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Sven-Eric Bechtolf about the 2013 Theatre Program

12 NOV 2012

published in: Drama, General

Sven-Eric Bechtolf (Photo: Luigi Caputo)
7359! This is the number which the Goddess of Good Luck makes appear in the dreams of the “dissolute cloverleaf” – a carpenter, a cobbler and a tailor – in order to trick her rival the Love Fairy by making them win the lottery. An evil spirit is at work, preying on young men and leading them into forbidden debauchery, while rumours persist of a comet about to plunge to the Earth. An innocent young French peasant girl is visited by the Virgin Mary and promptly strides into battle against the English. A rich man unexpectedly encounters Death, the Devil and all sorts of other symbolic characters. Two pairs of lovers on the run in a forest find themselves tricked by elves and fairies. A beautiful orphan is pursued by a witch and taken in by dwarves while a computer-controlled arm from the automobile industry develops a menacing life of its own. Such are the remarkable events in the 2013 theatre programme.

The transposition of internal or earthly phenomena onto a miraculous, fairy tale or even religious level is by no means an escapist enterprise: excursions into the supposed distant yonder often shed a clearer light on what is hidden and worldly.

The opening premiere of the 2013 season is of course particularly significant for the coming summer: it is the new production of Everyman in the Cathedral Square. Since 1920 Everyman has had a total of ten different directors and this year they will be joined by the eleventh and twelfth, as we have invited the English designer and director Julian Crouch and the American theatre director Brian Mertes to create the production together. The leading role will be played by Cornelius Obonya, and his Lover by Brigitte Hobmeier.

It will be followed in the Landestheater by the premiere of Schiller’s The Maid of Orleans directed by Michael Thalheimer, a co-production with the Deutsches Theater Berlin. The title role will be played by Kathleen Morgeneyer.

Then comes a production of possibly Nestroy’s greatest ever success, the magical play with songs The Evil Spirit Lumpazivagabundus, directed at the Perner Insel by Matthias Hartmann in a co-production with the Vienna Burgtheater. The cast includes Nicholas Ofczarek, Michael Maertens and Johannes Krisch!

A little later, in the beautiful Residenzhof – which we have been able to secure as a venue once again – we will present the premiere of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, staged by Henry Mason, a young Austrian director with English roots. This will be another unusual project which it might perhaps only be possible to produce in Salzburg, because the play will be accompanied by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s music. This will be performed by the Mozarteum Orchestra conducted by Ivor Bolton.

This will be followed in the Landestheater by our play for children (and adults), Schneewittchen (Snow White) directed by Nicolas Liautard, whom we have invited to Salzburg with this successful production which was nominated for the “Molière”, France’s most prestigious theatre prize, in 2010. There will be no language barrier as this is visual theatre without words. 
Also from France is the artist Aurélien Bory, who this year represents object theatre in its widest sense: his “puppet” is a mechanized arm from a car factory. The way this mechanical monster can move presents a highly artistic meditation on man and machines, entitled Sans Objet. Here, too, no-one need be afraid of finding the piece difficult to understand as this production also requires no words. 

And of course the YDP, the Young Directors Project, generously sponsored by Montblanc, will continue to enrich the programme. As in every year, four young directorial talents will be competing with each other at this year’s festival: the English theatre company 1927 will present their play The Animals and Children Took to the Streets and the Iraqi director who is now based in Antwerp Mokhallad Rasem his own version of Romeo and Juliet. German director Bastian Kraft picks up on a theme of the festival with a rather different Everyman and the Czech director Jan Mikulášek stages Buñuel’s The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie.

Here you can discover more about each of the productions and we hope they will whet your appetite for the summer to come. We look forward to seeing you!

Sven-Eric Bechtolf
Translated by David Tushingham