Canadian Opera Company Announces 2007-08 Season

Classic Arts News   Canadian Opera Company Announces 2007-08 Season
Mozart may have died short of money, but his posthumous birthday celebrations brought a steady cash flow into Austria in 2006, the 250th anniversary of the Salzburg-born, Vienna-based composer's birth.

The Associated Press reports that Peter Marboe, chief organizer of Vienna's Mozart jubilee, said the nearly 3,000 events last year brought in $19.4 million after expenses and attracted 1.2 million tourists — a record for a single festival.

Vienna Mayor Michael Häupl told the AP, "We didn't make Mozart a kitsch, we didn't bore people, and we made Mozart familiar to people who otherwise wouldn't have remembered to do so themselves."

Another Austrian who is very pleased with the results of the anniversary year is Martin Fürst of Fürst Confectioners, a maker of the famous "Mozart-Kugeln." According to Deutsche Presse-Agentur, in 2006 Fürst's company alone sold about 2 million of the chocolate-nougat candies with Mozart's face on their wrappers, a 60% increase over previous years' annual sales.

The country's Mozart celebrations began in January 2006 with a TV documentary about a new DNA analysis of a skull that reportedly belonged to Mozart; last month a recently discovered Allegro thought to have been written by Mozart as a child was performed on a harpsichord in Salzburg.

The festivities haven't finished yet: organizers expect a three-day festival in Vienna at the end of this month to attract at least another 100,000 visitors, according to the AP.

Haydn may be up next; Marboe is reportedly thinking about the possibility of a bash to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the composer's death in 2009.

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