Hannover's State Opera and State Theatre both occupy leading positions in international rankings. The theatres in and around Hannover offer an impressive choice of entertainment, ranging from drama to opera, ballet to musical, and variety/comedy to puppet theatre. One of the annual highlights is the opera ball. For decades now, the TANZtheater INTERNATIONAL festival has been showcasing the latest developments in contemporary dance, and the city's classical concerts draw large audiences from beyond the Hannover region.
Hannover's theatre scene covers all aspects of the genre, from traditional plays to experimental works, and shows new interpretations of seasoned classics as well as imaginatively staged premieres – in essence, it offers an exceptionally exciting spectrum of stagecraft. Whether you opt for the State Theatre or a more intimate venue, prefer sophistication or light entertainment, you can be sure of enjoying an unforgettable cultural event every single time you visit one of the region's theatres. Outstanding ensembles, and internationally renowned directors and choreographers attract a great deal of attention on the world stage. At the famous GOP Variety Theatre (the former Georgspalast), audiences are treated to masterly acrobatic displays, astounding magical tricks, offbeat comedy acts and fantastic resident compères: variety at its most sublime.
Hannover's annual Long Night of the Theatres gives audiences the chance to experience a cross-section of what the city's stages have to offer. Fans of the performing arts can put together their own personal programme of short, diverse pieces, up to the final curtain at midnight. Another highlight is Hannover's 'Theaterformen', one of the foremost theatre festivals in Germany. The opera ball is a grand, festive affair that has a different theme every year and is one of the highlights of the social calendar.
Well-known conductors and acclaimed orchestras regularly give rousing classical concerts in Hannover's concert halls, including Germany's largest venue of this type: the Cupola Hall at Hannover Congress Centre. The Grand Broadcasting Hall, a listed studio in the NDR state broadcasting house in Hannover, can accommodate up to 140 musicians on its stage and 1,200 seated audience members. As the official concert venue for the NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, its acoustics are second to none. And at the international Joseph Joachim violin competition, some of the world's most talented players compete against each other. The TANZtheater INTERNATIONAL festival showcases current trends in the contemporary dance scene, and the festival is one of the best-known events of this type in Germany.