The size of the ‘performers‘ is deceptive: Visitors to the Salzburg Marionette Theater can look forward to performances that are definitely worthy of a big stage. Just like any major opera house, here they offer a wide program featuring elaborate productions.
With a history that goes back more than 100 years, the Salzburg Marionette Theater is an institution with a rich tradition. At this opera house in miniature, the works in their repertoire are performed just like full-scale operas – including dancing, singing and acting. The wooden ‘cast‘ of around 500 characters is supplied by the theater’s own workshops. Similarly, the costumes and sets are crafted with skill and a love for every detail. Since September 2016, the Salzburg Marionette Theater has been a proud member of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
The full repertoire of the Salzburg Marionette Theater bears comparison with the world’s biggest opera houses. From Mozart’s ‘Magic Flute‘ to Strauss’s ‘Fledermaus‘ and Tchaikovsky’s ‘Nutcracker‘ – there is definitely no shortage of variety here. ‘The Sound of Music‘ has also been one of the public’s most popular productions since 2007. That said, the Marionette Theater puts on around 160 performances in Salzburg every year. This is supplemented by guest appearances internationally as well as full tours.
The Salzburg Marionette Theater for children
Fairytales and popular children’s characters: Younger visitors have played an important role here from the very beginning. A tradition which continues at the Salzburg Marionette Theater to this very day. Children’s pieces such as ‘Peter and The Wolf‘ and ‘The Little Prince‘ are staples of the annual program. The one-hour short programs in the afternoon are especially suitable for children – as well as other Salzburg visitors with only a short time to spare.
Central Europe’s marionette-theater tradition was a passion of sculptor and teacher Anton Aicher. In 1913, he launched the Salzburg Marionette Theater with a performance of Mozart’s ‘Bastien and Bastienne‘. What was very much a project of the heart for Aicher quickly became a cultural highlight of the city of Mozart. When, back in 1971, it moved into the house it occupies today, the Salzburg Marionette Theater suddenly boasted an auditorium that could seat up to 350 guests. The building itself, which is located between the Mozarteum and Salzburg State Theatre, is in the ornate style of the Baroque.