2020 The shepherd children of the Salzburg Advent Singing on the Loferer Alm

Alp tradition

The shepherd children rehearse at the Loferer Alm

Four days in the alps

The first press conference for the Salzburg Advent Singing 2020 took place on the Loferer Alm on September 9th. Traditionally – for the 18th time to be precise – the Hiatamadln and Hiatabuam spent four days in Salzburg’s alpine world.

Together with Hans Köhl (text author), Daniela Meschtscherjakov (stage director), Edwin Hochmuth (Rabbi Jakob, actor) and the support team with Simon Haitzmann (shepherd music), Markus Helminger and Gudrun Köhl-Korbuly, they intensively rehearsed the challenging musical pieces and textual parts of the new play “Fürchte dich nicht!”.

Thank you to the Soder-Bauers and their whole family

We have greatly appreciated their generous hospitality for 18 years and are very grateful to the whole family. Georg and Marianne Dürnberger run the magnificent Soderbauerngut farm in Lofer. The year 1655 is immortalized above the entrance to the farmhouse. How far back the history of the farm goes is a mystery. In any case, the farm has been in the Dürnberger family since 1685, for over 10 generations. This includes forest and alpine pasture land, a private hunt and the magnificent Soderkaser, which was rebuilt in 1997 after a fire and towers high above the Soderbauerngut on the Loferer Alm. The hard-working family with their children, children-in-law and grandchildren also run the Soderkaser restaurant on the Loferer-Alm, which is highly recommended for its delicious regional delicacies www.soderkaser.at

The piece

“Fear not!” can be traced back to the English messages and is not only present in the New Testament, but also in the Old Testament and the Hebrew Bible. There is almost no three-word quote that appears as often in the Hebrew Bible as the central message “Fear not!”. Together with Shane Woodborne, who created the musical composition, this year’s Salzburg Advent Singing focuses on Jewish life before the birth of Christ. Christ was Jewish and, in view of the resurgence of anti-Semitism today, the Salzburg Advent Singing is also trying to address this topic.

Our new shepherd children

This year 19 Hirtenkinder are playing, and we warmly welcome five new faces: Burkali Leonard (bassoon/Bergheim), Fernsebner Vinzent (double bass/Pinzgau), Mischkulnig Niklas (violin/Eugendorf), Singer Rebekka (clarinet/Flachgau) and Stöger Marie Juliane (clarinet/Lamprechtshausen). At the tender age of 7, Niklas is the youngest of the Hirtenkinder family.

Grown participants

Edwin Hochmuth is taking part for the fourth time this year and plays Rabbi Jakob. The interplay between him and the shepherd children is a real stroke of luck for the Salzburg Advent Singing. He will accompany the piece from beginning to end with his thoughts. “The shepherd days save about 2 weeks of rehearsal time and you get to know each other better straight away,” says the actor.

Since 1983, Hellmut Hölzl (costume designer) has been an indispensable part of the Salzburg Advent Singing. This year he is trying to bring old Jewish elements into a newly imagined world. All the costumes tell their own story – quite simply and plainly.

Markus Helminger himself took part as Hiatabua in 1971 and has now been part of the team looking after the shepherd children as “shepherd father” for several decades. There were also many talents at the casting. “The five chosen ones fit in wonderfully with the play. Even the shepherd children, who have been with us for longer, get better every year.”

Gudrun Köhl-Korbuly has been looking after the shepherd children’s group for 20 years. “It’s a lovely atmosphere!” says Hans Köhl’s wife.

Simon Haitzmann, who has been involved in Advent singing since 2012, makes us happy with the musical rehearsals. “All the children have musical qualities. You can draw from the full range and it’s fun to work with them.”

Daniela Meschtscherjakov, who made her debut last year, says: “The whole team works wonderfully together, as if they have been a unit for years. The new ones are wonderfully received.”

stay positive

“I was and still am optimistic about the performances from November 27,” says Hans Köhl. “We will proceed according to the principle of dynamic seating. Families will be able to sit together, but the distance will be maintained again. “This allows us to achieve an occupancy rate of 66-68%”. Another important factor for Advent Singing is the financial aspect. As the break-event point is around 95%, this year we have to hope for public funding from the city and state of Salzburg. “There have been good discussions with the governor and mayor and, of course, the political forums. We are hopeful that an opportunity will arise,” says Hans Köhl. “In the next 14 days, it will be decided whether the Salzburg Advent Singing 2020 can take place. 27,000 tickets – almost 75% have already been booked. We still have a lot of work ahead of us. Every ticket has to be canceled and reassigned. Visitor data will also be collected so that we can act more quickly if there is actually a case of infection.”

Salzburg shepherd children

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