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The Vienna Festival will turn the whole of Vienna into a festival scene, with 141 performances being staged at 34 different locations. 45,000 tickets are on sale, in addition to 14 events with free admission. 

Open-air ceremony: the Free Republic of Vienna

The Vienna Festival is reinventing itself in 2024: at the opening event on May 17 at Rathausplatz, the Free Republic of Vienna will be declared under the directorship of Milo Rau - a republic of art for all. It will have its own anthem, flags, new revolutionary institutions (Akademie Zweite Moderne, Die Wiener Prozesse), a festival center (Haus der Republik) in the Volkskundemuseum, a party center (Club der Republik) in the Volkstheater and the Council of the Republic comprising 100 local and international members. 

At the big open air event on May 17, the speeches and contributions by local and international activists and bands will culminate in the collective performance of the new anthem. This opening will mark the start of a five-week festival in which Vienna will become the experimental site of a second modern age: global, unbounded, utopian, radically political and radically aesthetic.

Vienna becomes the world capital of theater

Big names of world theater come together with radical performers. “Five and a half weeks of polyphonic, passionate, combative, crazy world theater!” is how Festival Director Milo Rau describes it. Some of the spoken theater highlights include:

  • Kornél Mundruczó (HU) creates a family history with PARALLAX.
  • In LACRIMA, Caroline Guiela Nguyen (F) tells the tragic story of the production of a royal wedding dress.
  • Christiane Jatahy (winner of the Golden Lion at the Biennale di Venezia) has Hamlet return as a woman.
  • Performance star Florentina Holzinger celebrates a mass with the audience in SANCTA.
  • Jossi Wieler presents the Jelinek production Angabe der Person.
  • Carolina Bianchi uses her body to question the boundaries of art in her internationally discussed performance The Bride and Goodnight Cinderella.
  • In The Talking Car, Agnieszka Polska explores the relationship between man and machine.
  • Leonie Böhm and Kim de l’Horizon transform Blutbuch into the theatrical narrative Blutstück.
Barocco (Kirill Serebrennikov)
© Fabian Hammerl (BAROCCO/Kirill Serebrennikov)

Music under the banner of revolution

The festival will focus on the themes of resistance and revolution: as far as music is concerned, Russian dissident Kirill Serebrennikov will present a panorama of resistance from the Prague Spring to the present day on the stage of the Burgtheater right at the beginning of the festival with BAROCCO.

Ukrainian conductor Oksana Lyniv will make a statement against war with Jevhen Stankovych’s Kaddish Requiem at the Wiener Konzerthaus.

Milo Rau’s adaption of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito will put the sham morality of the well-meaning elite under the microscope in Hall E of the MuseumsQuartier.

The world premiere of Nora Chipaumire’s project Dambudzo at the mumok and the multimedia opera Woman at Point Zero by Bushra El-Turk also promise revolutionary potential. El-Turk is one of the first ten members of the global platform for women composers, the Akademie Zweite Moderne, which, under the patronage of Nuria Schoenberg Nono, is radically globalizing and feminizing the legacy of the Viennese modernist hero Arnold Schönberg (this year marking the 150th anniversary of his birth).

Rothko (Łukasz Twarkowski)
© Arturs Pavlovs (Rothko/Łukasz Twarkowski)

Multimedia theater

In addition to major musical and spoken theater events, lovers of multimedia theater spectacles will also be in for a treat.

  • In ROHTKO by Łukasz Twarkowski, a 12-member ensemble sheds light on the world’s biggest art scandal.
  • In The Making of Berlin, Yves Degryse blurs the boundaries between fiction and documentary.
  • Tim Etchell’s two-person play Die Rechnung, which will tour the districts of Vienna, is infused with humor.
  • Tempest Project is the final work of theater maestro Peter Brook, who died in 2022.
  • Meine Zeit wird nicht kommen is a tribute to Karl Kraus, a protagonist of Viennese modernism.
  • A tractor engine is ritually sacrificed in an explosion in the performance EXHAUST / ajax by Flemish theater artist Kris Verdonck.

Vienna Festival 2024

5.17. – 6.23.2024
5.17.2023: open-air event on Rathausplatz to mark the opening of the festival. Free admission.
34 venues all over Vienna
Program, info, tickets:

Discount with the Vienna City Card

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