West Side Story, Salzburg Festival © Salzburg Festival/Silvia Lelli
West Side Story, Salzburg Festival © Salzburg Festival/Silvia Lelli
West Side Story, Salzburg Festival © Salzburg Festival/Silvia Lelli
West Side Story, Salzburg Festival © Salzburg Festival/Silvia Lelli
West Side Story, Salzburg Festival © Salzburg Festival/Silvia Lelli
West Side Story, Salzburg Festival © Salzburg Festival/Silvia Lelli
West Side Story, Salzburg Festival © Salzburg Festival/Silvia Lelli
West Side Story, Salzburg Festival © Salzburg Festival/Silvia Lelli
West Side Story, Salzburg Festival © Salzburg Festival/Silvia Lelli
West Side Story, Salzburg Festival © Salzburg Festival/Silvia Lelli
West Side Story, Salzburg Festival © Salzburg Festival/Silvia Lelli
West Side Story, Salzburg Festival © Salzburg Festival/Silvia Lelli
West Side Story, Salzburg Festival © Salzburg Festival/Silvia Lelli

West Side Story is the first full musical to play at the prestigious Salzburg Festival and the challenges of mounting a production of such a scale in the Felsenreitschule were legion. George Tsypin’s magnificent rolling stage set took up a lot of space, in particular limiting the overhead rigging positions, and there were no wings or fly floors behind which to hide the lighting. The pay-off was the chance to work on a magnificent open stage (from which the Von Trapp family famously escaped in the Sound of Music!), where the back wall is literally hewn out of the rock face. This hybrid of high art - Bernstein wrote the piece as an opera and genius conductor Gustavo Dudamel leads the Simon Bolivar Orchestra in the pit – and spectacular and commercial musical, gave us the licence to explore these two very different worlds while helping director Phil McKinley to bring them together.