On the Austrian shore of Lake Constance, Bregenz's month-long music and drama festival from late July to late August boasts the world's biggest floating stage, which seats an audience of 7,000 for lavish large-scale operas, usually from the popular repertoire (recent performances include Puccini's La Bohème and Bernstein's West Side Story).
Other venues are the Festspielhaus, for neglected opera and concerts; the Werkstattbühne ('Workshop Theatre'), for contemporary opera and drama; the Theater am Kornmarkt, for operetta; and Martinsplatz, the medieval square in the scenic upper town, for open-air plays. The Festspielhaus is used as an indoor venue if the weather is changeable.
Founded in 1946, the Bregenz festival has grown and diversified to comprise roughly 80 performances that draw more than 300,000 visitors to the historic town at the foot of Pfänder Mountain.
As well as opera, highlights include poetry, chamber music and literature at the Lake Studio, a series of orchestral concerts at the Theater am Kornmarkt and further crossculture events for children and young adults. For more information.