The philosophy of the Teatro del Lago is based upon the importance of music and art in people’s lives. We firmly believe that all cultural and artistic activity enriches and improves the quality of life for the community as a whole, and that the associated educational and creative aspects are vital in the development of self-esteem, in reducing aggressiveness, improving concentration, encouraging the imagination and generating positive forms of communication in society.
Teatro del Lago is a centre of artistic excellence which encourages the development of culture and creativity in education through music and art. It aims to be a benchmark at a regional, national and international level. The theatre is located in Chilean Patagonia and is wholly committed to the local community, to its traditions and the unique natural environment in which it is located.
The Teatro del Lago aspires to become a cultural benchmark for the region, the country and throughout Latin America. Moreover, it aims to play a significant role in the development of creativity in education through music and art in the Chilean Lake District, in addition to the work being done by the Casa Richter School of the Arts.
The theatre’s team is outstanding for their professionalism, warmth and efficiency, as well as their commitment to the artists they welcome and to providing a first rate service to the public. The combination of outstanding infrastructure, acoustics and technical expertise enables the Teatro del Lago to offer a programme of the highest international standard in Latin America.
The Teatro del Lago operates in an incomparable setting in the Chilean town of Frutillar, where long-standing cultural and musical traditions, together with stunning natural surroundings, mean a unique experience for all who come to take part in the many activities on offer.
The Frutillar area has long been steeped in cultural tradition. German settlers began to arrive in the region in 1856, bringing with them their music and culture, and giving rise to a variety of artistic activities, thanks to the efforts, involvement and dedication of many individuals – people inspired by the image of a centre for the development of the arts which would enrich and benefit the community as a whole through the medium of music.
One of these individuals was Jakob Junginger, who taught many generations in the course of a 40 year career. He established the “Liederkranz” mixed choir, abided by the principles of the bible and specialized in the treatment of childhood illnesses with homeopathy. Later, Robert Dick, who was an organist and Director of the German Institute, invited Arturo Junge to hold his Choral Meetings in the beautiful Frutillar bay, where his kindness and charisma attracted many amateur and professional musicians from Chile and abroad. Alfredo Daetz was another of the founders demonstrating commitment to this social and artistic project, in addition to many of the local residents who welcomed visiting artists and musicians into their homes.
These musicians included Mrs. Flora Inostroza, a pianist and cellist who developed close links with the Chilean Air Force and the University of Chile and who was president of the Frutillar ‘Musical Weeks’ Cultural Corporation from 1979 onwards.
Inspired by this famous summer festival, Flora Inostroza and businessman Guillermo Schiess reached an agreement with the Frutillar Municipal authorities to start building a theatre on the site of the Hotel Frutillar, which had been destroyed by fire in 1996. Thanks to the far-sightedness of the local authorities, the determination of Mrs. Inostroza and the vital contributions of Guillermo Schiess and his family, as well as legions of friends and donors, the Teatro del Lago began to take shape.
On 27th January 1998, the first stone was laid and construction of this tremendous project got underway. Five years later, Nicola Schiess began to schedule a varied programme of artistic and educational activities, bringing the building to life. Some years later, her husband, C. Ulrich Bader-Schiess, joined this great family dream, adding great impetus to the initiative.
Teatro del Lago today…
Teatro del Lago currently offers more than 19,000 theatre tickets annually for educational purposes and its programme comprises around 250 performances each year in diverse artistic fields. In 2007, as part of the theatre’s educational agenda, the Casa Richter School of the Arts was opened – today it offers 25 different weekly classes and a variety of artistic workshops for the local community and visitors, to great success.
Housed in a state-of-the-art 10,000 m2 building, with an awe-inspiring natural setting and stunning architecture harmonizing perfectly with the landscape and respectful of the environment, Teatro del Lago includes the 1,178-capacity ‘Espacio Volcán Tronador – Sala Nestlé’ concert hall, an amphitheatre seating 270 and a range of other multipurpose salons and foyers, exhibition areas, rehearsal spaces, conference rooms and congress halls, the Café CapPuccini, Volcán Puntiagudo Terrace and Tower, a small open air stage and a pedestrian walkway which runs around the theatre’s perimeter over the lake.
Twelve years have passed and we are tremendously proud to have made this dream a reality, little by little and with the unfailing support of all those who believed in the project. Its main driving force today is the development of artistic excellence for the benefit of the local community, the region and the country as a whole, becoming a hub of internationally-renowned cultural, educational, artistic and tourist development.
Inside the Construction
Inmobiliaria Frutillar S.A. was established in 1997 for the purpose of building the Teatro del Lago in Frutillar, designed to boost overall development in the Lake District and with the necessary characteristics to attract international artists.
The theatre was built in stages, and different sectors of the community were able to participate in the construction at each stage of its development.
The founding partners in the Teatro del Lago are:
Inversiones Puyehue Ltda
Corporación Cultural Semanas Musicales de Frutillar
Over time, various national and international companies have bought into the project, mainly through the acquisition of shares in the ‘Inmobiliaria Frutillar’ property development company.
Through their investments, these companies have made a significant contribution to Chile’s regional cultural development.
Special mention must go to:
Nestlé Chile S.A.
Minera Mantos Blancos
Codelco, Xsastra, Minera Escondida, Antofagasta Minerals
As well as corporate backing, many individuals have also demonstrated their enthusiasm, buying shares in Inmobiliaria Frutillar either in their own names or on behalf of friends or family. A great many people have also shown their support for the Teatro del Lago through direct donations or by buying bricks, copper roof tiles, seats or shares.
All those involved in building the Teatro del Lago in Frutillar wish to offer their heartfelt thanks to every shareholder, corporate supporter and collaborator for their contribution to this dream of giving southern Chile a worthy space in a beautiful natural setting in order to foster culture, art, education, science, reflection and social interaction.
Thanks to their contributions we have been able to fulfil this dream!
The architecture of the Teatro del Lago is contemporary, but retains links to the traditional southern Chilean style, strongly influenced by immigrants of German origin. The use of native materials – wood, stone and copper – reflects a sensitivity towards the building’s location and its purpose. The Teatro del Lago is located directly opposite the Osorno volcano, so that the interior amphitheatre enjoys an arresting view across Lake Llanquihue.
From the outside, the theatre resembles a striking and sophisticated barn – a typical image in this rural region – but enjoys every functional innovation required in a state-of-the-art events venue.
The interior is modern, spacious and warm, and contains a variety of different spaces, salons and foyers, designed to fulfil the different functions required of the Teatro del Lago. Refined and elegant materials have been used. In every area, the acoustics were thoroughly analysed and perfected, but careful consideration was also given to the close connection between listening and looking, hearing and seeing.
This spectacular building represents a fusion of entertainment and education, blending physical harmony, artistic spirit and a contemporary image.
The architects Gerardo Köster, Gustavo Greene and their team have been responsible for the project since its very foundation stone was laid in 1998, designing the outline, location and all the functional spaces within the theatre and using elements of local architecture with its strong German influence.
In 2008, the architect Bernd Haller and his firm Amercanda were commissioned to produce the fittings, carry out interior design and coordinate all specialized technical aspects of the theatre.
Water, sewerage and gas
Fire safety system
Architecture – catering spaces
Electrical installations – catering spaces
Water, sewerage and gas – catering spaces
Ecoespacio – Fundación Chile
A&P Ingeniería Ltda.
Limarí Lighting Design Ltda.
Mr. George Sommerhoff
Mr. Duilio Tonini
Carmen Luz Palacios
Mr. Guillermo Arancibia
SBS – Dresden, Germany
Mueller BBM GmbH, Karlheinz
DESIGNCURVE, Mr. Clifton Taylor, New York, USA
The town of Frutillar is in Chile’s Tenth Region, the Lake District, specifically on the western shore of Lake Llanquihue, the second largest in Chile with an area of 860 km2. It faces the Osorno volcano and has a population of 15,403, with a total of a million and a half residing in the surrounding area between Osorno and Puerto Montt.
The Teatro del Lago forms part of Frutillar’s beautiful waterfront and enjoys a panoramic view of the Puntiagudo, Osorno, Tronador and Calbuco volcanoes.