Many people know Salzburg, Austria as being famous for the town in which the movie ‘The Sound of Music’ was filmed in, but Salzburg is much more than that! It is also the birthplace of the musical genius Mozart and his (less famous but very talented) sister Nannerl and one of the last remaining marionette theaters in the world.
Many people visit Salzburg to see these things that make the city so famous. Salzburg originally was added to my itinerary once I found out that the movie ‘The Sound of Music’ was filmed there and when I did further research and found out Mozart was also born there, it was an added bonus. The city is heavily catered to tourism and provides everything from tours to musical dinners. When I was in Salzburg, I aimed to soak up as much of the musical culture that the city had to offer within the two days that I visited.
The Mozart Dinner Concert
Set in the Baroque Hall at the St. Peter Monastery, the Mozart Dinner concert is a three-course dinner by candlelight that serves historical-themed dishes. Set to the tune of a small orchestra that plays some of Mozart’s most famous music, the accompanying singers wearing period costumes that take you back to Mozart’s era.
During the first set, the orchestra played six selections from Don Giovanni and then we were served our appetizer: White Lemon Soup (Weisses Limonisupperl) which was comprised of curd cheese, rosemary, dumplings, and a cream topping.
Next was a selection of seven songs from Le Nozze Di Figaro (‘The Marriage of Figaro). I hummed along to the famous Ouverture and giggled as the male singer approached me and started posing for my camera while the entire room looked on and laughed. We were then served the main dish: Breast of Capon on Glaze of Red Wine and Herbs with Potato Gratin, Semolina-Studel and Vegetables from Padre Prior’s Garden.
The final selection included five songs from Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute). I had become familiar with the songs the night before when I watched The Magic Flute performance at the Salzburger Marionetten Theater. When the songs finished and the singers and orchestra departed, we were served our dessert: a Semi-Frozen Parfait of Forest Honey on two different sauces.
The night was very enjoyable and if your budget allows, I definitely recommend adding this into your itinerary while you are in Salzburg.
Prices and times vary based on the season but generally range from €54 – €100 per person. Check the Mozart Dinner Concert page for more information.
The Salzburg Marionette Theater
The Salzburg Marionette Theater (Salzburger Marionetten Theater) is one of the last remaining full-production marionette theaters in the world. 2013 marked the 100-year anniversary of the theater, so it has been around for a very long time and has grown to produce over 10 shows including The Magic Flute, Hansel and Gretel, The Nutcracker, The Sound of Music, and Alice in Wonderland.
If you are unsure of what a marionette is, I will make the ‘Sound of Music’ reference of the part of the movie where Maria and the children put on a play with the puppets for Captain Von Trapp to the song ‘The Lonely Goatherd’. If you have not seen the movie , here is the clip for you to watch on Vimeo.
The majority of the shows at the Marionette Theater are in German (with very loosely translated subtitles in English) making them a little hard to follow if you do not have any background knowledge on what you are watching (which was the case for me watching The Magic Flute).The only all-English show is The Sound of Music, so if you are in town on a day it is showing, try to catch it. Despite the fact that I could not follow the storyline, I found the puppets and the set are very intricately designed and I was amazed at how lifelike the puppets appeared.
I was able to go backstage after the show to view the puppets and I was amazed to learn how much work went into each show and the years of training the puppet masters have to go through in order to make the puppets come to life. It was also interesting to learn the secrets behind some of the costume changes as well learning the fact that the marionette travels around the world and puts on performances in the language of the country in which they will be visiting!
Shows occur 1-2 times daily depending on the day and the plays change throughout the week with ticket prices ranging from €20- €25 so make sure to check the Marionette Theater webpage for details before you go!
The Sound of Music Tour
I have already gone into great detail about how much I loved (and was tricked by Hollywood) on the Sound of Music Tour, but in cased you missed it, here is a brief summary:
For four hours I was whisked away around the city of Salzburg and the neighboring area on a big tan bus while discovering film locations from the Sound of Music and learning about all of the tricks that Hollywood used during the filming process. It was amazing to travel in the footsteps that the cast and crew did fifty years ago and get a ‘behind the scenes’ look of The Sound of Music.
Have you ever gotten cultured in Salzburg?
The Salzburg Tourism Board provided my admission for all of the activities listed, however as always all opinions are my own.