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A Seducer of Sad Countenance

14 AUG 2014

published in: Drama, General

Don Juan kommt aus dem Krieg 2014 • Nele Rosetz, Max Simonischek, Elisa Plüss (Photo: Salzburger Festspiele / Monika Rittershaus)
Had Don Giovanni and Don Quixote met, the result might be a similar story as described in Ödön von Horváth’s Don Juan kommt aus dem Krieg – a seducer of sad countenance.
The Austrian writer Ödön von Horváth offers quite a different perspective of the stereotype of Don Juan – unlike Da Ponte / Mozart’s version, here the protagonist is seduced by women, not the other way round. In search for his bride, whom he left behind before the war, he is enchanted by 35 women, but never loved. For Don Juan, the economic inflation of the 1920s and 1930s becomes an inflation of love, which is valued less and less and is therefore required in ever greater doses. His search remains futile: his bride has been dead for many years. His letters were burned unread by her despotic grandmother. What remains is a romantic, melancholy longing which Don Juan ultimately resigns himself to.
Andreas Kriegenburg, whose visually brilliant production of the Ring at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich was widely acclaimed, is considered a theatrical visionary and will be responsible for directing and stage sets. Horváth too was known as a theatrical reformer, creating a new kind of people’s theatre with works like Geschichten aus dem Wiener Wald.
Max Simonischek will play the role of the sad Don Juan in search of his love. Venice becomes a German city, the Renaissance the “Roaring Twenties”. And nine fabulous actresses tempt this young Adonis in 35 roles.
With this new production of Horváth’s Don Juan kommt aus dem Krieg the Salzburg Festival combines two programmatic focuses in an ingenious way: on the one hand, it complements the new production of Don Giovanni in the Da Ponte-Mozart cycle, conducted by Christoph Eschenbach and directed by Sven-Eric Bechtolf; on the other hand it also forms part of the Festival’s commemoration of World War I.
If you want to experience a refreshingly new perspective on the Don Juan myth, featuring an outstanding ensemble of actors surrounding Max Simonischek, then buy your tickets here and let yourself be seduced!