Montblanc & Salzburg Festival Young Directors Project
Nicolas Charaux • YDP IV • Der Abschied

by Walter Kappacher

Work commissioned by the Salzburg Festival
World premiere

In German with English surtitles

Duration approx. 1 hour and 20 minutes.


  • 15 August, 20:00


  • 17 August, 20:00
  • 18 August, 20:00
  • 20 August, 20:00
  • 24 August, 20:00



Print programme (PDF)


Nicolas Charaux, Director
Pia Greven, Sets and Costumes
Gerhard Fischer, Lighting
David Lipp, Sound Design


Paul Herwig, Actor



At evening the woods of autumn are full of the sound
Of the weapons of death, golden fields
And blue lakes, over which the darkening sun
Rolls down; night gathers in
Dying recruits, the animal cries
Of their burst mouths.
Yet a red cloud, in which a furious god,
The spilled blood itself, has its home, silently
Gathers, a moonlike coolness in the willow bottoms;
All the roads spread out into the black mould.
Under the gold branches of the night and stars
The sister’s shadow falters through the diminishing grove,
To greet the ghosts of the heroes, bleeding heads;
And from the reeds the sound of the dark flutes of autumn rises.
O prouder grief! You bronze altars,
The hot flame of the spirit is fed today by a more monstrous pain,
The unborn grandchildren.
Georg Trakl (1887–1914)
Translated by Robert Bly

Grodek (Horodok) is a small town in eastern Galicia – now Ukraine – which lay on the front several times during the war. From 6th to 11th September 1914 Grodek was the scene of a battle in which the Salzburg writer and pharmacist Georg Trakl took part as a first aider or more precisely as a ‘dispensary orderly’. Trakl and his medical unit had to take care of over a hundred severely wounded men in a barn without the help of any doctors. One of these shot himself before Trakl’s eyes. Under the effects of his experiences, Trakl attempted suicide during the ensuing retreat but was prevented from doing so by his comrades, who wrested the weapon from him. Stationed in Limanova, Trakl was taken two weeks later to the ‘mad wing’ of the garrison hospital in Krakow, where he was placed under observation of his mental state. On 25th and 26th October he was visited by Ludwig von Ficker, a friend, father figure and editor of the Brenner. On 27th October Trakl sent him the manuscript of two poems he had promised, ‘Mourning’ and ‘Grodek’. On 3rd November the drug-addicted Trakl died in his cell from an overdose of cocaine. He was 27. Among his posthumous papers they found the poem: 

To Novalis
In dark earth the holy stranger rests.

The lament of God was taken from his 

gentle mouth

As he subsided into its bloom.

A blue flower

Lets his song linger in the nightly house 

of pain.

The Salzburg author Walter Kappacher has written this play for the festival around these little documented final days of Georg Trakl. Walter Kappacher was born in Salzburg in 1938. He left school at 15 and worked in a series of different jobs. He is the winner of numerous awards including the Hermann Lenz Prize in 2004 and the Büchner Prize in 2009 for his book Der Fliegenpalast.

 Sven-Eric Bechtolf
Translated by David Tushingham


Montblanc & Salzburg Festival Young Directors Award 2014 goes to Nicolas Charaux (31)

21 AUG2014

posted in: Drama, General

Today the Montblanc & Salzburg Festival Young Directors Project 2014 was announced! The production Der Abschied by Walter Kappacher directed by Nicolas Charaux was awarded the Montblanc Young Directors Award for the best director. Read more about the jury's decision here. 

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Montblanc & Salzburg Festival Young Directors Project 2014

31 JUL2014

posted in: Drama

Since 2002 the Young Directors Project has enriched the programme of the Salzburg Festival. Generously supported by Montblanc International, this successful competition for young international theatre directors and their ensembles will form part of the Salzburg Festival for the last time, following a successful 13-year partnership. Through its sponsorship, Montblanc supports the selection and invitation of the productions to Salzburg and the local costs. In addition to sponsoring the entire project, Montblanc also offers the prize for the best production. The winner of the Montblanc Young Directors Award receives the sum of 10,000 Euros and the Montblanc Max Reinhardt Pen, exclusively designed for this project. 

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Untitled (Et In Arcadia Ego) – Image detail, © Robert Longo



The YDP programme is generously supported by Montblanc International. In addition, Montblanc has donated the prize money of € 10,000 and the exclusive Montblanc Mozart Pen for the best director. The Montblanc Young Directors Award Ceremony takes place on Thursday, August 21th 2014.


Drama 2014

by Sven-Eric Bechtolf

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