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Meine Bienen. Eine Schneise – A Commission of the Salzburg Festival

17 AUG 2012

published in: Drama

André Jung, Brigitte Hobmeier, Stefan Kurt (Photo: Hans Jörg Michel)
The original idea of doing something on the subject of bees came from Andreas Schett, a member of Musicbanda Franui. Director of Drama Sven-Eric Bechtolf, who has a strong connection with Musicbanda Franui after many joint performances, subsequently suggested doing something for the Festival together with author Händl Klaus. This transformed the already existing platonic friendship between Händl and Franui into a working relationship, a production process.

Händl Klaus, who, like Andreas Schett, is from the Tyrol, was immediately intrigued by the bee theme and began working with the musician on the tale. Inspired by Schett’s enthusiasm, he began to write – and the outcome was very different from what anyone expected. He wrote the story of a forest fire that cut a swath into the forest, destroying a bee-keeper’s hives and swarms of bees. We encounter four figures – Kathrin, the teacher, Lukas, her son, Peter the inspector and Wim the bee-keeper – standing “near the forest. Today”, as the playwright’s instructions read. As soon as the curtain rises, Händl Klaus says, there must be a burnt smell in the air…

During his writing process, Händl Klaus had the actors for his roles before his inner eye: Brigitte Hobmeier, Stefan Kurt and André Jung – “whom I love so very much” that he embarked upon an emotional roller-coaster ride while writing, careening between exuberant joy and “extreme fear” of not being able to match the quality of the actors. The musical component of the play is a contribution of Musicbanda Franui, composed by two of its members: Andreas Schett and Markus Kraler. Six of Alban Berg’s Jugendlieder will form the focus of the music for Meine Bienen. “It is exactly what we were looking for,” Schett says. Berg’s songs will trickle into the bee-music, being quoted, radiating, making for moments of powerful clarity when feelings and thoughts begin whirring around this swath through the forest, vibrating, on a search of longing and fear for what is hidden behind the words, but can be guessed at behind the colors of the sets and music.

The play Meine Bienen. Eine Schneise meanders through very different emotions. It is dramatic and dark. It is humorous and creates light. It is virtuosic and original in every way. It leads us deeply into the past of its creators, and it produces crashing sounds – noises that might serve to grab the attention of a whole swarm of bees.

Secure your tickets for the play Meine Bienen. Eine Schneise at the Landestheater now – be part of the world premiere!