Tragedy is frequently the dominant force in opera. The FESTTAGE 2019 show that this does not always have to be the case. Two musical comedies from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are at the heart of the FESTTAGE: Richard Wagner’s »Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg«, which despite its intellectual seriousness deals not least with human foibles, and Sergei Prokofiev’s rarely performed comedy of love and errors »Betrothal in a Monastery«, the turbulent plot of which would also fit a Mozart or Rossini opera. Daniel Barenboim directs both works as well as the concert programme: The Vienna Philharmonic will perform Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 as well as Prokofiev’s »Symphonie classique«, which takes up the tonal language of Haydn and Mozart and transposes it, both respectfully and irreverently, to the present. Together with the Staatskapelle Berlin, Anna Netrebko will present opera arias by Giuseppe Verdi, flanked by his »Quattro pezzi sacri« with the Rundfunkchor Berlin. And the newly founded opera children’s orchestra will make its debut with Prokofiev’s »Peter and the Wolf«.