Full productions include Claudio Abbado conducting Die Zauberfl‹te in a staging directed by his son Daniele Abbado and the world premiere of Stuart MacRae's first opera, The Assassin Tree. Op_ra National de Lyon presents a Kurt Weill/Bertolt double bill and Peter Stein's staging of Tchaikovsky's Mazeppa.
The concert lineup includes Andršs Schiff playing Beethoven sonatas, Donald Runnicles conducting the Orchestra of St Luke's and Richard Goode, the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester conducted by Philippe Jordan with mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, the Budapest Festival Orchestra conducted by Ivšn Fischer, and Ian Bostridge and Antonio Pappano performing Wolf and Schubert.
Brian McMaster said, "I think the 2006 festival program has popular appeal. There are excellent opportunities for first timers ... At the same time I know we have events which will have seasoned arts goers booking flights from around the world."