With a tribute to its history and those who have been part of it,
Teatro del Lago celebrates its 10th anniversary

  • On November 14, 2020 the Teatro del Lago celebrated its first decade, recalling its beginnings and those who have been part of it, in an online event in which artists from Frutillar to New York shared the stage.
  • The Teatro del Lago is a world-class stage and Obra Bicentenário (a high recognition granted in 2010 by the Chilean Government) which since its inception has promoted the arts, education and music, from the South of Chile to the world.
  • Frutillar is widely considered a model of innovation, a regional benchmark city for Chile and Latin America, promoted by the BID, the Bank of Inter-American Development in Washington.


During the online gala the history of the theatre was reliving through the testimonies of national and international artists. Its main stage, the Espacio Tronador, witnessed a meeting from New York to Frutillar: From The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, the American string trio Time for Three performed for the fourth time at Teatro del Lago. These “rock stars” of classical music shared the stage with students and teachers of the music and dance departments of ​​the School of the Arts and the Ensemble Teatro del Lago. Everybody was invited to follow the events on social media and via the website www.teatrodellago.cl.

“It was a tribute to all who have made this great dream possible: craftsmen, community, school, regional and international organizations as well as partners, Friends of Teatro del Lago worldwide, among others. An instance where we recognized and celebrated the path travelled together with the public and especially give thanks to those who believed in this innovative and particular project, which has transformed the dream of bringing music and the arts from Northern Patagonia to the world, with a unique artistic-educational vision focusing on social inclusion, into a living reality, which is not only strengthening personal skills, but pushes an entire region towards creative, touristic and economic development!”, said Nicola Schiess, president of the Foundation Teatro del Lago.

More than 500 national and international artists and ensembles have already performed on its stage. During these ten years, the Teatro del Lago has established itself as one of the main stages in Latin America, recognized for the quality of its artistic season, outstanding infrastructure, acoustics and architecture, and for the special opportunity it offers to artists to actively participate in the educational mission of the Foundation Teatro del Lago.

This is a moment of gratitude to celebrate the life of an institution inspired by the centuries-old musical tradition of Frutillar, which has established itself as a theatre open to the community, an artistic and educational icon in the country as well as in Latin America. With a School of the Arts, created in 2007, which today stands out as a unique model of artistic education, where nearly 7,000 students have been trained in various artistic disciplines. It is further strengthened through the 170,000 beneficiaries in the school programmes “butacas educativas” and “EduVida”, as well as the semi-professional improvement opportunities for approximately 3,000 students in high-level master classes and academies. 

The Teatro del Lago is a place originally envisioned by the German-Chilean businessman Guillermo Schiess, based on the traditions of the Choral Encounters installed by Jacob Junginger and Arturo Junge, as well as the cultural traditions brought to Chile by the German immigrants. These developed into the Semanas Musicales de Frutillar (Frutillar Music Weeks, presided over for many years by Flora Inostroza), an important partner since the cornerstone of the Teatro del Lago was laid.


Frutillar Creative City of Music

In 2017 Frutillar was designated a Creative City of Music by UNESCO, being the work of the Teatro del Lago and the artistic legacy of the Frutillar Music Weeks decisive for this designation. A continuous innovative development programme for the city, and therefore automatically for the region, includes the collaboration of 15 well-known local institutions, such as the PLADES Foundation, the Teatro del Lago, Frutillar Music Weeks, the Crafts Factory, Municipal Library and Municipal Culture Department, all facing the same new challenges as institutions all over the world.



10 Teatro del Lago Milestones

Teatro del Lago awarded Obra Bicentenario status by the Chilean Government

Due to its location, architecture and contribution to the decentralization of the country, and for being conceived as a development space that promotes social integration and quality of life, in 2010 the Chilean Government bestowed the recognition of Obra Bicentenario upon the Teatro del Lago, which welcomes around 250,000 visitors per year. This recognition was part of the festivities celebrating Chile’s bicentenary.


World-famous artists 

From the beginning, the Teatro del Lago stood out for its high-quality artistic programme linked to education, and consequently to social inclusion. Among the many world-class artists who have performed and taught there are Paquito D’Rivera, Omara Portuondo and Buena Vista Social Club; conductors such as John Eliot Gardiner, Jonathan Nott, Valery Gergiev; famous singers such as Diana Damrau (Germany), Sonya Yoncheva (Bulgaria), Javier Camarena (Mexico), the Chileans Verónica Villarroel and Cristina Gallardo Domas; pop stars such as Jorge Drexler, Los Jaivas, Joan Manuel Serrat, Raphael, and Kevin Johansen; ballet companies including those of the Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires) and Teatro Solís (Montevideo), dance companies such as Philadanco, dancers such as Julio Bocca, Julie Kent and Marianela Nuñez; instrumentalists such as the Asian-American cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the Russian violinist Maxim Vengerov, the Swiss flutist Emmanuel Pahud, the Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Montero and French cellist Gautier Capuçon; as well as orchestras such as the YOA (Youth Orchestra of the Americas), Camerata Salzburg, Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, Mariinsky Orchestra, English Baroque Soloists and Bamberger Symphoniker.


TDL’s own productions

From the beginning, the Teatro del Lago has created its own productions, made unique by the generous collaboration of world-famous artists who join beginners or advanced students of the Escuela de las Artes – a fusion of a wonderful opportunity for participation and sharing experiences in productions of Mozart’s operas The Abduction from the Seraglio (2011) and The Magic Flute (2012), the ballets Nutcracker (2016) and Coppélia (2018/2019), The Cantata of the Crafts (2018), Peter and the Wolf  (2019), Sunrise Mass (2019) and La Chamaniña  y el Viejo Lobo de Mar (2019) ), among others.


Creative opportunities

Since its inception and in order to support, enhance and deepen musical knowledge, the Teatro del Lago continuously develops advanced courses, organizing academies, master classes, and summer courses led by outstanding international teachers, enabling the pursuit of excellence and quality for young musicians, singers, dancers and even for amateurs from all over the world. Artists such as Hellmuth Rilling, Cristina Gallardo-Domâs, Jacques Ammon-Philipp, Wen-Sinn Yand, Christian Ostertag, Lauma Skride, Yo-Yo Ma, Emmanuel Pahud, Natalie Clein, and Maxim Vengerov have left their legacy, teaching more than 2,600 students.


Teatro del Lago – Escuela de las Artes (School of the Arts)

The School of the Arts was opened in 2007, three years before the theatre Teatro del Lago was inaugurated. More than 7,000 students from all over the country have been trained in ​instrumental music, choral singing, modern dance and ballet, and more than 3,000 scholarships have been awarded to children and teenagers. Thanks to the artistic and educational synergy of the Teatro del Lago during these 10 years, the students of the School have had the opportunity to participate in its artistic programme. Its mission is to be a beacon of artistic and educational development for Latin America and the world.


Ensemble Teatro del Lago

The teachers of the Escuela de las Artes are part of the Ensemble Teatro del Lago. With its own series of presentations and concerts, with diverse programmes as well as guests artists, in-house productions (such as two films of Charlie Chaplin accompanied by live music or summer night concerts) and even international appearances, e.g. at the Teatro Solís in Montevideo, the Ensemble Teatro del Lago has built its own faithful audience.


General educational programmes 

More than 170,000 people have benefited from TDL’s general education programmes, offered to school and community by way of “educational seats” reserved in the daily artistic presentations, as well as through specific and interactive programmes during the week, a programme entitled EduVida. The latter gives every participant the opportunity of the holistic, live experience of a specific artistic genre such as flamenco, dance, choirs, pantomime, instrumental or jazz.


Creative ecosystems

Since 2013 the Teatro del Lago has implemented the dance and vocal integration programmes !Puedes Bailar! (You can dance!) and !Puedes Cantar! (You can sing!). The former promotes modern dance specifically among the young generation, with productions on our stages led by national or international figures such as Christopher Huggins; the You-can-sing programme promotes and strengthens choral activity in Chile by supporting conductors and participating school choirs.

Both programmes rely on support from the partner foundations Gabriel & Mary Mustakis Foundation for dance and the Ibáñez Atkinson Foundation for singing.


Regional development – a model for Latin America

Since its inception, the Teatro del Lago Foundation has set itself the task of creating community around and through the transformational magic of arts and education, implementing continuous outreach activities and opening its doors for Book Days, Heritage Days and other specific Arts or Community Days. 

Reflecting the huge impact the Teatro del Lago and its educational mission is having on a daily basis in the region, in 2012 the public-private city sustainable development foundation PLADES has been co-founded together with the Mustakis Foundation and 16 other institutions. To this day, FTDL and the Mustakis Foundation are the main supporters, but as well connectors with further global expertise and support for the hardware of innovative urban development on the one hand, and on the other the software of local entrepreneurship and creative industries. In the meantime ISA, a highway construction company from Columbia, is joining this visionary partnership, working closely with the local mayor. But the most interesting process is happening these days, as the BID (Bank of Interamerican Development from Washington) is defining its role in promoting Frutillar as a model of innovative, regional benchmark city for Chile and Latin America. 


A global venue

The Teatro del Lago has become an international conference centre, with activities generating innovative knowledge and networking, attracting national and international audiences, which has an economic impact for the region as well as the country. It has hosted summits such as the global meeting of the World B Companies, the Alianza del Pacífico (with seven heads of state in attendance) and the Adventure Travel World Summit (including 78 countries) or even video games, with 17 million people connected with the Creative City of Frutillar via the stages of the Teatro del Lago.


The next decade

Undoubtedly, the Teatro del Lago was first considered a “slightly mad Fitzcarraldo project in North Patagonia”. Over time, it has found more and more followers, thanks to its transformational power and educational mission implemented by first-rate teachers and master artists. 

The Teatro del Lago itself has started as a very generous philanthropic project initiated by the Schiess Family, and is led today by its own professional board of directors, focusing on establishing a long-term sustainable collaborative support system as well as building an endowment to ensure the future viability of the project. 

The School of the Arts itself is working on a three-tiered educational model of talent development for Latin America, to scale up with several partners and collaborative institutions to strengthen this concept of “school and stage”, “learning and experience” and “soft skills and strong communities”. 

Furthermore, the BID is joining PLADES in building up the model of small-city innovative development for Chile and Latin America, where experienced partners from a wide array of fields will be welcome to make their own contributions to the project. 

Altogether, an ecosystem of flourishing public-private partnership at its finest!


Come and join us!