One organization, several stages – culture and entertainment for everybody. Here are performances for every taste and preference – opera, operetta, musical, dance and concerts in the opera house. Classical and modern theater at the Schauspielhaus. Theater for children, teenagers and young adults at Next Liberty. Open air – classical music, rock, pop and jazz on the stage Kasematten at the Schlossberg, cabaret, rock/pop and jazz at the Orpheum. Congresses and conventions, balls, concerts and clubbing at the Dom im Berg.
The opera house was built in 1899 according to plans by the Vienna architects Felner & Helmer and is the second largest opera in Austria, after the State Opera House Vienna. Classical ballet, musicals, operetta, right up to pop - it is worth taking a look at the diverse repertoire. Enjoy an evening with culture at its finest, the Philharmonic Orchestra Graz provides the music in this neo-baroque ambiance.
Another cultural highlight in Graz is not far from the opera house. Classical dramas, typical comedies and various contemporary plays take place here at the theater Schauspielhaus. The foundation for more than one big international career has been laid here and it is not by chance that the Schauspielhaus is among the best and sometimes even takes first place at the Nestroy Award Ceremony. Theater directors like Nikolaus Habjan, Helmut Köpping, Sandy Lopicic, Volker Hesse, Bernadette Sonnenbichler work or have worked here as well as actors and actresses such as Margarethe Tiesel, Babett Arens, Johannes Silberschneider, Michael Ostrowski, Gerhard Liebmann and Peter Simonischek.
Next Liberty is the youth theater of Graz. It got its name not by chance, but because at the entrance of the theater there is the “light sword” of Graz – an impressive sculpture of steel representing the Statue of Liberty of New York. The theater provides place for 300 spectators - all generations and countless emotions from fantasy and courage, musical and drama, fun and suspense, entertainment and confrontation.
Immediately below the highest point of the Styrian capital – the plateau of the Schlossberg – the Kasematten – there is the stage of the Schlossberg and doubtlessly the most popular site for open air events of the city. Within the historical walls of the former fortification, a stage was erected in the thirties of the last century, with a characteristically generous space for the audience. This impressive and romantic ambiance comes into its’ own especially during the warm seasons at open air events of all types: concerts of jazz, rock/pop and classical; summer parties and film presentations or gala ceremonies. In the past years, the Kasematten has also served as a summer stage for the biggest summer ball of Graz, the Ball at the Schlossberg.
The Orpheum, located in Lend, the thriving district of art and design, has a special flair. This is the result of a mix of sixties style in the foyer and the most up-to-date program of Austrian cabaret and an international pop/rock scene. In 1899, the Orpheum was inaugurated as a variety show theater. Later it was used as a cinema, after that, it was known as the house of the youth. This remains the case today, as young people and people still young at heart are frequent guests in this beloved house.
The cathedral in the mountain is absolutely unique and certainly the most original closed site for events in Graz. In 1999, the idea was born to construct out of rock a big multifunctional space in the very middle of the old town. With a total area of 733 m2, the cathedral provides plenty of space for various events like concerts, congresses and conventions, balls, theater and clubbing.
Countless high quality events and festivals make Graz an urban hot spot of the Austrian cultural scene. Supra-regional festivals like ‘Diagonale’ and ‘Styriarte’ as well as events to celebrate Styrian culture make Graz an attraction for a wide national and international audience.
Diagonale – the Austrian film festival is a highlight in the Austrian film scene in Graz each and every year. Since 1998, the popular film festival Diagonale has taken place in Graz. With about 100 movies in competition, the Austrian film is a hot spot during 6 days for all film enthusiasts. The Austrian premieres and first performances are eagerly awaited every March.
‘Old masters – newly interpreted‘ this is the motto of the Styrian festival for classical and old music, which inspires music fans for one summer month in Graz. The classical festival, inaugurated in 1985, and dedicated to Nikolaus Harnoncourt, brings countless top-class artists to the stages of Graz, performing interesting new interpretations of old works. The charming historical ambiance of the different sites like the magnificent Stefaniensaal, the Castle Schloss Eggenberg or the Helmut List Halle are all highly esteemed among the guests.
For 20 years now, the team led by Holgar and Erich Oskar Hütter has been inviting music fans to classical sound in fortresses, castles and special places in Styria. The Styrian Festival of Chamber Music focuses on offering high quality chamber music in the most inviting concert sites all over Styria. Classy places which are normally not available for a concert auditorium, are adapted for sound events of a special kind. Chamber music was born in times of baroque and describes – in simple words - “small instrumental music”. Besides the special concert sites, the Steirische Kammermusikfestival is characterized by the small personal spaces and the informal proximity to musicians. This personal atmosphere and the fresh and creative music experience provides a cultural event for all senses and is guaranteed at all concerts of the Styrian Chamber Music Festival.
La Strada, the international festival for street and puppet theater, transforms the old town of Graz into one big stage for a few days in July. The many productions in Graz by artists from Graz as well as from all over Europe show the beautiful and spectacular, the silent and wise. The festival La Strada wants to show the people a new perspective of the city of Graz, the historical center of the town and also undiscovered corners in the surroundings of the city. With the beginning of the Festival in 1998, the goal was to bring professional street and puppet theater closer to the public.
The Styrian Autumn created in 1968, is the oldest event of longlasting tradition in Graz for new art in Europe, which does not only include all areas of contemporary art in its program but also provides a platform for new and exceptional productions. According to the directives of the festival, new and unusual sites are always chosen for the events, such as abandoned industrial halls, show windows, bridges and other public spaces. This international festival takes place every year in September/October.
Headed by the star pianist and professor at the KUG Markus Schirmer, the Arsonore Festival and its series of concerts is the absolute highlight of what Graz has to offer musically. Every year, the baroque Planetensaal of the Castle Schloss Eggenberg as well as the modern Helmut List Halle become fascinating concert venues. International artists and successful musicians as well as students of the KUG - the University of Music and Performing Arts - make the concerts into a very special and unforgettable experience every year.