Everything began February 27th, 1913, when professor Anton Aicher, sculptor, give hais the very first representation of the puppets of Salzbourg by presenting Bastien and Bastienne, a small opera of Mozart. Today, less than a century after their creation, his grand-daughter Gretl Aicher, manages the small troop who livens up these puppets. On tour in Paris to the theater D�jazet from 2 till 21 December 2008, they presented two productions The Enchanted Flute, op�ra for Mozart and The Dream of a Summer Night, according to William shakespeare.

Puppets are marionettes articulated by about fifty centimeters high, sculptured wooden. Those who represent human beings consist of at least 16 different parts corresponding to the diverse jointsarticulations of the body human and maintained together  to a metallic sculpture. Not less than fourteen threads), connected with the control, are necessary to give them life. Afterward the Theater D�jazet received them regularly, and even recently in December, 2012 and 1013.

Since 1971, puppets possess their own theaters in Salzbourg, in Austria, where they give representations to various schedules in the evening and in the morning, as well as short versions of the operas of their directory aimed for the young audience. Their workshop is also in Salzbourg, where from go out puppets and sets. They also have a studio to create the sound track, according to the show.

In this one, after several corridors and lop-sidedly staircases  here is the Holy of Holies, a cupboard, six meters long where live neck to neck about two hundred characters, suspended by threads, Treasury of the House Aicher! Every manipulator comes to look for his creatures to hang on them in a kind of purgatory before the entrance.

So that the show takes all its flavor with the public, a particular alchemy must be created in the relationship scene / room requiring the implementation of an accurate optical device: the size of puppets with regard to sets obeys rules of very precise perspectives and so that the illusion is complete, the stage of the castelet is enlightened only since the inside, leaving the public in the almost complete darkness. The sound track containing the recorded dialogues and the music, is broadcasted by loudspeakers arranged under the stage.

The troop consists of ten puppeteers.

 In the flies of the castelet, two headlands, one just man over the curtain of stage, the other one halfway the bottom of stage allow them to manipulate these artculated marionnettes of centim�tres high about fifty and consisted of at least sixteen different parts corresponding to the diverse joints of the body and maintained together by a metallic
structure. Fourteen threads are connected with the control and are necessary to give them life

Absolutely invisible the puppeteers bustle during all the representation, exchanging controls and moving constantly. Their movements quite as those of the small characters are timed. When a figurine goes off stage, it is taken to its level and hung on behind the bottom of this one until its next appearance. Decorations  are treated at the level of the stage and evaded on sides.

In the r�pertoire of this very surprising and magnificent show, The Dream of a Summer night and The Enchanted Flute already quoted (Palagano, opposite whose silhouette and it song are well known, Don Giovanni, the Ballet of Casse-Noisette, The Tetralogy of Wagner, the Kidnapping in the Seraglio ( photo on th left ) The Bat, Snow White with ifs historic puppets, and Alice in the marvle country,opposite, were also created on stage without forgetting " The Sound of Music ", show) of ninety minutes! Strange that to realize this musical of Broadway, world-famous with puppets, but the fantastic story of the family Trapp suits well to the magic world of puppets. There, director, scenographer, wardrobe master, all are in USA.

The Theater of the puppets of Salzbourg celebrated its hundredth anniversary on February 27th, 2013. The Aicher famille knew how to make an art except for of these cultural puppets, carrying them in the perfection during three generations. This centenary was moreover celebrated by exhibitions,  new productions (cr�ations of Alice in Wonderland and Snow White).

 On stage, the reduction of the "singers" (60 centimeters for 1,5 kilos) is amplified by the presence of two comedians narrators in giant's looks. Decoration, direction, everything is in the scale. This gap between a big artistic project and a small seize of the realization, the way < Mom, I shrank Wagner >, does not miss to give to smile. But the music - Magnificent recording of Georg Solti (on 1950s) confers to the group a remarkable strength. And nobody can say that the puppets of Salzbourg are not up to it. "

" The tradition wants that the best artists are associated to our shows, as it was the case in The Flute enchanted with G�nther Schneider-Siemssen, decorator of Herbert von Karajan ", adds Brunner while presenting the protagonists of the opera: walkyries in stewardesses' uniform, Sigmund such a hero of Easy Rider, Hagen in old rocker. And, especially, Siegfried, whose attitude " youths " never holds in place requires of his manipulator treasures of virtuosity. "

  For a series of representations of " The Death of the Swan " of Camille Saint-Saens in Leningrad, a puppet of the  dancer Anna Pavlova was realized.

We can also be amazed in front of the Horse of Nibelungen.

These two subjects allow us to appreciate the extraordinary work, the skill and the experience required by the manipulators.

The movements of puppets on stage seem absolutely natural, very fluid. Surprising because the puppeteers have naturally an aerial view, in overhang of their figurines, the spectator being, him, about in horizontal.
To finish, a last and magnificent photo of  � The Sound of Music �.



Article  du 26 F�vrier 2009 du Club du Fantastique   "  www.clubdufantastique.fr  "
The sound of Music                                                    "  www.flynncenter.org "
Salzburger Marionettentheater                                    " www.marionetten.at   "

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     June 2013