111th Anniversary

111 years filled with magic and fantasy

On 27 February 1913 the Salzburg Marionette Theatre gave its first public performance at the Hotel Bristol on Makartplatz: Mozart's singspiel Bastien und Bastienne was on the programme and was a huge success for the small ensemble. Since then, the Salzburg Marionette Theatre has delighted countless people all over the world. As soon as the little creatures on strings enter the stage, the audience is immersed in a world of fantasy and is captivated by this magical art form.

The first Salzburg Kasperl by Anton Aicher

When Anton Aicher carved his first marionettes 111 years ago, it was extremely important to him that they should move as human-like as possible. To achieve this, he developed a special operating cross, which is still used in almost unchanged form for the marionettes in our theatre today. This cross enables the incomparable performance practice for which the theatre was awarded UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage status in 2016. The careful and respectful treatment of this tradition and the extensive repertoire continues to be of great importance to us and is the basis for our current and future activities.

    Highlights 2024

    Rimsky-Korsakov's Mozart and Salieri just celebrated its premiere in January as part of Mozart Week 2024. The dark chamber opera about Salieri's alleged poisoning of Mozart as a collaboration with the International Mozarteum Foundation and Mozarteum University was a huge success.

    And the anniversary year has further highlights in store: Romeo and Juliet, probably the most famous love story in the world, will be shown for the first time on 24 October. For this new production, 19 new marionettes for 12 roles are currently being created in the theatre's own workshops, with costumes designed by ensemble member Edouard Funck. The puppeteers will be partially visible – there will once again be an interesting alternation between "open" and "concealed" (illusionistic) acting.

    The premiere of Shakespeare's tragedy also marks the start of a small three-day festival, which this year will be dedicated entirely to the string marionette. Outstanding ensembles from all over Europe will present a wide variety of puppetry at various venues in the city centre.

    We participate in the BMKÖS funding projects for the "Digitisation of Cultural Heritage" and "Climate-Friendly Cultural Organisations" and strive for environmental certification as a sustainable cultural organisation. Every year, we put on around 150 performances at our theatre, regularly go to schools in and around Salzburg, organise workshops for children and adults and take our productions on international tours all over the world.