Shake, Rattle And Ruhr

Arts festivals, like flashy new museum buildings, can be tourist attractions for communities wanting to reinvent themselves. The Ruhr region in Germany, headquarters for coal, steel and heavy industry, has a new festival and a star to run it. But how do you get people to come? “It will take a long time to convince people to come to the Ruhr, And they won’t come for the Vienna Philharmonic.” So Gerard Mortier, who transformed the Salzburg Festival with new offerings, has put together a season of “23 productions with 129 performances in 15 spaces, along with additional concerts, a fringe festival and what promises to be an astonishing installation of a Bill Viola video spectacle.”