2014 will be Alexander Pereira's third and final year in charge of the Salzburg Festival before he leaves for La Scala. The full festival programme will be officially unveiled in November, but a few details have already escaped. For those now used to Pereira's ways, it will be no surprise that the same old names crop up yet again - did he sing a package deal with these directors or what? The last thing Salzburg should become is a closed shop.
Anyway, as already announced, the Mozart-Da Ponte cycle begun this year with Cosi continues in 2014 with Don Giovanni directed by Sven-Eric Bechtholf and conducted by Christoph Eschenbach. Ildebrando d'Arcangelo is the Don. Figaro follows in 2015, with all three to be shown in 2016.
Other previously-announced operas are Rossini's Cenerentola with Cecilia Bartoli, a repeat of the 2014 Whitsun Festival production, and a new opera by Marc-André Dalbavie commissioned by the Festival.
Pereira has already revealed a "Verdi opera that begins with T" is on the cards. This will be Il Trovatore, with Anna Netrebko, Placido Domingo and Francesco Meli reunited from their successful Giovanna d'Arco this summer. Daniele Gatti will conduct and Alvis Hermanis will direct.
The dread Peter Stein is back to direct Schubert's Fierrabras, which will be conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
Harry Kupfer will direct a new Rosenkavalier, to be conducted by Zubin Mehta. Although there won't be any Strauss operas in concert for budgetary reasons, the 150th anniversary year will be celebrated by a series of orchestral works.
Also on the concert schedule is a full cycle of Bruckner sypmphonies, conducted by the likes of Daniel Barenboim, Riccardo Muti, Daniele Gatti, Riccardo Chailly, Philippe Jordan, Bernard Haitink and Christoph Eschenbach.
And it's bad news for Kurtág fans. His 'Endgame' opera, originally scheduled for 2013 and then deferred to 2014, won't be seen until 2015 at the earliest.