2020 Passion Play’s Jesus to spread the word
In a long-held tradition dating back to 1634, the once-in-a-decade event that is the Oberammergau Passion Play will be performed in the tiny Bavarian hamlet in May 2020, and travellers wishing to experience this iconic performance will have more choice of tours than ever before with Collette.
To spread the word about this magical experience, Collette, together with the German National Tourist Office Sydney, is welcoming German actor, and devout Catholic, Frederik Mayet – who will play Jesus in the Oberammergau Passion Play 2020 performance – to Australia from 18-21 March* for a series of media interviews in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Having played the role of John the Apostle in the 2010 performance, Mayet is set to take the lead role in 2020.
“When I found out that I was going to play the part of Jesus, I was overwhelmed, but two or three days later, after the initial euphoria had worn off, I began to realise that it is a huge challenge,” said Mayet on the announcement of his selection.
An Oberammergau native, Mayet’s casting is in keeping with tradition which stipulates that only those who were born in Oberammergau or have been living there for at least 20 years have what is known as the ‘right to play’ in the Passion Play performance. Mayet’s love of theatre led to his current career working in theatre production and publicity in Munich.
Collette’s comprehensive suite of tours featuring the 2020 Oberammergau Passion Play includes: Imperial Cities, Austrian Delight, Classic Danube River Cruise, Discover Switzerland, Austria & Bavaria, and Alpine Explorer & Glacier Express Train. The much-loved itineraries of these classics favourites are complemented by the chance to experience one of Germany’s oldest cultural treasures, the Oberammergau Passion Play. These tours will follow their established itineraries before finishing up in the charming village of Oberammergau, nestled in the Bavarian Alps, where travellers will bear witness to this spectacular performance.
Oberammergau’s devout villagers first performed this play in 1634 in the hope that they would be spared the devastating effects of the Black Death plague which was decimating Europe. Miraculously, the villagers survived the pandemic and as a token of their thanks to God, they have continued to perform their passion play every 10 years ever since. Profits from the show are reinvested in the village, enabling it to provide the services and infrastructure necessary for future generations to experience the marvels of this colourful show.
The 16-act Passion Play follows the final period of the Messiah’s life, ending with the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Tradition dictates that the play is performed in years ending in zero with a cast chosen from the villagers who have either resided in Oberammergau for more than 20 years or who were born there. Locals vie for the 2,000 roles as performers, technicians and musicians in this seminal work which is performed in German. Language barriers are clearly not an issue for audiences as more than half a million spectators viewed the production when it last took place in 2010.
James Hewlett, Head of Marketing, Collette Australia, says interest in the coveted decennial event is gaining as 2020 approaches: “The Oberammergau Passion Play tours for 2020 are a great option for travellers wanting to experience this iconic event and combine it with their pick of the highlights of the region, whether that is the Swiss Alps, Austrian Tyrol or Italian Lakes,” said Hewlett.
Tourists from all over the world clamour for tickets to see this historic event which takes place once every decade in the small Bavarian hamlet of Oberammergau. Securing seats to the world’s most famous Passion Play is akin to booking for a World Cup.
Touring for today’s traveller…
Featuring award-winning tour managers, and superior accommodation, Collette has been a pioneer in guided touring since 1918. With classic tours, small groups, river cruises and ‘spotlight’ city stays, there are over 150 tours which go to more than 55 countries offering customers exceptional choice, value and superior 4- star+ quality. Collette is a third-generation, family-owned worldwide tour operator. With headquarters in Rhode Island, Collette’s Sydney office (opened in 2014) adds to the company’s global presence which includes offices in Vancouver, Toronto and London. Renowned for connecting guests with cultural experiences which go far beyond those of an ordinary holiday, Collette prides itself on providing real value to its guests and agent partners. Expert tour managers, an industry-leading travel protection plan and inclusive touring are just part of the top-quality Collette experience.