Curtain up, and let the show begin! Film and theatre in Germany

Once experienced, never forgotten: films of the world and stages of world renown. Come to Germany for fantastic festivals offering classical music and comedy, for magical nights of theatre in the major cities, for open-air cinemas and a tradition of volkstheater – theatre for the people – that dates back centuries.

You can't get more authentic than this: the Goethe Theatre in Bad Lauchstädt, Saxony-Anhalt , was not only named after the great poet, but was also designed by him. Both the interior and exterior of the building, which dates back to 1802, have largely been preserved in their original condition. In keeping with this great polymath, the Summer Theatre Festival has an incredibly diverse programme including operas, concerts, readings and plays. Operas by Goethe's contemporary Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart feature prominently in the festivities.

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It's as simple as it is ingenious: Erfurt's Cathedral Hill , where St. Mary's Cathedral and the Church of St. Severus stand side by side, provides a dramatic backdrop all year round. And drama is what you can expect at the Cathedral Steps Theatre Festival. Every July since 1994, its organisers have staged either a musical or an opera and a play for children on this spot, using the architecture to brilliant effect. The result: an event that none of the hundreds of thousands of visitors each season are likely to forget in a hurry.

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Festival Theaterformen is an annual event alternating between Braunschweig and Hannover in Lower Saxony. The aim of the festival is to outline the current state of international theatre and offer new thought-provoking ideas – an ambitious mission statement that is reflected in the festival's programme. So in addition to theatre productions by international artists, discussions between artists and audiences at events such as the festival breakfast are also an integral part of the festival.

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Opera beneath the stars against a romantic backdrop of fairytale turrets and spires: the soul-soaring experience that is the Schwerin Castle Festival. Every summer, a well-known opera is staged here for several weeks, forming the centrepiece of a festival that draws up to 70,000 visitors. Launched in 1993 as a niche event for opera enthusiasts, Schwerin Castle Festival has since become an internationally renowned fixture in the cultural calendar.

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Festival Perspectives – the Franco-German performing arts festival based in Saarbrücken – is a showcase for the international character of the Saarland region, which unites aspects of both French and German culture. For more than 30 years, the event has combined cutting-edge theatre, contemporary dance, current music and experimental circus, blurring the lines between borders through the medium of culture.

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Breathtaking adventures in ice and rock, and awe-inspiring mountain landscapes. Anyone who is passionate about mountains can revel in the images at the International Mountain Film Festival in Tegernsee in Bavaria . Here around 100 mountain-themed films by international film makers are screened across five days. The programme of events offers ample opportunities to meet mountaineers, film producers and other visitors. Outside the cinemas too, you are surrounded by a truly cinematic Alpine backdrop.

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Every November, euro-scene in Leipzig brings experimental theatre and innovative dance to Saxony from all over Europe. For six days, this festival of contemporary European theatre illustrates the latest developments in dance and theatre, with approx. 15 different guest plays totalling around 25 performances in various Leipzig venues. There's also a programme of discussions, workshops and films.

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