Numerous events took place in SalzburgerLand, Tirol and in Upper Austria in order to mark the 200-year anniversary. A brief review of the top events that have taken place.
Review – Top Events 2018
Special exhibition at Salzburg Museum: “SILENT NIGHT 200 – History. Message. Present.”
The special exhibition was dedicated to the history, message and present of the song in six chapters – based on the six verses. It also addressed the immaterial character of the song as a piece of cultural heritage.
Salzburg Museum | 29th of September 2018 to the 3rd of February 2019 | www.salzburgmuseum.at
Musical Play “My Silent Night” at Felsenreitschule Salzburg
On the 24th of November 2018, the new play with the title “My Silent Night” had its opening night in the Felsenreitschule in Salzburg. The top-class production team from the United States – the music was composed by the multi-award winning film composer and Emmy winner John Debney (“Ice Age”/”Sin City”/”The Passion of the Christ”/”The Jungle Book”), the script from Hannah Friedman – brings a little bit of “Broadway feeling” to Austria. The production is directed by Andreas Gergen, who was also responsible for successful productions such as “The Sound of Music” or “Monty Python’s Spamalot”. Tickets are available on the official website of the Salzburg State Theatre.
Felsenreitschule Salzburg | Opening Night was on 24th of November 2018 | Further performances: 29th of November to the 18th of December 2018
“Silent Mouse and Silent Night” in Wagrain-Kleinarl in SalzburgerLand
Silent Night as a light theatre Project in and around Wagrain-Kleinarl. A Piece with both puppets and people, in collaboration with the Salzburg State Theatre and the Salzburg Marionette Theatre.
Turnsaal Wagrain | Premiere on 11th of November 2018, 05:00 p.m. | Further Performances: 18/25th of November and 02/09/16/23rd of December 2018 | www.wagrain-kleinarl.at
Salzburger Adventsingen 2018: “Silent Night” at the Großes Festspielhaus (theatre) in Salzburg
In the anniversary year 200 years of “Silent Night”, the Salzburger Adventsingen theatre group concentrates in its performances at the Grosses Festspielhaus on the story of how the song came to be. The Christmas story of Mary and Joseph can be experienced in a social context of Obernhof in the year 1818. Salzburg lost its clerical and secular archbishopric status in 1803, and this led to a loss of independence and the area sank into insignificance. The Rupertiwinkel region was given to Bavaria, while the rest went to the Habsburgers. The small Oberndorf was cut off from its town of Laufen by the newly drawn border. The poor Schöffleute (people who transported salt on the rivers) from the “Austrian Laufen” did not allow themselves to be daunted however. With their rich tradition of boatman theatre, they performed their first ever Christmas play. They had no idea that following their performance on Christmas Eve that a very special song would be heard for the very first time. A song, which over time, would be adopted by the hearts of people across the world as a song of peace…
Grateful reverence for Mohr and Gruber
With the Salzburger Adventsingen 2018, the story of how the song came to be can be experienced every year in a historical context. It is a grateful reverence for Joseph Mohr and Franz Xaver Gruber for their song, a song which became a gift to us all. With over 150 singers, musicians, soloists and actors. With their refreshing carefree attitude, the Salzburger Hirtenkinder (shepherd children) are an extra special experience. Familiar Alpine songs and melodies that have been passed down from one generation to the next, are combined with newly composed works in order to create a new musical experience that is typical of the Salzburger Adventsingen.
Hans Köhl – conception, play, overall Management | Klemens Vereno – musically composed work | Johanna Dumfart and Reinhold Schmid – folk music arrangements
Read more about it here: www.salzburgeradventsingen.at
Special exhibition at Schlossmuseum Linz
Festive singing 200 years of “Silent Night” | 135 years “Es wird scho glei dumper” – On the history of Christmas song culture in Upper Austria. On the occasion of the 200-year anniversary of the popular Christmas song “Silent Night” and the 135-year anniversary of “Es wird scho glei dumper”, the links to Upper Austria that both these internationally loved songs have will be detailed in the special exhibition.
Linz Schlossmuseum | 1st of December 2018 to the 2nd of February 2019 | www.landesmuseum.at
Silent Night Nativity Scene relaunch celebration
One of the most important exhibits at the Museum Innviertler Volkskundehaus in Ried im Innkreis is the “Silent Night Nativity Scene”. This is the same nativity scene in front of which the world-famous Christmas song “Silent Night” was performed for the first time on 24 December 1818 in Oberndorf near Salzburg. Following extensive refurbishment and a new setup, the reworked nativity scene was presented to the public in all its glory on 22 November 2018. The “Silent Night” Christmas Exhibition, which is dedicated to the creation of the song 200 years ago until 2 February 2019, launched at the museum at the same time.
Museum Innviertler Volkskundehaus Ried | www.ried.com
Musical evening “Silent Night”
The SteudlTENN is a 700-year-old barn in Uderns, in which theatre and events take place every year. For 2018, a musical evening is planned with never-before-heard versions of “Silent Night”.
„MAURACHER UND MOHR“: Musical theatre by Hakon Hirzenberger,Dates: 14./15. and 16. December 2018 at the festival hall in Fügen
SteudlTENN and festival hall Fügen | December 2018 | www.steudltenn.com
Tirolean Bergweihnacht mountain Christmas at Lake Achensee
Whoever would like to find out more about the old traditions at Lake Achensee can visit the Tirolean Bergweihnacht exhibition in Achenkirch from the 24th of November to the 27th of December 2018. This year will be the 19th year in which the exhibition will take place in the historic Sixenhof, the museum of local history in Achental. Life-sized figures, living animals, Alpine stories about the birth of Christ or the special fruit cake produced by local bakers make the “Bergweihnacht” in the centuries-old barn of the Sixenhof unforgettable. www.sixenhof.at
Achenkirch | 24th of November to the 27th of December 2018 (on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays), from 1 pm to 5 pm
Sing Play „Die wahre Geschichte“ (The true story) in Schwaz in Tirol
“Die wahre Geschichte” is about the already successful filmed sing play of the authentic story of the Strasser family, the „Lerchen“ from the Zillertaler Laimach, who brought the simple folk song in their own version 1931 to Leipzig in Germany, from where it should conquer the hearts all over the world. Please find more information in the official Flyer (for Download please click here) and on the Website.
SZentrum Schwaz | 21st to the 23rd of Dezember 2018 | www.stille-nacht-schwaz.at
Review Top Events 2017
Opening of the special exhibition in the Celtic Museum Hallein
On the 25th of November 2017, the Celtic Museum Hallein opened its special exhibition “Christmas with Katharina and Franz Xaver – from the Silent Night estate of the Gruber family”.
Celtic Museum Hallein| 25th of November 2017, 11 am
Inauguration of Franz-Xaver-Gruber Square in Hallein
The newly designed Franz-Xaver-Gruber Square in front of the historically-listed former home of the composer was festively inaugurated. The opening of the newly designed Silent Night Museum will take place on the 29th of September 2018 (museum is currently closed!).
Silent Night District Hallein | 25th of November 2017, 1 pm
Lake Achensee Christmas // Mountain Christmas: “Weihnachten wia friaga” on the ship
Christmas and tranquil instrumental folk music on the ship, and followed by the subsequent Christmas market at Fischergut in Pertisau. The group “Tanzig” played Christmas songs and minuets from earlier and contemporary times in dancing-music style and on chord instruments. There was also the world’s only floating manger exhibition with around 20 mangers on the upper deck. The captain, Daniela Neuhauser, even told Christmas stories full of festive atmosphere herself.
Lake Achensee | 25th of November /2nd/9th/16th of December 2017, starting from 4:30 pm
Special Christmas post office in Steyr
Since 1950, a “Christmas post office” has been opened every year at the “Christkindl” pilgrimage place: approximately 2 million letters are sent from here to all corners of the globe each year. Each card and each letter receive the much sought after special postmark “Über Christkindl”.
Steyr – Christkindl | 30th of November 2018 to the 6th of January 2019, daily from 10 am to 5 pm. (Exceptions: 1st December 2018 from 10:30 am to 5 pm, 24th and 31st of December 2018 from 9 am to 12 noon, 6th of January 2019 from 10 am to 4 pm)
Special Silent Night post office in Oberndorf
The special, Silent Night museum in Oberndorf near Salzburg has existed since 1968. In addition to the “Christkindl post office” in Steyr, this is the second most important one in Austria. Visitors can send their Christmas cards and letters throughout the world using the special stamps and postmarks.
Oberndorf | 8th to the 23rd of December 2017, daily from 10 am to 4 pm, 24th of December from 9 am to 12 noon
“The search for the Silent Night”
The historical pageant with amateur actors from Hochburg-Ach brings back the audience back to this momentous time during which the most famous Christmas song in the world was created. Historic handicraft market in the garden of the Gruber-Gedächtnishaus (Gruber Memorial House).
Hochburg-Ach Parish Church | 14th of December 2018, at 4 pm and 7 pm; 15th of December 2018, at 4 pm and 7 pm and on the 16th of December 2018, at 1 pm, 4 pm and 7 pm.