Your valid Salzburg Festival Ticket grants single entry to the anniversary exhibition at the Salzburg Museum.
26 JULY 2020 TO 31 OCTOBER 2021
‘The bird catcher, that’s me ...’ – An installation in dialogue with the artist Yinka Shonibare
Neue Residenz – First floor
Installation by Yinka Shonibare, sculpture, carriage, birdcages, songbirds
With a view onto the Mozart monument in the square in front of the museum, the British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare pays personal homage to Die Zauberflöte / The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Die Zauberflöte is one of the most miraculous works in music history. It is a masterly combination of elements taken from the magic opera, ‘machine’ comedy (using mechanical stage effects), Freemason rites and the heroic-comedic opera in the tradition of Viennese popular suburban theatres. For his work on the history of the Salzburg Festival, Yinka Shonibare, who is based in London, takes his entire inspiration from Mozart and his singspiel (musical comedy) Die Zauberflöte. He reacts to Mozart’s work by producing a symbolic reinterpretation of the bird catcher Papageno. In Shonibare’s world, all birds are free; they are perched outside the open birdcages and invite viewers to think about such themes as liberty and self-determination. The Bird Catcher’s Dilemma is thus transformed into a symbol of liberation
and independence, thus linking up with Shonibare’s central musings on the relationship of European culture and colonialism.
Yinka Shonibare (born in 1962 in London; grew up in Lagos, Nigeria) lives in London. He studied between 1984 and 1989 at the Byam Shaw School of Art in London and between 1989 and 1991 at the Goldsmiths University of London. Shonibare works with the media of sculpture, photography, installation, painting and film. His projects repeatedly deal with themes of history and the consequences of colonialism.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (born in 1756 in Salzburg; died in 1791 in Vienna) is one of the world’s best known and most important musicians and composers. Salzburg for Mozart was the location of his early upbringing in music by his father Leopold. From here, the family went on their first concert and educational tours. Salzburg was where Mozart began to compose and where he worked for the prince archbishops as orchestra director and court organist. After his break with the Salzburg Prince Archbishop Colloredo and Mozart’s departure for Vienna in 1781, it took decades before Salzburg remembered its famous son. The Mozart cult starting in the 19th century was pivotal in promoting the idea of a festival in Salzburg.
Die Zauberflöte / The Magic Flute was first performed in 1791 in the Freihaustheater in Vienna. The text was written by the theatre impresario and actor Emanuel Schikaneder who also wrote the role of Papageno optimally tailored to fit his own talents. Prince Tamino is given the task by the Königin der Nacht / Queen of the Night of rescuing her daughter Pamina from Sarastro’s castle. When the young prince sees a portrait of the princess, he immediately falls in love with her. The bird catcher Papageno becomes Tamino’s companion, and each of them is given a magic musical instrument: the prince a magic flute, Papageno a glockenspiel, a set of magic bells. Together the young people overcome their many ordeals and rites of passage, and also the power struggle between the Queen of the Night and the priest Sarastro. Because of its fascinating music, the famous arias, the appealing roles and its fairytale content, the opera is one of the most renowned and most frequently produced operas in the world. In Salzburg, too, the work has often delighted the public throughout the 100 years of the Festival’s history. Die Zauberflöte was first performed during the Festival in 1928 and since then has been seen around 240 times in more than 40 seasons. Many productions have become a permanent part of the history of the Salzburg Festival.
The Mozart monument was erected in 1841 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s death. The bronze sculpture of the composer was created by the Munich sculptor Ludwig Schwanthaler. The monument was solemnly unveiled in 1842 in the presence of Mozart’s two sons. For Salzburg, the monument became a visible expression of a Mozart cult that became ever more pronounced and which also led in the 19th century to the introduction of music festivals in Salzburg specifically dedicated to Mozart. With their programmes that included concerts and operas, and along with the endeavours to set up a festival theatre of their own, they paved the way in many regards towards the later foundation of the Salzburg Festival.