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Music, Theatre and other shows

Dresdner Musikfestspiele © Killig

Musical classics

On top of its reputation as a city of the fine arts, Dresden also boasts a top-class range of musical offerings. The Semper Opera House is one of the city's most famous landmarks, inextricably linked with the Saxon State Orchestra. Going back more than 460 years, it is one of the oldest orchestras in the world and makes regular tours of the world's greatest cultural metropolises. But the multiple award-winning orchestra always comes home to the Semper Opera in Dresden.

Another large orchestra in the Saxon capital is Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra. A concert orchestra, it has a key influence on cultural life in the city, with more than 80 events a year. Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1870 and enjoys an excellent international reputation.

As a venue designed entirely for operettas, Dresden's State Operetta House is the only one of its kind in Germany, offering visitors great entertainment with classic operettas, fast-paced shows, musical comedy and opera.

Dresden's Kreuzchor is one of the oldest and most well-known boys' choirs in the world. In 2016 it will be celebrating its 800th anniversary. As the musical heart and soul of the Kreuzkirche on the Altmarkt square, it continues to preserve and vitalise the centuries-old tradition of boys singing liturgical choir refrains. As well as vespers and services, another of its main tasks is the roughly ten concerts held every year in the Kreuzkirche, for which it can draw upon a repertoire of more than 3,000 works. A busy schedule of concerts and recordings gives the boys' choir a world-class reputation, making it the musical face of Dresden in Germany and abroad.

Every year in the second week of May, Dresden transforms into the "Dixieland Capital". Originating in the Southern States and East Coast of America, Dixieland jazz has basically become a staple feature of the city. The Dixieland Festival first took place in 1971, making it the oldest jazz festival in Europe.

Another annual musical highlight is Dresden Music Festival. In the triad of an exceptional program, top-class artists and the city's most beautiful venues, the Dresden Music Festival promises magical concert moments that annually attract more than 30.000 fans of classical music to this city on the Elbe River. For the 2014 season Artistic Director Jan Vogler has chosen the theme »Golden 20s«. Thus the Festival throws a new light onto the magic of these golden decades of five centuries featuring a large number of musical highlights and an abundance of wonderful musicians.

Stages and shows

Though it is a "State Theatre", Dresden's Staatsschauspiel also attracts actors from major national theatres to work alongside well-known Dresden performers on its stage. The programme is rounded off by guest performances by companies ranging from Deutsches Theater in Berlin to Thalia Theater in Hamburg. With texts that are both well-known and new, literary and original, "Die Bürgerbühne" at the Kleines Haus theatre is open to anyone passionate about drama.

The Comödie Dresden repertoire is also not restricted to what its name might suggest but in fact offers a wide spectrum of styles to appeal to a broader section of the audience, with international guests and a keen interest in experimentation. Another far smaller venue is the "Dresdner Brettl", known as the Theaterkahn or Theatre in a Boat. This is home to small-scale musical cabaret and comedy theatre, from Kästner to Heine, Otto Reutter to Georg Kreisler, Walser to Loriot. Meanwhile, the revue company "Breschke & Schuch" has been known for its challenging, award-winning entertainment and biting satire since 1998.

The extravagant drag revue "Carte Blanche" enchants the audience with glamorous acts in the style of the Lido or Moulin Rouge: cheeky, risqué and entertaining. The mask only falls at the end: the male artists are absolutely convincing in their role as women.

Dresden Information GmbH

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+49 (0) 351 501 501
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Dresdner Musikfestspiele © Werner
Dresdner Kreuzchor © Krüger
Entrance © Kabarett Breschke & Schuch
Transvestite revue © Carte Blanche