Spoleto 53 Festival dei due
Teatro Caio Melisso
25-27 June 2010
International Shakespeare Festival
National Theatre Marin Sorescu
23-24 April 2012
||Two years after the triumphant success of the Three Penny Opera, the Berliner Ensemble and Robert Wilson present the Italian première of Shakespeare’s Sonnets at the Festival of Spoleto, with original music by the Canadian songwriter Rufus Wainwright.
Staged in Berlin in 2009 for the fourth centennial of the publishing of the sonnets, for this performance Wilson has selected twenty-five amongst the one hundred and fifty-four written by Shakespeare, accepting the challenge to stage one of the English playwright’s rare works which was not meant for the theatre.
His direction in the usual perfection plays ironically by confusing the genres. Georgette Dee famous German cabaret performer joins stage stars such as Inge Keller, Jürgen Holtz, Traute Hoess and Sylvie Rohrer and the extraordinary company actors of the Berliner Ensemble who act and sing, bringing Bard’s immortal lines onto the set.
Wilson stages several Shakespearean characters, from the leprechaun to the fool, from Cupid to the mysterious dark dame, from the Queen of England to Shakespeare himself.
The director’s ability to “tell” the story by means of images puts himself at the service of Shakespeare’s verses, assisted by the music of Rufus Wainwright, who for this opera has used different musical styles that contribute to accompanying the audience on a dreamlike journey beyond time.
A stage première which is already a classic.
by Robert Wilson and Rufus Wainwright
Composition of texts by Jutta Ferbers
German translation by Christa Schuenke and Martin Flörchinger (Sonnet No. 23)
Christina Drechsler (Boy)
Anke Engelsmann (Secretary)
Ruth Glöss (Fool)
Anna Graenzer (Boy)
Ursula Höpfner-Tabori (Black Lady)
Traute Hoess (Rival)
Inge Keller (Shakespeare)
Sylvie Rohrer (Young Poet)
Dejan Bucin (Gentleman/ Lady)
Jürgen Holtz (Elisabeth I./ Elisabeth II.)
Christopher Nell (Lady/ Eve)
Sabin Tambrea (Woman/ Lady)<
Georgios Tsivanoglou (Cupid)
Stefan Rager (conductor and drums)
Hans-Jörn Brandenburg (piano)
Domenic Bouffard (guitar)
Andreas Henze (bass)
Yun Ui Lee (first violin)
Sangha Hwang (second violin)
Min Kim (viola)
Yeo Hun Yun (violoncello)
Direction, stage, lights
Serge von Arx
und Stefan Rager
Rainer B. Manja
Direction costumes and make-up
Barbara Naujok/Ulrike Heinemann
Intermission after scene 7 of act I
World premiere: 12. April 2009
Christa Schuenke, Gustav Kiepenheuer Bühnenvertriebs-GmbH, Berlin
Martin Flörchinger, Frieling-Verlag, Berlin.
We thank Monteverdi, John Dowland and Michel Legrand for some short music sequences.