The wink of the 'hidden' chandelier
For many years the Salzburg Festival had followed plans to create a “House for Mozart” which would in every respect be suitable for the performance of the composer’s stage works, with excellent acoustics and the best possible sight lines from all seats.
The auditorium had to be both intimate but also have sufficient seating capacity. The task that seemed like squaring the circle was achieved by the team of architects Holzbauer and Valentiny: what was previously known as the Kleines Festspielhaus was transformed in three building phases from September 2003 into a Haus für Mozart (House for Mozart) opened in 2006.
The auditorium of the Kleines Festspielhaus was widened, shortened and lowered. Two new audience circles were created which extend on both sides of the hall as far as the stage. This creates the effect that the stage is framed on three sides by people in festive mood rather than by bare walls.
In comparison with the previous situation in the Kleines Festspielhaus the foyers have undergone major changes. Tall windows extending over two floors offer views from the main foyer to the city, and in the evenings the lighted interior of the theatre creates an inviting impression.
Commissioned by Swarovski Michael Hammers created the definitely must astonishing „hidden chandelier“ the world has seen: The main foyer is dominated by a 17-metre high gilded lamella wall: Through the openings a profile of young boy Mozart’s head made of 60,000 Swarovski crystal strands can be seen: 'It´s 'Wolfers' undercover stage' says Michael.
However when the also implemented stage-lighting drives through the crystals, Mozart winks into the foyer all embracingly inviting to enjoy his ingenious music that night.