The Salzburg Festival put serious music aside and had some fun celebrating Zubin Mehta’s 50 years of concerts.

On stage with Maestro Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic were soprano Fiorenza Cedolins and the Maestro’s partner in years of opera, the great Placido Domingo.

Zubin and Placido

Instead of Bruckner, Schoenberg and Mahler it was a program of Verdi, Puccini, and Lehar! Placido and Zubin, icons of the music world, were an unbeatable pair on the stage; a picture of health and vitality; each having performed for over 5 decades!

For the “benefizkonzert,” which was open to the public at the unbelievable price of 18Eu, the management of the Festspielehaus brought in hundreds of extra seats.

The standing ovation started before the first note was even played!

The surprise highlight of the afternoon concert came when Zubin relinquished the conductor’s baton to his friend Placido for a performance of “Overture to Forza Del Destino”. Zubin peeked in from the wings as Domingo led the enthusiastic Israel Philharmonic with great confidence.

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Again the IPO made international news in the New York Times with a stunning review of its three Salzburg concerts.

The praises for the programming and the playing were without limits.