January 18, 2018

Salzburg and My First Opera

While I was in Salzburg I attended my very first opera!

Opera is not something I have been too interested in but I thought while in Salzburg . . .So off I went to the opera . . .  at the Salzburger Marionettentheater!Auditorium Marionette Theater Salzburg Austria

The elegant theater is near Mirabell gardens a very short walk from the Altstadt.  Although the current theater has only been in use since 1971 the Salzburg Marionettes have been entertaining audiences worldwide since 1913.  This is truly a Salzburg & Austrian institution!

Even though this production uses marionettes don’t make the mistake thinking it is only for children. I did attend the 1 hour afternoon showing and there were children in attendance but the majority of the audience were adults.  If you prefer to enjoy your opera at night, there is a performance at 8 pm which is 2 hours long.Figaro Marionette Theater Salzburg Austria

Arrive a little early so you can enjoy the historic marionette puppets lining the walls as you enter.  You will be amazed by the beautiful and detailed costumes these marionettes are wearing!

Upon entering the theater you will notice the beautiful crystal chandeliers and that the theater seems a little smaller than normal.  This theater was designed so the puppets look larger than they really are.

Now it’s time for the opera to begin!

Menagerie Marionette Salzburg Austria

Today’s performance is the Magic Flute by none other than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  This opera is actually the last opera Mozart wrote as he died a few months after its first performance.  The Magic Flute is also said to be the most frequently performed opera in the world.Magic Flute Marionette Theater Salzburg Austria

It really doesn’t take long before you stop seeing the strings moving the marionettes and get totally involved with the production. The prerecorded music is nice although nothing beats a live orchestra.  The performance was very entertaining and I was able to follow the story thanks to the English interpretation provided on the side walls.  I only wish they could have been in front of me or that we were given the story to read prior to the show beginning.

I really enjoyed my first opera!

One of the highlights (for me) was at the end.  The puppeteers need to take their bows and this is accomplished via a large mirror, held at an angle, so we could all see who was holding the strings! The mirror made them look really large but it was pretty amazing to see who (only 4) actually controlled the puppets.Nutcracker Marionette Theater Salzburg Austria

The theater performs other operas and also a production of The Sound of Music.  I would like to see this as it would be easier to follow along but then it’s not an opera and that was what I was looking for!

All photographs are from the Salzburg Marionette Theater


Have you attended a Marionette Theater performance?

Would you attend an opera while in a city known for its opera?

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  1. Didn’t know there was such a thing as a marionette opera. Looks very entertaining, eh?
    InsideJourneys recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday – Bath Sandwich Board

  2. Laurel says:

    I would love to attend a Marionette Theatre performance and think that Salzburg would be the perfect place to seen an opera (even though I’m not normally a fan of opera).
    Laurel recently posted..Celebrating German Unity Day…Or Not

  3. jenjenk says:

    how fun!! i’m so sad i missed this!!!
    jenjenk recently posted..Eating in Curacao

  4. Wonderful experience! I’m longing to go to an opera in Italy, but it looks like Salzburg should be on my list, too.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..War and Peace on Battle Road

  5. I attended my first symphony in Vienna. I hope to see an opera one day in such a grand location.
    The Travel Chica recently posted..My Possessions: What I Chose to Keep

  6. Never attended a Marionette performance, but how can one visit Salzburg, and not see an opera?
    I attended one with live performers and would do it again when visiting the city.
    Amazing how the composers wrote music, and the performances are terrific!
    Loved Salzburg.
    Nice article and great pics Debbie!
    John D. WIlson
    John D. Wilson recently posted..There’s more to Orlando than Disney World and Epcot Center!

  7. robin says:

    What a fantastic way to see an opera – I’m enchanted.
    robin recently posted..The Castle, the Eagle and the Lake.

  8. Marlys says:

    I’ve been to one or two operas, but would love to go to a marionette one. And the Magic Flute happens to be one of my favourite Mozart opera too. I would like to see the marionette version of Don Giovanni!
    Marlys recently posted..Hollywood’s Love Affair With Paris – Part I

  9. Red Nomad OZ says:

    It would be WRONG to visit Salzburg and NOT attend an opera!! I’ve heard that the Magic Flute is the non-opera goers’ opera of choice – and the marionettes look amazing in your photos!! Such a wonderful experience – a bit different to my travels downunder in OZ!!!

  10. How cool! Those marionettes are beautiful! I think we would really dig this.

  11. Erik says:

    I’m not much of an opera guy, but this sounds absolutely fascinating!
    Erik recently posted..Northern California- Day Two

  12. Andrea says:

    Never heard of a marionette opera but it looks like it would be fantastic! I’ve only been to the opera once, in Rome many years ago on my first trip to Europe. It was off-season so we didn’t see it at the opera house, which makes me want to see another opera again during the proper season – I think the atmosphere would be incredible!
    Andrea recently posted..Four Great Hungarian Restaurants In Budapest

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I think it would be great to experience an opera in one of the grand opera houses like in Vienna, Paris or Budapest.


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