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the beginnings

The KurTheater Bad Liebenstein was built in 1800 under the direction of Duke Georg I of Saxony-Meiningen as a multifunctional "Comödienhaus" and has 340 seats today.

Its opening took place on the evening of August 10, 1800 – the birthday of Duchess Charlotte Amalie – with a masquerade ball accompanied by the ducal court chapel. In the following years, several acting companies, such as Count Julius von Soden' company (1803) or the Kurfürstliche Hofschauspieler-Gesellschaft von Hessen-Kassel (1806), performed comedies and operas by August von Kotzebue, Giovanni Paisiello, Luigi Cherubini and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, amongst others. There were also balls, masked balls and chinoiseries.

the theatre under duke GEORGe II

In the course of the 19th century, Bad Liebenstein – the summer residence of the Duke of Sachsen-Meiningen – developed into a sophisticated health resort for numerous noble and well-to-do middle-class spa guests. In 1877, Duke George II von Sachsen-Meiningen invited the actor Josef Kainz to present his talent to the spa society on the Liebenstein stage. A few years later he became world-famous as a member of the Vienna Burgtheater ensemble.

theatre after duke's time

The theatre was also used for performances in the 20th century, although not as continuously as in periods of the previous century. The theatre received its present exterior during reconstruction work in 1937. During the GDR era, the "Meininger Theater" was a regular guest to perform at what is now called KurTheater, with plays such as “Das Tagebuch der Anne Frank” and William Shakespeare's Hamlet as well as numerous opera performances such as Carl Maria von Weber's “Der Freischütz”. After German reunification, the KurTheater faded from the limelight, until a working group of committed citizens was set up in 2002, took care of the affairs of the theatre and set up a year-round programme for 2004 (which was then assumed to be an anniversary year due to gaps in research). In 2007, the work group was turned into a friends' association, which until 2017 was responsible for organising and supervising the events on a voluntary basis. During these more than fruitful years, numerous ensembles and solo artists have been invited, such as the Ballet of the Staatsoper Hannover, the Deutsche Nationaltheater Weimar, the actor André Eisermann, the cabaret artists Georg Schramm, Simone Solga and Django Asül, the Neue Bühne Senftenberg and of course the Meininger Theatre. Since the beginning of 2017, Bad Liebenstein GmbH has taken over the management of the programme and the organisation of events.

© 2017 Bad Liebenstein GmbH

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