Rossini in Wildbad
Belcanto Opera Festival

IL VIAGGIO A REIMS 2014 young cast
IL VIAGGIO A REIMS 2014 young cast
A Rossini festival deep in the Black Forest - is this really possible?  For over 30 years Rossini in Bad Wildbad has shown that a small (and poor), but specialized bel canto opera festival can be successful, with splendid CD recordings and international radio transmission.  The Festival is internationally renowned for discovering new operas of the bel canto repertory and outstanding young singers. Rossini in Wildbad was founded in 1989 in memoriam to Gioachino Rossini's stay in the Black Forest spa town 1855.  Jochen Schönleber has been the Artistic Director since 1991, and now he is also the General Manager.  The Music Director is one of the world's leading bel canto conductors, the brilliant Italian Antonino Fogliani.  The Festival is held in the city of Bad Wildbad, and supported by the state of Baden-Württemberg and the District of Calw.  Principal sponsor is AWG Calw.

General Manager   Jochen Schönleber

Artistic Director      Jochen Schönleber

Music Director       Antonino Fogliani




The Festival has achieved an excellent reputation in recent years, and is especially famous for introducing new voices and talented young conductors and directors as well as  and for staging the lesser known operas of Rossini and other composers.
Collaboration with national radio stations has led to extremely successful CD and DVD recordings, for example the CD debut of Joyce DiDonato in La cenerentola, conducted by Alberto Zedda, still a jewel and outstanding recording of the opera.  Semiramide (conducted by Fogliani) with major singers like Penda, Pizzolato, Osborn and Regazzo is also a world-wide success. Recently a lot of "big" titles like Maometto II or Corradino/Matilde di Shabran with José Miguel Pérez-Sierra conducting have been recorded successfully in NAXOS' complete recording of Rossini's operas.
Other titles, all on the Naxos label, include L’equivoco stravagante, La donna del lago (conducted by Zedda), La pietra del paragone, Torvaldo e Dorliska (conducted by Alessandro de Marchi), Ciro in Babilonia, Mosè in Egitto and a thrilling Otello with the CD debut of Michael Spyres and Jessica Pratt (conducted by Antonino Fogliani).  Pezzi sacri on the Bongiovanni label is conducted by Gabriele Bellini.  Numerous great singers of a new generation had their debut or CD debut in Bad Wildbad in major roles, including Pavol Breslik, Michael Spyres, Joyce DiDonato, Jessica Pratt, Olga Peretyatko, Serena Malfi, Diana Haller and many others.
Another focus is the discovery of great composers and their works from the age of Rossini: Simone Mayr’s L’amor coniugale (conducted by Christopher Franklin, recorded by Naxos); Michele Carafa’s I due Figaro (conducted by Brad Cohen, DVD on Bongiovanni); Meyerbeer’s Semiramide (conducted by Richard Bonynge, CBE, on Naxos); Saverio Mercadante’s lovely Don Chisciotte and his I briganti, adopted from Schiller (both conducted by Antonino Fogliani, recorded on Naxos). Recently the festival has recorded Romilda e Costanza, Meyerbeers first Italian opera as a modern world première under the baton of Luciano Acocella.
The Belcanto Academy is a source for outstanding young singers.  In cooperation with internationally famous musicians like Alberto Zedda, Raúl Giménez, etc., Rossini in Wildbad established an educational program which in 2004 became  an academy dedicated to the study of bel canto.  Besides offering courses in the style and history of bel canto, the talented young singers work closely with masters in the field and attend rehearsals.  The Academy of Bel Canto (ABC) is dedicated to teaching young singers and conductors the dimensions of the human voice and helping them improve their technique.
The ROSSINI IN WILDBAD BELCANTO OPERA FESTIVAL program is available on the programme page.