Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Passion Play

Mom and I spent the morning exploring the town of Oberammergau. The weather drizzled a little, but no heavy downpour. Lots of beautiful woodcarving shops and buildings decorated with incredible frescos. Crowds of people all browsing and sightseeing before the play.

Lunch was early so the everyone could be ready sharply at 2:15 for the 2:30 start. We had no idea where the tickets were when we booked the package, but we ended up sitting in row 5! All playgoers were given a full textbook of the play in both German and English, and it was hugely helpful to be able to follow along.

The play itself was just amazing. My favorite actor in the entire production was Judas. The music was beautiful, especially the singing by the three soloists. The huge scale of the play with over 2000 participants was mind boggling, not to mention the inclusion of pigeons, pigs, sheep, horses, and a camel!

Dinner break was at 5:15 and again the streets filled with tourists. Every tiny detail is planned in the nine years between plays, so that everything is run seamlessly. No cars crowd the streets because everything is within walking distance or shuttles are planned. Dinner is ready to go for everyone at once so you can be ready for the 8:30PM start. In fact, the flow of tourists into the town is carefully controlled throughout the week by the various play packages that are offered. The entire production, the involvement of the entire town of 5200 for 4700 visitors four times a week is meticulously planned and run.

It is an enjoyable experience both because the visit to Oberammergau is so well thought out, but also because of the wonderful quality of the play: elements of Greek drama, Shakespeare, opera, and the Passion Play. It is emotionally draining, but extremely gratifying to see.

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