The Salzburg Festival is a well-known music and drama event taking place since 1920 in Salzburg, the birth town of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Every year, during five weeks in July and August the Austrian town turns into one giant stage. The festival showcasing opera, theatre, and classical music attracts about 250,000 people annually.
The Salzburg Festival was inaugurated on the steps of Salzburg Cathedral with Reinhardt's performance of Hofmannsthal's Jedermann with the famous singer of that time Aleksandër Moisiu. In 1922, the festival's highlight was Mozart's Don Giovanni conducted by Richard Strauss, one of the founders of the festival. After World War II, the festival's artistic director was famous conductor Herbert von Karajan.
Aside from the traditional open-air stage on Cathedral Square, the festival has many other venues throughout city and vicinity. The Pernerinsel in Hallein, Felsenreitschule and the Grosses Festspielhaus on Hofstallgasse are the most famous ones. Also, many festival events take place at the Haus für Mozart (House for Mozart) opened in 2006. Many of the festival's performances are free for the public to attend. Some of them take place on Kapitelplatz Square during Siemens Festival Nights. During its first weekend, the festival offers lots of popular culture events and attracts top opera stars from around the world such as Cecilia Bartoli, Anna Netrebko, Rolando Villazón and Riccardo Muti.