Scenic oratorio by Hans Köhl and Klemes Vereno



1. Adventweekend
Fr 29.11. 19.30 Premiere
Sa 30.11. 14.00/17.00
So 1. 12. 14.00/17.00

2. Adventweekend
Fr 6. 12. 19.30
Sa 7. 12. 14.00/17.00
So 8. 12. 14.00/17.00

3. Adventweekend Fr 13. 12. 19.30 Sa 14. 12. 14.00/17.00 So 15. 12. 14.00/17.00 Length: ca. 1:40 Std., no break

Thoughts on the Salzburg Advent Singing 2024

In all of our works, it is important to me to connect the Advent events surrounding the birth of Christ with the present day, this time with texts that were written well over 2000 years ago. In this Salzburg Advent Singing, the three divine virtues of faith, hope and love and the old Testament Song of Songs are included in the Advent reflections. For me, the texts from the Song of Songs are among the most beautiful testimonies in world literature. This collection of secular love songs, in which there is no mention of God, is nevertheless attributed to divine revelation and points out in a wonderful way that sexuality is also of divine origin.

“Now faith, hope and love remain, these three, but love is the greatest of these,” Paul of Tarsus already recognized in his first letter to the Corinthians. In connection with the Song of Songs and the three virtues, this Advent song becomes a story of two lovers whose togetherness experiences not only joy but also suffering. However, their strong faith forms a foundation that withstands all the unexpected. Their faith is a prerequisite for the hope that all the inexplicable probably has a deeper meaning.
This deeper meaning culminates in a divine love in which we are all secure. However, love, this great, magical mystery in our existence, experiences its greatest miracle in the mystery of the birth of every child. In the Advent events, this love leads us to the birth of Christ, to the divine miracle of the Holy Night.

Hans Köhl, overall direction, book, program

The Salzburg Advent Singing

The history of the Salzburg Advent Singing is like a good book, it never ends with the last page, but has been opening up new perspectives again and again for 78 years. With over 150 singers, musicians and performers, this cradle of all Advent carols is a very special experience for around 36,000 visitors every year. It has delighted generations of visitors from all over the world. “Once you come, you keep coming back” – this credo is probably the best compliment for the Advent Singing family.

Food for the soul

At every performance in the Grosses Festspielhaus, you can feel how the audience breathes with the performers. A unique, energetic aura always develops, a feeling of a great community, which reaches its climax at the latest when the devotional yodel is sung together. This is how the Salzburg Advent Singing has become a valuable nourishment for the soul for over two million guests, who are happy to take it home with them even in these turbulent times.

A unique experience

There is probably no other event of this genre that offers such a high artistic level. Carried by the longing for unity and peace as well as the meditative power of silence, the Advent events can once again be experienced from a new perspective this year. Folk music and classical music, contemporary sounds, the play of the shepherd children and impressive scenic performances of Mary, Joseph and their surroundings – all of this forms a harmonious whole in its elegant simplicity that is second to none.

Leading Team

Hans Köhl

has been the main director of the Salzburg Advent Festival for 24 years. He is also managing director of the non-profit Kulturwerk Salzburg GmbH, which acts as the organizer of this traditional Salzburg cultural institution. He is where all the threads of this internationally renowned event come together.

Every year, he conceives new scenic-musical complete works, writes the books, takes care of the folk music components and develops new Salzburg Advent songs in close cooperation with the respective composer. A tireless search for new approaches and their contemporary implementation while incorporating valuable traditions is the driving force behind his successful work.

Conscious of his responsible, traditional heritage, Hans Köhl sets the highest possible artistic standards for himself and all those involved. Under his leadership, the Salzburg Advent Singing always surprises with new experiences of the Advent events and the mystery of the divine miracle of birth.

Klemens Vereno

Born in Salzburg in 1957; studied composition (Cesar Bresgen, Rudolf Kelterborn) & conducting in Salzburg & Basel;

Teaching activities (composition, instrumentation, score playing, ear training…): Mozarteum University, Bruckner Conservatory Linz, Richard Strauss Conservatory Munich, Intern. Mozarteum Summer Academy.

1988-93 Conductor of the Salzburg Advent Singing. Compositions for the Salzburg Advent Singing: 1989-91, 1995, 2005, 2012 “Sonst bliebe es ein Traum”; 2008 “Sie haben uns a Botschaft bracht”; 2010 “Wer klopfet an”; 2011 “Der Stern”; 2014, 2019 “Der Sterngucker”; 2016 “Gib uns Frieden”; 2018 “Stille Nacht”;

Selection of works: Salzburg Cathedral Symphony for 5 organs & orchestra (1996), Passion oratorium „Das Leben uns zu schenken“ (2000), „Gesänge der Ferne“ (Hölderlin) for tenor & orchestra (1999), Lyrical scenes after G. Trakl „An versteinerter Schwelle“ (2014), „King-Lear-Symphonie“ for baritone & orchestra (2016); „Londoner Skizzen“ Mozart Metamorphoses for orchestra (2005); „Missa Berardelli“ (2020), „Schicksalsraben“ Soundscapes from the Untersberg for orchestra (2023), „Sinai“ Meditations for 2 organs (1997) … Orchestral, chamber, piano, organ and choral music, songs…

Herbert Böck

First musical training as a Viennese choirboy – soprano soloist. Studied conducting, oboe, composition and music education at the Vienna University of Music. 1985-1989 solo oboist with the Vienna RSO. 1989-1998 artistic director of the Vienna Singakademie with conducting duties at the Vienna Konzerthaus.

Chief conductor of the Vienna Jeunesse Orchestra, artistic director of the Concentus Vocalis, since 1995 professor of choral and ensemble conducting at the Mozarteum University Salzburg. Founded the Mozarteum University Chamber Choir in 2007.

Collaborations with the Vienna Philharmonic Brass Ensemble, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Lower Austrian Tonkünstler Orchestra, Orchestra Santa Cecilia die Roma, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra Ljubljana, Radio Orchestra Budapest, Symphony Orchestra Latvia, RIAS Chamber Choir Berlin, Berlin Radio Choir, MDR Choir Leipzig, WDR Choir Cologne, among others. Numerous concert tours throughout Europe, to Russia, Israel and the USA.

Herbert Böck has been a congenial conductor for the Salzburg Advent Singing since 2001, who appreciates and respects folk music as a basis and for whom working with choirs is a much-loved task.

 Gerda Gratzer

Gerda Gratzer celebrated her debut as an acting director at the Salzburg Advent Festival in 2022. The sensitive artist grew up in Carinthia and studied musicology, ethnology, cultural management and drama in Graz and Salzburg.

She was artistic director of the International Music Weeks Millstatt, managing director of the youth music competition Prima la Musica in Salzburg and finally devoted herself entirely to theater. She founded the Theater Panoptikum and the Theater der Freien Elemente, worked as an actress for many years and directed more than 30 plays (“Drei Mal Leben” by Yasmina Reza, “Der thermale Widerstand” by Ferdinand Schmalz, “Glück” by Kateřina Černá, “Acht Frauen” by Robert Thomas, “Die Wunderübung” by Daniel Glattauer and many more).

Gerda Gratzer leads seminars for acting and directing and is also a systemic psychotherapist with her own practice.

Brigitte Schiebler

Before becoming self-employed, master tailor Brigitte Schiebler worked for many years as a professional for the Salzburg Festival. In her studio, the creative design, cut and draft director produces enchanting unique textile items such as business outfits, bridal and evening wear, dirndl dresses, made-to-measure shirts and interior decorations. The Salzburg native also creates exclusive costumes for international fashion shows and also provides expert opinions as an appraiser and textile expert.

Brigitte Schiebler loves magical things, including the challenge entrusted to her to design a distinctive and fascinating costume design for the new production of the Salzburg Advent Singing and to produce it using her craftsmanship.

Work 2024


People and their actors

Eva Maria Schinwald

celebrated her stage debut in 2013 with the leading role in the contemporary opera “Die Kavalleristin” by Adriaan de Wit. In 2014, she was engaged for the first time in the Salzburg Advent Singing “Der Sterngucker” at the Großes Festspielhaus/Salzburg as “Maria”. In 2017, she delighted the audience in the work “Der blinde Hirte” as a soprano in the role of the angel. In 2021, Eva Maria Schinwald enchanted audiences as an actress and soloist in the role of “Maria” in the anniversary Advent Singing (without an audience due to coronavirus), performed as “Maria” in the work “Snow in Bethlehem” in 2022 and also delighted audiences in this role in 2023.

Concert tours have taken the lyric soprano to Germany, the Hugo Wolf Festival in Slovenia and London, where she sang J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion with the Salzburg Bach Society and the Baroque Orchestra of the Royal School of Music. She has also appeared in numerous staged productions at the Salzburg State Theater and the Salzburg Festival.

Eva Schinwald completed her master’s degree in singing at the Mozarteum Salzburg with distinction. She completed international master classes with Horiana Branisteanu, Edda Moser, Helena Lazarska, Margreet Honig, Gerhard Kahry and Wolfgang Holzmair.

Bernhard Teufl (Tenor)

received lessons in clarinet and singing at the Musikum Salzburg for many years and graduated with honors in both subjects. He studied genetics and theology at the University of Salzburg and singing at the Mozarteum University (private student), was a member of the Salzburg Bach Choir and has already taken part in many opera performances and concerts at the Salzburg Festival, the Mozart Week and the Easter Festival. He has also been a regular soloist at concerts and masses in many churches in Salzburg and beyond for many years.

Since 2007, Bernhard Teufl has been impressively singing and playing the role of “Josef” at the Salzburg Advent Singing and was rewarded with thunderous applause at his 200th solo performance at the Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg in 2019.

Elisabeth Eder (Sopran)

Elisabeth Eder, soprano and harpist from Salzburg, has embodied the role of the angel as a soprano soloist since 2018. She enjoyed her artistic, pedagogical, scientific and musicophysiological training (concert subject, IGP studies, teaching degree, music physiology, university didactics, PhD studies) at the Mozarteum University Salzburg, the Paris Lodron University Salzburg, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (all eight degrees or academic degrees with distinction as well as two university courses). She completed her vocal studies with Norbert Prasser and John Thomasson.
She demonstrates her versatility as a soloist, chamber musician and with various orchestras and choirs at national and international level. Highlights of her artistic career include 1st prizes at international and national competitions on the harp, concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle, an invitation to Edinburgh in 2020 to represent Austria as a singer at the Young Professionals’ Program as part of the Eurovox Congress, scholarships and awards at the respective universities, a doctorate Sub Auspiciis and the presentation of the Award of Excellence in December 2022 for the best dissertations in Austria and numerous concert tours to major concert halls in Europe (including the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Barbican Hall London, Verona Opera and Milan). Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Barbican Hall London, Opera Verona and Milan, St. Petersburg State Academic Capella and many more).
Elisabeth Eder teaches singing and pedagogical-scientific courses at the Mozarteum University Salzburg.

Silke Kiener

Silke Kiener gained experience in choral singing and orchestral music at an early age and completed her studies in singing, music education and biology at the Mozarteum and the University of Salzburg as well as at the Anton Bruckner Private University in Linz (singing with Heather Hartinger, Ulrike Sych, Christa Ratzenböck and Kurt Azesberger), where she gained stage experience in musical theater, lieder and concert singing and passed her artistic master’s degree with distinction. Engagements have taken the lyrical mezzo-soprano to the Salzburg Mozart Week, the Linz Bruckner Festival, the Musical Summer in Bad Leonfelden, the Linz Music Theater and the Pramtaler
summer operetta.

Her repertoire includes roles such as the Witch in “Hänsel und Gretel” and Dorabella in “Così fan tutte” as well as various sacred works and a large number of songs. She is particularly passionate about chamber music. Silke Kiener teaches singing at the Upper Austrian Music School.

Edwin Hochmuth (Bariton)

The qualified social care worker and Tyrolean actor Edwin Hochmuth completed his acting training in 2006 at the Sachers acting school in Innsbruck. Since then, he has appeared on many stages. Important stages include the Tiroler Landestheater, the Innsbruck Kellertheater, the Theater in Effingerstraße in Bern, the Tiroler Volksschauspiele in Telfs and many more. He has also appeared in various TV and cinema productions. In addition to his passion for acting, Edwin also works as a counselor at the children’s home in Axams.

He has been the director of the Tyrolean theater festival “Stummer Schrei” since August 2023.
Hochmuth first appeared at the Salzburg Advent Festival in 2012. In 2018, he was hired for the role of the shepherd Jaggerl. Since then, he has performed with the shepherd children at the Salzburg Advent Singing every year. He and the children enjoy performing with the Salzburg Little Shepherds so much that he always enjoys coming back to Salzburg.

Salzburg shepherd children
Lena Bernhofer (double bass)
Lisa Brunauer (flute)
Julia Burkali (violin)
Vinzent Fernsebner (flugelhorn)
Hannah Marie Fuchs (violin)
Marlene Fuchsberger (dulcimer)
Franziska Gwechenberger (harp)
Mia Karl (guitar)
Luisa Kober (violin)
Niklas Mischkulnig (violin)
Benjamin Nagl (trombone)
Jana Neuherz (flute)
Paul Pühringer (clarinet)
Sophia Rosenberger (violin)
Rebekka Singer (clarinet)
Philipp Stadler (harmonica)
Marie Juliane Stöger (clarinet)

v.l.n.r.: Markus Helminger, Gudrun Köhl-Korbuly, Hildegard Stofferin, Gerda Gratzer, Hans Köhl, Edwin Hochmuth (nicht im Bild)

Vocal ensembles

The Salzburg Folk Song Choir

80 Singers 

Rehearsal, Lg: Burgi Vötterl

The Salzburg Folk Song Choir has been an important pillar of the Salzburg Advent Singing since 1950. Generations of excellent singers have borne and continue to bear witness to the high vocal quality of this traditional ensemble.

The Dengg family is now the third generation of the Dengg family to conduct the choir. Sepp Dengg since 1950, Harald Dengg since 1972 and his daughter Burgi Dengg since 2001. The organizational leadership has been in the proven hands of Berta Wagner since 2007.

Under the direction of Herbert Böck (since 2001), this choir community of around 80 participants blossoms into a very special top form every year in the great Festival Hall


Once again this year, the Hohes C vocal ensemble will delight us with a changing quartet line-up at the Salzburg Advent Festival. The singers impress with their special sound spectrum ranging from cultivated Renaissance works to folk music and “crispy” pop arrangements.
Concert tours have taken the ensemble to South Africa, Germany, Italy, Finland, Croatia and Canada in recent years. At the largest choir competition in the world, the World Choir Games in Riga, the ensemble was able to impress in the Male Vocal Ensemble category and was crowned “WORLD CHOIR CHAMPION”. The ensemble was also awarded a gold medal (Musica Sacra acapella) and a silver medal (Folklore).

f. l. Tobias Kremshuber (baritone)
Johannes Schmidhuber (tenor)
Valentin Stemeseder (baritone)
Bernhard Ainz (baritone)
Benedikt Gurtner (tenor)
Florian Schneider (bass)
Tobias Widhalm (bass)


v.l. Johannes Rohrer (zither)
LG: Reinhold Schmid (guitar)
Ingeborg Weber (harp)
Elisabeth Neureiter (dulcimer)
Elisabeth Weber (organ portative)
Magdalena Kufer (double bass)

v. l.

Gundl Aggermann (flute)
Burgi Vötterl (violin)
Timea Laczkò-Tòth (cello)
Andrea Brucker (viola)
Lg: Maria Dengg (violin)
Magdalena Kufer (contrabass)

v.l. Erwin  Wendl (Posaune)
Hans Gerl (Horn)
Christina Eberl (Trompete; Flügelhorn)
Christian Sperl (Horn)
Lg: Horst Hofer (Trompete, Flügelhorn)
Thomas Höger (Posaune)

Lg: Gottfried Linsinger (oboe, cor anglais),
Gerti Hollweger (bassoon),
Anton Gmachl (clarinet)
Stefan Prommegger (basset horn, not in the picture)

Technology & equipment

Lg: Hubert Schwaiger
Light-Inspiciency: Thomas Herbst

Hans Köhl
Gerda Gratzer
Hubert Schwaiger

Lg: Edwin Pfanzagl-Cardone

Lg: Helmut Schauer

Joinery Alfred Laserer, Gosau

Ticket service & Administration

Das Ticketservice-Team

under the management of Gertraud Ainz does a great job every year. Always polite and courteous, they make every effort to fulfill the wishes of the 36,000 or so visitors to the Advent Festival each year. A recent visitor survey attests to the ticket service team’s very high satisfaction ratings!

f.l.t.r: Elisavet Anagnostou, Regina Strübler, Gertraud Ainz

Stefan Sperr

is responsible for accounting, controlling and IT matters. His decades of experience as head of this important administrative area and his financial expertise are of particular value to the Salzburg Advent Singing.

Hans Köhl

has been the main director of the Salzburg Advent Festival since the turn of the millennium. He, who is also the managing director of the organizer “Cultural Work Salzburg”, is responsible for all aspects of this successful cultural event.

Residenzplatz 9
A – 5010 Salzburg