“FAUST 2023” – a virtual reconstruction at the Salzburg Festival

Ars Electronica Futurelab
© Ars Electronica Futurelab (PR)
© Ars Electronica Futurelab (PR)


In autumn 2023, the Salzburg Festival will commemorate Max Reinhardt, one of the first modern directors and co-founder of the Festival, with the extraordinary project "FAUST 2023". Together with the Ars Electronica Futurelab, his 1933 "Faust" production at the Felsenreitschule will be brought to life as an analogue and virtual reconstruction.

"FAUST 2023": VR theatre experience at the Salzburg Festival

Visitors will enter "the magical reality of the theatre" via virtual reality glasses - a reconstruction of Faust in the Felsenreitschule, directly on stage. They will assume unique positions there: In the middle of the stage setting, they are guided through the Faust City designed by Clemens Holzmeister in a ten-minute virtual interpretation of the play.

Light and music play a significant role - as they did in Reinhardt's open-air production 90 years ago. You will visit Faust's study and witness Walpurgis Night as well as the dance under the linden tree.

A large number of photos have been rectified in perspective and their quality has been improved, partly with AI support. The original photos from the festival archive are used as textures on the manually created geometry. In this way, attention to detail on the stage set and the technical limitations of VR glasses were brought into harmony.

The VR experience is a programme item of a guided tour by the drama students Ben Engelgeer, Victoria Kraft and Joseph Lang of the University Mozarteum Salzburg. A wide variety of media are used: narrated history, photographs, film clips, objects, manuscripts and audio documents, Faust music, three-dimensional stage elements and virtual simulation.

Visitors can expect the most diverse levels of perception as well as a virtual reality world at the original venue. Analogue and virtual stage realities intertwine and offer an extraordinary theatre experience.


Ars Electronica Futurelab
Salzburg Festival Foundation


Cultural Institutions, Entertainment & Art
Theater/Concert Hall
Art, Digital, History, Music, Scenography, Technology, Transformation, Virtual Space
Culture & Art, Public Experience, Virtual Experience