Gustav Kuhn and the Tyrolean Festival Erl - this is, what the press is saying...
THE KING OF ERL
Financial cuts are a huge danger for cultural institutions nowadays. But a small village in Tyrol doesn't want to deal with that. There, conductor Gustav Kuhn opens a new festival building for his own festival. A visit to a private empire.
PLAYGROUND FOR MUSES
With Mozart's "Le nozze di Figaro", the first opera on show at the new festival building in Erl, all singers, musicians and the production itself are totally convincing. But still the main star of the evening is the accoustic.
THE MIRACLE OF TYROL
There was no one since Wagner who built his own festival house – until conductor Gustav Kuhn came, and opened his own in the small village of Erl.
"Kuhn’s concept works out. He sees the place, the landscape and the people who live here as an essential inspiration for his artistic ideas […]. Nowadays, in a time of an inflation of mainstream festivals, Erl goes for uniqueness. Rationally, Kuhn says, he couldn’t hope for this kind of success ten years ago, however, he could already feel it."
Orpheus, September/October 2007
"Kuhn is a living legend. A stirrer, a philosopher, a, pardon, stage hog – and, above all, an internationally highly respected conductor that leading opera houses from Vienna to Paris like to adorn themselves with. Kuhn has reached that kind of success through an unusual mixture of quality and uniqueness. The audience knows by now that operas in Erl can be experienced in a highly musical perfection and in a very unconventional manner, without fearing to be deemed weird."
Trierscher Volksfreund, 21/22 July 2007
"Kuhn is a master of his trade. His tempi seem to compliment each other from the beginning to the end, the transitions flow organically. On the twenty-fourth day of his tour de force, he still seems relaxed and focused. A baroque person who dines with guests after the performances until the early morning hours, who makes as much of the music and himself as possible. A man of lust for life, a friend of women and supporters. Without his charisma, there would not be a Tyrolean Festival Erl."
Opernwelt, September/October 2007
"The founder and initiator [of the Tyrolean Festival Erl], Gustav Kuhn, is not only the art director, but brings in his innovative ideas also to the development of all fields that the festival includes. He determinedly pursues his goal to give the festival its very own signature. The cornerstones that he set mainly show in the originality as well as in the results of elaborate quality. Musical diversity and sound perfection add up to that as well as unconventional views and the commitment to being open-minded, deliberately controversial to the same old story that is profanely told in many places. He successfully swims against the current of the ordinary and, in doing so, sometimes likes to go back to the roots of musical views."
belcanto, 15 February 2008
"[…] Maybe it’s one of Kuhn’s secrets: that he doesn’t interfere with the partition’s identity, especially not with the parts where others try to fix apparent or real cracks or fill them with sentiments. This is the only way for the transition, the empty space, to achieve its significance – and what shape does the music accomplish in the next upturn!"
Tiroler Tageszeitung, 8 July 2008
"As a director, Gustav Kuhn places emphasis on strong images. Images that, with their intensity, guide the focus towards the music in a clever way, without a moment of distraction. […] Gustav Kuhn has the audience under control. Musically, too, he creates dramatic tension, though he is still able to make it feel at ease. In the course of that, the choir academy and the orchestra of the Tyrolean Festival Erl are at their best."
Krone, 5 July 2009, Elektra
"[…] Kuhn is more than an outstanding artisan at the conductor’s desk: he’s well above the difficulties that the opus presents, gives the young instrumentalists enough security to take a risk once in a while – and achieves an organically vibrant, fascinating overall sound."
Rheinzeitung Koblenz, 08 July 2009, Elektra
"Gustav Kuhn is the master at the conductor’s desk. Once again, he places emphasis on precision and clarity. At that, he makes room for tender soulfulness. The result is a unique universe of sound. In doing so, Gustav Kuhn still lives up to Wagner’s momentum. But this time, Wagner doesn’t seem heavy. On the contrary! Crystal clear ease creates atmospheric richness. Kuhn adds transparency to Wagner’s opulence."
Krone, 20 July 2009, Meistersinger
"If summer is a wide and sunlit ocean with cultural steamboats gathering in it, the Festival Salzburg is a luxurious cruiser, mainly to take strolls and dine at, the Festival Bregenz is an XL entertainment club boat and the Tyrolean Festival Erl is a single-masted sailing boat that cruises through Wagner’s world of surging craze with great pleasure."
Der Standard, 12 July 2010, Der fliegende Holländer
"It was a brilliant idea to make the biggest Austrian ground floor theatre, that was only used every six years for passion plays, the central performance location for a festival of classical music in the years of rest. The festival that was founded by Gustav Kuhn in 1998 has by now evolved to an essential part of Tyrolean culture. Kuhn, who still pulls the strings as the artistic director, stage director and conductor today, can realize his understanding of the scene’s development through the music under ideal circumstances."
Das Opernglas, April 2011
"Conductor Gustav Kuhn persistently, stubbornly and passionately realized his vision of a special festival at a special place with a lot of drive and charisma far from the habit of urban culture."
Musik & Theater, June 2011