The piece 2018

Silent night

"Stille Nacht" 2018

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Back to the year 1818

In the 200th anniversary year of “Silent Night”, the Salzburg Advent Singing at the Großes Festspielhaus will focus on the history of the song’s origins. The Advent story of Mary and Joseph is brought to life in the socio-cultural context of Oberndorf in 1818. Salzburg loses its independence as a spiritual and secular prince-archbishopric in 1803 and sinks into insignificance. The Rupertiwinkel is awarded to Bavaria, the rest to the Habsburgs. The small village of Oberndorf is cut off from the town of Laufen by the new state border. Nevertheless, the impoverished aldermen from “Österreichisch-Laufen” are not discouraged. With their traditional Schiffertheater, they put on an Advent play for the first time. Little do they know that after their performance on Christmas Eve, a very special song will be sung for the first time. A song which, in the course of time, grows close to the hearts of all the peoples of the world as a song of peace…

Grateful tribute to Mohr and Gruber

The Salzburg Advent Singing 2018 brings the story of its creation to life in the historical context of the time. It is a grateful tribute to Joseph Mohr and Franz Xaver Gruber for their song, which became a gift to us all. With over 150 singers, musicians, soloists and actors. With their refreshing light-heartedness, the Salzburger Hirtenkinder will once again be a very special experience. Familiar Alpine songs and melodies handed down from generation to generation are combined with new compositions to create a new sound experience that is characteristic of the Salzburg Advent Singing.

The special relationship between three Salzburg peace initiatives

There were three great, terrible wars that shook Europe over the past two centuries. Wars after which nothing was ever the same again. The French wars (coalition wars), in which Napoleon’s troops, among others, swept across Europe, the First World War with over 17 million dead and the Second World War with around 70 million dead. The unspeakable suffering and atrocities remain unfathomable to this day. After these devastating wars, a great desire for peace and the ever-growing hope for better times allowed three delicate peace seedlings to sprout in Salzburg, which have become unique, internationally renowned cultural ambassadors of peace.

The Salzburg Song of Peace

After the Napoleonic Wars, Joseph Mohr (lyrics 1816) and Franz Xaver Gruber (melody 1818) created the simple pastoral “Silent Night! Heil’ge Nacht” 200 years ago, a song which is now sung in over 300 languages all over the world. Not a great compositional work, no, a simple folk song created by an assistant priest and an organist became the most sung song of peace for all peoples of the world. It became synonymous with the Christian message of peace and a human longing for tranquillity, security and inner peace.

The Salzburg Festspiele

Max Reinhardt and Hugo von Hofmannsthal responded to the First World War by founding the Salzburg Festival as a peace project. Through the reconciling and conquering power of art, Salzburg became a cultural world event summer after summer. As early as 1919, Max Reinhardt had the idea of opening the Salzburg Festival each year with a Christmas play. Max Mell even wrote a book for it. For various reasons, this idea could not be realized.

The Salzburg Advent Singing

In 1945, after the Second World War, the world was once again in ruins, with “Never again war” ringing out everywhere! In this immeasurably great desire for peace, Tobi Reiser and Karl Heinrich Waggerl germinated the third Salzburg Peace Project with the Salzburg Advent Singing. The message of “peace to those on earth who are of good will (Luke 2:14)” is still part of the credo of this traditional event today. With its unobtrusive efforts to promote the values of the spirit, the Salzburg Advent Singing in the Grosses Festspielhaus is as popular every year as Jedermann on Domplatz. Many visitors from home and abroad say that without the Salzburg Advent Singing there would be no Christmas for them.

Stille Nacht – Salzburger Adventsingen – Salzburger Festspiele

At the Salzburg Advent Singing 2018, all three initiatives have a special relationship with each other. The Salzburg Advent Singing takes place on the world-famous stage of the Salzburg Festival in the Grosses Festspielhaus. The focus of the event is on the story of the creation of “Silent Night”.

Stille Nacht 2018

Picture gallery

The piece 2018


Leading Team

Hans Köhl

Caroline Richards

Dietmar Solt

Herbert Böck

Hellmut Hölzl

Stefan Sperr


Simone Vierlinger (Sopran)

Bernhard Teufl (Tenor)

Elisabeth Eder (Sopran)

Edwin Hochmuth (Bariton)

Martina Gmeinder (Mezzosopran)

Florian Eisner (Bariton)

Konstantin Schrempf (Bariton)

Salzburger Hirtenkinder

Josef Auer (Peterl, Akkordeon), Carolin Altenberger (Rosi, Harmonika), Kiara Atteneder (Marie, Geige), Philip Eder (Urbal, Posaune), Nora Gadringer (Lena, Hackbrett), Valentin Nagl (Anderl, Trompete), Anna Neumayr (Kathi, Gitarre), Marlene Neumayr (Emma, Querflöte), Felix Neureiter (Jakob, Klarinette), Magdalena Neureiter (Sofie, Querflöte), Sarah Oberkofler (Resi, Horn), Johanna Renzl (Lisl, Geige), Lorena Resch (Mirl, Alt-Saxophon), Sebastian Scheibner (Sepperl, Flügelhorn), Leni Seer (Susi, Geige), Thomas Siller (Nazl, Harmonika), Fabian Stockinger (Franzl, Gitarre),Michael Thalmayer (Michi, Kontrabass), Michaela Vitzthum (Wetti, Flügelhorn), Sophie Zeilner (Klara, Geige)

Einstudierung, Betreuung

Hans Köhl, Gesamtleitung, Caroline Richards (Bühnenregie), Gudrun Köhl-Korbuly, Markus Helminger, Simon Haitzmann, Hildegard Stofferin


Lg: Maria Dengg (Geige), Andrea Brucker (Bratsche), Timea Laczkò-Tòth (Cello), Burgi Vötterl (Geige),
Franz Obermair (Kontrabass)

Lg: Reinhold Schmid (Gitarre; Arrangements), Kerstin Schmid-Pleschonig (Hackbrett), Heidi Grundner (Harfe),
Konstantin Schrempf (Orgelportativ), Johannes Rohrer (Zither),
Franz Obermair (Kontrabass)

Stefan Prommegger (Bassethorn),
Anton Gmachl (Klarinette),
Gerti Hollweger (Fagott),
Lg: Gottfried Linsinger (Oboe, Englischhorn), Gundl Aggermann (Flöte)

Zoran Curovic (Trompete, Flügelhorn), Lg: Horst Hofer (Trompete, Flügelhorn), Christian Sperl (Horn),
Hans Gerl (Horn),
Thomas Höger (Posaune),
Erwin Wendl (Posaune)

David Grubinger


Als Terzett, Quartett und Sextett;
Lg: Johanna Dumfart (Sopran; Arrangements),
Jana Oberndorfer (Alt),
Ulrich Witkowski (Tenor),
Reinhard Gusenbauer (Tenor),
Michael Dumfart (Bariton),
Christoph Bamschoria (Bass)

80 Sängerinnen und Sänger,
Einstudierung, Lg: Burgi Vötterl

Technik, Ausstattung

Lg: Hubert Schwaiger; Paul Fresner, Wolfgang Brunauer, Johannes Köhl

Thomas Hinterberger, Caroline Richards

Lg: Edwin Pfanzagl – Cardone;
Günther Harner, Werner Heidrich, Susanne Gasselsberger

Lg: Helmut Schauer

Tischlerei Laserer, Gosau