The piece 2012

Sonst bliebe es ein Traum

the mystery of dreams

So now the time has come once again. After preparations that usually begin a year and a half before the performance, we are now on the verge of the premiere of the work entitled “Sonst bliebe es ein Traum”. The basic concept of this work was developed and premiered back in 1989 by Tobias Reiser (1946-1999) with the then young Salzburg composer Klemens Vereno. Tobias Reiser once told me during his lifetime that this was probably his most personal work. In fact, I can recognize many autobiographical traits of Tobias Reiser, who died far too young, in this work. Dreams are always central elements in his literary texts and so the mystery of dreams is also at the heart of this work on two levels.

the world of dreams

On the one hand, little Irgei (Georg) experiences the Advent events in a very special way in his dream world; his grandmother, who was still putting him to bed, becomes the wise prophetess Hanna in his dream images. On the other hand, the Advent story is also characterized by dream interpretations that we simply cannot explain with our minds. It is precisely because of this mysterious divinity that this mystery of the Nativity will continue to captivate us and inspire us to pause and reflect.

the first pillar

Every new production is preceded by thorough consideration and discussion of the content. Initially alone in a quiet chamber and after the measures to be taken have matured, my first path always leads to the composer in order to rethink the concept with him, add new ideas and discard some things again. The compositional work is the first pillar of the Salzburg Advent Singing, and Klemens Vereno has once again made a significant contribution to the unmistakable sound.

The stage needs the light! The more than seventy lighting scenes for this work were created by our excellent lighting technicians under the direction of Caroline Richards. The sound engineering of the house supports the good acoustics in the house and makes a significant contribution to the intelligibility of the spoken passages.
Our costume designer Hellmut Hölzl meticulously and artistically prepares the shell or “garb” of the building for each role with perfect tailoring by hand. These visual elements – set and costume design – also contribute significantly to the overall experience of “Salzburg Advent Singing in the Grosses Festspielhaus”.

My thanks and respect go to all those who have contributed in any way to the success of the Salzburg Advent Singing.

Hans Köhl, General Director

the second pillar

Forms the scenic play. During the development phase, there was an excellent exchange of ideas in this area with Caroline Richards, who is staging this work this year. It is always a challenge to create an accompanying plot, a relationship to the present, to the core themes of the Advent events. In this revision, the aim was to sharpen the profile of the performers, to meet the high demands of the vocal soloists and to replace the prophet Simeon, originally intended in the work, with a woman, the prophetess Hanna. This recasting allowed for new interpretations, particularly in the confrontation between the patriarchal male world and the inevitable disdain for women.

the third pillar

The folk music components are also an essential characteristic of the Salzburg Advent Singing. There is an abundance of songs, choral movements and folk music tunes. Finding the right pieces that fit the theme of the plot is just as important to me as the compositional and scenic parts. Many of these folk music gems need small adaptations, require arrangements for the ensembles or necessary musical transitions and interludes. I can rely on the expertise of my folk music intimates Martin A. Fuchsberger (vocal, instrumental) and Reinhold Schmid (ensemble arrangements for violin and string music).

The completion of the building

The three pillars have come together to form a harmonious whole, and many have contributed to its creation, from the artist to the stagehand or the chorister – teamwork, which I always prefer, makes it possible to work excellently for the Salzburg Advent Singing. The three fundamental pillars only become a harmonious whole through additional components. You could say that the roof is formed by Dietmar Solt’s new stage design. To build such an impressive stage in front of the Iron Curtain on this narrow strip of stage, taking into account the orchestra pit, deserves great respect.

Sonst bliebe es ein Traum 2012

Picture gallery

The piece 2012



Simone Vierlinger

Magdalena Hinz

Ilse Grießenauer

Bernhard Teufl

Doris Goldner

Felix Grabner / Moritz Hruschka

Rainer Doppler

Edwin Hochmuth

Alexandra Tichy,
Irmgard Sohm

Stefanie Grießner, Jonas Paar, Christina Rest, Simon Wimmer

Salzburger Hirtenkinder

Theresa Essl,
Tobias Gadringer,
Martin Grabner,
Felix Leithner,
Simon Nagl,
Valentin Nagl,
Monika Schöne,
Gregor Schuster,
Lena Siller,
Helene Wimmer,
Tobias Wimmer,
Magdalena Winkler

Einstudierung, Betreuung

Markus Helminger, Simon Haitzmann, Hildegard Stofferin, Gudrun Köhl-Korbuly


90 Sängerinnen und Sänger; Einstudierung / Leitung: Burgi Vötterl

Tenor: Lukas Bahngruber,
Tenor / Bariton: Martin Fuchsberger,
Tenor / Bariton: Hans Köhl,
Bass: Josef Fuchsberger


Gitarre: Reinhold Schmid,
Zither: Johannes Rohrer,
Hackbrett: Heidelore Schauer,
Harfe: Stefanie Geierstanger,
Kontrabass: Franz Obermair,
Orgelportativ: Barbara Schmelz

Flöte: Gundl Aggermann,
Geige: Burgi Vötterl,
Geige: Maria Dengg,
Viola: Andrea Brucker,
Cello: Lorenzo Meseguer

Trompete: Ltg. Horst Hofer,
Trompete: Erik Kern,
Trompete: Zoran Curovic,
Trompete: Gerhard Gergely,
Posaune: Dusan Kranjc,
Posaune: Thomas Höger,
Posaune: Erwin Wendl,
Posaune: Stefan Konzett

Oboe: Ltg. Gottfried Linsinger,
Oboe / Englischhorn: Petra Rainer,
Kontrafagott / Fagott: Gerti Hollweger,
Klarinette: Anton Gmachl,
Bassklarinette / Klarinette: Stefan Prommegger

Rainer Furthner

Technology, Equipment

Heinz Ilsanker, Werner Breitenfelder

Edwin Pfanzagl–Cardone,
Bernhard Brunner,
Günther Harner

Joinery Alfred Laserer, Gosau