The first time I ever heard Mozart’s composition was in Tom and Jerry, when I was a little child. Till date, his symphonies remind me of the my carefree childhood days and make me smile. However, over the years, I have learnt to enjoy his symphonies as stellar works of art and for the genius that he was. Mozart was a child prodigy and grew up to share musical compositions with the world, that still ring loud and clear regardless of the years that have gone by.
Ankur and I were in Salzburg, Mozart’s home town, only for one day. Obviously, we had to make time to attend a concert playing Mozrat’s music at St Peter Stiftskeller. We booked our seats at the dinner concert in advance, about a couple of weeks before our visit. The advance booking ensured that we had reserved our place close to the stage and requested for vegetarian food. I packed a little black dress for my self and formals for Ankur. We were all set for having a ‘classic’ evening in Salzburg.
Here are eight good reasons that should inspire you to visit St Peter Stiftskeller for the dinner concert:
Mozart Mozart and Mozart
At the age of four, Mozart learnt to play the violin and compose music, without having been to a music school. In a short while, with formal training, he learnt to play the harpsichord and the organ. Mozart’s first public performance was at the age of five at the Benedictine University of Salzburg. Mozart’s father, along with young Mozart and Nannerl (Mozart’s sister), toured the key music loving cities in Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy and Switzerland, where their music was recognised and appreciated. Attending the concert was our way of saluting this genius!
Tribute to talent that exists today
Every performer at the concert is a graduate from the Mozarteum University. The Mozarteum University at Salzburg is one the most respected schools for music and performing arts. To get an admission in the university is a challenge in itself as the best from around the world compete for limited seats every year. It is obvious that these gems turn into shining stars after a few years at the university. No wonder its a pleasure to attend a concert where some of the best artists are performing.
Introduction to opera
If you have never attended an opera in your life, this is the best place to do so. The concert will make you appreciate the voice modulation of the performers as well as the talent and skill that goes into the art. All performances are in the language of their original composition and you are provided with a little booklet that details the original opera content as well as its translation in English. But really we never felt the need to read details about the entire opera as the performers did a fantastic job of expressing every emotion in their voice and facial expressions. For those who are opera lovers, I am sure you will appreciate Figaro being performed by some of the best artists in Mozart’s very own town!
Architecture inside the hall
St Peter Stiftskeller is supposed to be one of the oldest restaurants in the world. It has been in existence since 803 AD and has been lovingly maintained since centuries. The stone walls have stories to tell. The sparkling chandeliers scatter light perfectly to bring out the grandeur of the room.
The murals painted on the ceiling made me feel that that I was sitting in the ball room of a castle. The painted grand piano stands elegantly by the side. While the music will mesmerise you, make sure you spare a few minutes admiring your surroundings.
The first time we attending a concert in a hall that dates back a few centuries, was at Dubrovnik during the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. The acoustics of the Rector’s Palace at Dubrovnik were so good that we decided to attend a concert like royalty, whenever possible. Thus, it was imperative for us to attend the performance at St Peter Stiftskeller. The acoustics of the hall were outstanding. Now echoes and no disturbances – just pure music. A live performance is either ways a pleasure to hear – no digitization can match up to the real notes that leave the strings.
Austrian culture and tradition
The performance gives an insight into Austrian culture at it was centuries ago. The performers wear the traditional dresses and wigs that we worn while attending the courtroom back in the 1700’s. The ladies look lovely in their flowing dresses and the men look dapper in their well fitted coats.
I really wanted to wear a similar pretty dress, pretend to be royalty and strut around the streets of Salzburg, or maybe ride in my horse carriage like a real Hapsburg princess.
Excellent food and drinks
The concert at St Peter Stiftskeller is a dinner and music concert. The music is fantastic, as I have mentioned above. So is the food. We are vegetarians and had requested for a vegetarian meal before hand. We had a three course meal comprising of a warm soup, a risotto cooked to perfection and a delightful dessert.
Our aperitif was as much as visual treat as it was to our tastebuds, with some dry ice that gave the drink a fuming and live look.
The restaurant has hosted Mozart, Beethoven in the times gone by and Bill Clinton in the recent time …you must make time to have a meal at this restaurant, just for the fabulous food that comes out of the kitchen.
An evening with soothing music and fine dining is a perfect way to entertain oneself. The place is just perfect for everyone… it is great for a romantic evening as regardless of your age, romance never goes out of fashion. Those with young children, worry not! The dinner concert is entertainment for the whole family as well. There are a couple of musical pieces with comic acts and the performer dresses up as a ‘bird catcher’ with feathers et all. They involve kids and get them on stage…everyone is happy.
If you are in Salzburg for a day, this dinner concert is a must do thing!
The dinner concert costs EUR 56 per adult, including food, but does not include drinks. The dress code is formal; ladies, please wear an evening dress and gentlemen, please wear formal trousers…no jeans and sport shoes. It is advisable to make an advance booking for the concert.
We were guests of St Peter Stiftskeller for the dinner concert. However, the views expressed above are what we genuinely feel. We loved the performance and the next time that we are in Salzburg, we will make sure we attend the same once again… ‘Figaro’ is still ringing in our ears!