Listen to the Overture
The play includes two hours of glorious music, performed by a 60-strong orchestra and a choir. Combined with the impressive acting, the 200-year-old score gives the Oberammergau Passion Play its powerful and emotional impact.
Rochus Dedler, born in Oberammergau in 1779, composed the music for the Passion Play. After his musical education in Munich and Rottenbuch he returned to Oberammergau where he lived and worked as a teacher, a church musician and composer until his death in 1822. He was a noted, gifted musician highly regarded for his sacred compositions.
No evidence exists as to how much Dedler's Passion Play score was drawn from earlier performances of the Play but it is likely that he was influenced by the music of Mozart and Joseph and Michael Haydn. Some of his melodies have been likened to Weber's or Schubert's Romantic expressiveness.
Whilst there have been several adaptations of his music in the intervening years the music performed during the Passion Play is still based on Dedler's original score.
Musical Director - Markus Zwink
Markus Zwink, musical director of the 2000 and 2010 Passion Plays has adapted and re-arranged Dedler's music and has also composed new music to accompany some new tableaux vivants from the Old Testament for the 2010 performance.
A descendant of an Oberammergau family going back to the 18th century, Markus Zwink was born in the village in 1956 and studied music at the Mozarteum, Salzburg and the Munich Music Academy. Since 1984 he has been Head of Music in Oberammergau.