In Kufsteinerland culture is played out in front of a magnificent backdrop.
From festivals and Passion Plays, to the Knights Festival, to crafts and plenty of traditions
First impressions are often the best. Kufsteinerland, the gateway to the Tyrol Alps, welcomes visitors with its top-notch cultural offers. With the majestic backdrop provided by the Kaiser Mountains and at the foot of the grand Kufstein fortress, the region provides an outstanding, year-round screenplay. Headliner is the Tyrol Festival, with the Passion Plays in Erl and in Thiersee. Prominent roles are played by the Operetta Summer at Kufstein fortress, Academia Vocalis, the Knights Festival at Kufstein Fortress and the literature festival, glück.tage. Cabaret shows are also part of the lively cultural scene, as is the nurturing of traditions by the many music groups, shooting groups, theatre and traditional costume societies.
Little mountain villages are fantastically cultural. In Kufsteinerland this is nothing out-of-the-ordinary. Even upon arrival visitors to tranquil Erl, which has some 1500 inhabitants, are greeted by inspirational impressions, including the famous Passion Playhouse dating from the fifties, and its - at that time - futuristic architecture, as well as the Festival Playhouse and its understated avant-garde look, built in 2012. A scenery that is filled with symbolism, since Kufsteinerland indulges; with appearances by top-class artists from a wide range of stylistic directions in unusual settings that have a great deal to do with this impressive natural landscape. Kufsteinerland has created an umbrella brand specifically for all these offers: KUltura. KU in KUltura represents the abbreviation used for car registration numbers in Kufsteinerland.
Tyrol Festival Erl: Great operas and spectacular architecture
For two decades this opera and concert festival has been an absolute highlight with its summer programme – in 2019 between 4th and 28th July – and its equivalent event in the winter from the middle of December through to the start of January. Along with major opera productions there are also numerous outstanding orchestral and chamber music concerts on the programme. During this so-called ‘interim period’, audiences can listen to the Chinese New Year concert on 29th January 2019, to the chamber music concert by Munich Philharmonic on 2nd February and 16th March 2019, to the children’s concert on 30th March, the St. Matthew Passion on 19th April, while on 20th April there is the Parsifal, as part of Easter celebrations in Erl. Between 12th and 14th April 2019 the Piano Days take place with pieces from all eras performed by outstanding artists. Since the end of 2012 the new Festival Playhouse next to the Passion Playhouse has been an impressive setting for a series of events. The festival also has its own orchestra and a choral academy.
Operetta Summer Kufstein at the fortress. Guest performance by Vienna Volksoper
What a setting. The historic ambience of Kufstein Fortress, with the summits of the Kaiser Mountains in the backdrop. Add to this inspirational music from the great operetta classics performed by the stars of Vienna Volksoper. Operetta Summer Kufstein has been taking place for over ten years. In this time it has become established as a unique artistic synthesis, with renowned soloists, an outstanding ballet theatre and an impressive orchestra. It is as if Josefsburg, the southern-most section of the fortress, with its contemporary roof construction, was made just for this laudable open-air arena, providing an all-weather location. In 2019, between 2nd and 17th August, the sounds of the operetta ‘Die Fledermaus’ by Johann Strauss will resound in the historic ruins. This masterpiece that was first performed in Vienna in 1874, is regarded as a classic in musical entertainment theatre. The melodious sounds of the operetta "Mein Herr Marquis", "Klänge der Heimat" and "Brüderlein und Schwesterlein" are equally timeless and noteworthy.
Academia Vocalis: Beautiful voices from five continents
Academia Vocalis has been a feature in Kufsteinerland for three decades. In August every year voice artists from across the globe come to the master classes in singing. And these are master classes in every respect, since they are taught and supported by real global stars. The stylistic directions are refreshingly versatile, ranging from opera, to gospel, pop, jazz and soul, through to folk music. The closing concerts in the respective master classes are a delectation for music aficionados. Between 16th and 23rd August 2019 the “Opera, German Song & Classic Operetta’ masterclass will be held in the Hotel Panorama Royal Bad Häring, under the guidance of Prof. Dr. hc Christa Ludwig. On 17th August 2019 the ‘Preis der Stadt Wörgl’ will be presented at 8 p.m. and the closing concert by Prof. Dr. hc Christa Ludwig will inspire music lovers of all stylistic genres on 23rd August 2019.
Tradition for hundreds of years: Passion Plays Erl and Thiersee
When it comes to culture and tradition, then the Passion Plays in Erl and in Thiersee are the absolute flagship events in Kufsteinerland. The very fact that there are two Passion towns here, just a few kilometres from one another, says a great deal about the cultural expertise in this region. Passion Plays in Erl are a tradition dating back some 400 years and they are held every six years. And the time is finally here in 2019. The impressive show, with 600 actors can be experienced between 26th May and 5th October. The Passion Plays in Thiersee premiered in 1799 and take place every six years in the Passion Playhouse, in its idyllic lake-side setting. They are next due to be held here in 2022.
Culture and Tradition:
When rifle societies are deployed and music groups play
Distinctive regional culture is as characteristic of Kufsteinerland, as the Kaiser Mountains and Kufstein Fortress. The many societies ensure that this stays this and holiday visitors can experience their extensive activities. An impressive 1752 societies are registered in the district and this includes rifle societies such as Schwoichxperiner Schützenkompanie, Ebbser und Thierberger Schützen, who attend festive parades and celebratory days and nurture social cohesion in the towns. Music groups are also important to the people of Kufstein. Almost every district has its own group. Well-known formations, like Stadtmusikkapelle Kufstein and Bundesmusikkapellen Erl und Ebbs, are key elements in local cultural life, just as much as the traditional music and theatre associations, whose activities also enhance the tourist offer in Kufsteinerland. Concerts by music groups and local theatre productions impressively reveal the passion of the locals here when it comes to nurturing their own culture and that this can also be a nice addition to main cultural events. New for 2019, the event series ‘Kufstein Music Festival’. This contemporary folk music festival at Kufstein fortress between 17th and 18th May is consciously devoted to the theme ‘Recent & New Folk Music’.