Going to Mozart land and not going for an opera would have been sacrilegious, no? Which is why we didn’t commit that crime 🙂 Since we were in Salzburg for 3 nights, we scheduled ourselves for an opera over one evening.
We had booked ourselves for the Mozart Dinner Concert at Stiftskeller St Peter. Now, Stiftskeller St Peter is touted to be one of the oldest restaurants in the world; apparently, it is the oldest restaurant in Europe! A stately building within the St Perter monastery, the place takes you back in time to a world of elegance and style.
At the Mozart Dinner Concert, you get a flavour of Austria’s music and food over a span of three hours. Two lead singers accompanied by musicians on violin and octobass, sing a mix of love and folk songs in between a 4-course candlelight dinner.
Sounds wonderful? Well, the experience/feelings were mixed. This was definitely tailored for the time-constrained tourist. A quickie. We are a family of music lovers…. somewhat purists. The thought of eating while listening to an opera was quite alarming. Wouldn’t the clinking of cutlery wreak havoc on the music? Isn’t is disrespectful? With such discerning thoughts, we took our chairs. Wine and drinks were served. Then came the appetizer. On the completion of the first round, tables were cleared, and in came the singers and musicians. One song later, the performers ran out, and then came the next course of meal. Thus interspersed, we got our taste of Mozart music and Austrian food in an 18th century banquet hall replete with ornate walls and elaborate chandeliers.
Will I recommend the Mozart concert to anyone? Yes and No. Yes, if you simply want a feel of the ‘thing’. No, if you are serious music lovers. It isn’t a great music experience out there. As I said earlier, a complete tourist-thing, the fast-food variety. Lacks depth. And is often frivolous. In one of the songs, they picked up my daughter and went up to the dais singing. I almost felt I was there for a Noddy play. My daughter of course loved the attention!
At 56 euros per adult and 34 euros per child, the Mozart Dinner Concert doesn’t come cheap. So take a good call. I came out of the hall somewhat bewildered. Promised myself that I’d treat myself to a good opera back home at NCPA in Mumbai ……
P.S: For a complete Austria itinerary and tour details, read — A Perfect Summer Holiday in Austria