See the World’s Largest Floating Stage at Bregenz Festival

Rigoletto – © Bregenzer Festspiele / Anja Köhler

Every July and August, Austria’s Bregenz Festival delivers incredible operatic performances and raises the curtain on a stunning new floating stage.

The Bregenz Festival takes place on the edge of Lake Constance in Vorarlberg, Austria’s westernmost province. This outdoor opera festival is known for its impressive sets, gorgeous costumes, and incredible shows.

Before each festival, the floating stage is redesigned to align with the opera being performed.

The 2019/2021 season (2020 shows were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic) celebrated Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto with a stage decked out with a giant clown head and a balloon that rose about 130 feet in the air.

For the 2022/2023 season, festival attendees will be treated to Madame Butterfly, an opera composed by Giacomo Puccini.

This is the first time Madame Butterfly will be performed at the Bregenz Festival.

Enrique Mazzola, who also oversaw the production of Rigoletto, is the musical director, and Andreas Homoki, who also acts as the artistic director of Zurich’s Opernhaus, is the stage director. With these two teaming up — in collaboration with stage designer Michael Levine and costume designer Antony McDonald — this season’s performance is sure to be spectacular.

For those who are concerned about the sound quality of an outdoor opera that takes place on a floating stage, critic Mauricio Villa can assure them that there is not much to worry about.

In a review written for Opera Wire, Villa said that the performers’ voices “sound natural” and that there is a “realistic approach” to the volume used. He added that the stage’s speakers are used wisely and give a “truthful sense of stage placement.”

Those who want to purchase tickets to the next Bregenz Festival can do so through this link. In addition to enjoying the show, attendees can also take a guided behind-the-scenes tour and learn about the secrets of the festival.