Cover photo: Felsenreitschule | © Salzburger Festspiele / Luigi Caputo
In the first half of the 17th century, conglomerate for the construction of the cathedral was extracted from the site of the Felsenreitschule stage. In 1693, 96 arcades on three levels were cut in the rocks of the abandoned quarry. From here riding demonstrations and animal fights could be observed.
In 1926, Max Reinhardt first attempted to use the Felsenreitschule for a staging of the Salzburg Festival with Goldoni’s The servant of two masters with a stage made from mashed soil. The spectators sat on wooden benches. A first opera production took place in the Felsenreitschule under Herbert von Karajan: in 1948 Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice was performed.
Since the end of the sixties – especially according to the plans of the “festival architect” Clemens Holzmeister – significant alterations have been made: an understage area, an orchestra pit, and a lighting bridge were installed, a weatherproof roll-back roof to offer protection against rain and cool summer evenings, and finally an auditorium with boxes and circles as well as a depot for scenery were created.
Already in the course of the building of the Haus für Mozart, a new grandstand was installed in the Felsenreitschule, which resulted in improved visibility and acoustics for the audience. Since June 2011, the Felsenreitschule has a new roof.
Source: Salzburger Festspiele