Friday, 26 October 2018

Theater Basel | Lucia di Lammermoor

At the Theater basel Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti is produced by Olivier Py, who stages this love story in his very own way.
It is the tragic story of Lucia, who has killed her husband on her wedding night after being forced into this wedding, even though she loves another man, Edgardo. He is her brothers deadly enemy, which is why Lucias brother does everything in his power to manipulate their love story and finally succeeds. But what seems to be a success for him turns out to be a tragedy for everybody involved.
The music is beautiful and very touching and the singers are incredible, the aria in the mad scene is overwhelming.
We really like the stage setting and the little details, like how Lucias room narrows when her brother is around, and how it opens up, when her lover Edgardo arrives, it seems just as everything is possible when they are together.
Also there are a lot of shadowplays, which create a very special and sometimes intimidating atmosphere.
Towards the end when it gets more dramatic, the stage setting gets darker and more impressive too and even though we have seen this opera beofre, this is our favourite production of Lucia di Lammermoor.

musical direction: Giuseppe La Malfa
production: Olivier Py
stage and costume: Pierre-André Weitz
light: Bertrand Killy
choir: Michael Clark
dramatic composition: Juliane Luster

Rosa Feola / Svetlana Moskalenko as LUCIA ASHTON
Hyunjai Marco Lee as LORD ARTURO BUCKLAW
Tassos Apostolou as RAIMONDO BIDEBENT
Ena Pongrac as ALISA
Karl-Hezin Brandt as NORMANNO

dancers: Jonas Furrer, Giuliano Guerrini, Lukas Hofmann, Mirjam Karvat, Ivan Yaher
choir: choir of the Theater Basel
symphony Orchestra Basel

© picture: Sandra Then

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

VIVID - grand show

VIVID a celebration of life, is the new show at Friedrichstadt-Palast in Berlin.
At the beginning of the show, the little girl R'eye gets separated from her dad and transformed to a android, from now on being non-autonomous but still longing for freedom and trying to break out.
When she finally does, she discovers life completely new and sees beauty in things that we tend to overlook in our day to day lives.
She stands for all of us and that from time to time in life we have to ask ourselves whether we are truly happy with who we are and what we are doing, and if not, make some changes.
Her way towards finding her (new) identity (ID) leads her - amongst many other places - to a guru who shows her beautiful spectacles of colour, through the jungle with all its plants and animals, to a crazy funhouse where there are no rules and to the dangerous danger boys where she looks into the depths of her own soul and risks being hurt. In the end she finally finds back to her father, back to the roots, but transformed and ready to start life as her new and evolved self - with her new identity.
For the first time in the history of the Friedrichstadt-Palast a woman (Krista Monson, Las Vegas) is author and director. Philip Treacy, the famous hatmaker is the design director and created all the headdresses. Costume designer is Stefano Canulli. These three (with the whole team) have put together an absolutely magical show, and we where overwhelmed by the amount of impressions VIVID gave us. There are beautiful colours, wonderful music and singers and fantastic artists who captivated us from the first to the last second.
VIVID truly is a declaration of love to life in all its colours.
VIVID premiered on October 11th 2018 and is planned to play for at least 12 months.

© picture: Jan Wünsche

Monday, 24 September 2018

Circus Ohlala 2018 | Out of Control

The 8th Circus Ohlala Out of control is all about having control or letting someone else take control over you. When entering, every visitor had to choose between a blue and a red little bag, the red contained a red rubber bracelet which stands for letting someone else take control and the blue contained a blindfold which stands for being in control.
This year the show was more erotic than in the previous years, Gregory Knie dared to have the artists show more skin than ever and still it was not vulgar but very sensual and sophisticated.
The choice of music was perfect and the singer was absolutely brilliant, it was one of our favourite singers at Ohlala so far.
Jimmy Gonzalez' juggling act with clay was something we have never seen before, and it was impressive how he turned his clump of clay in several smaller ones while juggling.
The aerial artists Hampus Jansson and Milena Straczynski (picture above) showed us a very intimate and sensual act, it was beautiful to watch and we could see their love (they are a couple) in every movement.
Out of control is a fantastic show and it ended with a little teaser for next year.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Theater Basel | Don't tell the kids

Don't tell the kids is an evening of dance by Richard Wherlock with music by the Velvet Underground.
The choreography is about the family as a very special and delicate system, of which almost countless examples exist.
In this choreography, we can look inside the home of a family and watch them interact with each other and see how they transform, how the relationships between them and another family that visits from time to time change and how the positions of power switch.
It is a choreography about relationships, love, passion and compassion, power and powerlessness.
The dancers are fantastic and the music fits the scene perfectly.

choreography and stage design: Richard Wherlock
costume: Carlijn Petermeijer
light: Roland Heid
music arrangements: Max Zachrisson
dramatic composition: Bettina Fischer

Lisa Horten-Skilbrei
Debora Maiques Marin
Max Ossenberg-Engels
Piran Scott
Andrea Tortosa Vidal
Max Zachrisson

© picture: Lucian Hunziker

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Theater Basel | Tartuffe oder das Schwein der Weisen

In his second play by Molière for the Theater Basel (after der Menschen Feind), Peter Licht rewrites Molière's controversial play Tartuffe, which was promptly banned by Louis XIV after the world premiere in 1664, as the imposter Tartuffe was too obviously an attack on the catholic church.
Molière had to rewrite the play twice.
Staged by Claudia Bauer, Peter Licht creates a new version of the comedy, completely rewrites the whole play, the only thing remaining are the table (under which Orgon will hide later on to expose Tartuffes deception) and Tartuffe, who still is an imposter, and turns out to be "just some kind of regular sex-shaman".
Orgon falls for "Tuffie's" words and submits himself to his influence, to the horror of his relatives, who get intangled from the first minute in conversations about having the urge of leaving the room before having entered it and about wether "Tuffie" is randy, un-randy, or maybe only half-randy.
We really like Peter Lichts style, the way he has the conversations circle around one word for minutes, or how his texts find their way from gender-issues to nasal hair extensions within no-time.
And through all these piled up words sometimes deep messages come through and some of the sentences are like ear worms and get stuck in our heads for weeks, just as his songs that he writes especially for the plays.

PeterLicht: «It’s quite clear that in this world there aren’t only two people telling each other things. There are more than two. That much is certain. Although many things from the set of building blocks from which the world is structured are based on binary arrangements, on the dualistic principle of argument and counter argument, truth and untruth, death and life, one and zero, dick and non-dick, one must not lose sight of the fact that there are more than two players, for example 3 or 4 or 7 or more.  Or a lot MORE. An infinite number. Everyone. One. And then it’s obvious that when a play is presented in the theatre that deals with ALL PLAYERS, there is only ONE play. And that is the play of the ONE PLAYER (or the ONE BRAIN or ONE LIFE) through which the play runs, in other words through you, dear audience. The performance runs through you like a liquid drop of lead through a lump of butter, although in this case it’s not clear who is the lead and who is the butter, and perhaps we shouldn’t talk about liquid lead here but rather a glowing drop of molten gold that sinks through a pat of butter like a consciousness through which awareness sinks like a stone in a state of weightlessness.»

production: Claudia Bauer
stage: Andreas Auerbach
costume: Vanessa Rust
light: Cornelius Hunziker
music: PeterLicht
arrangement and musical direction: Henning Nierstenhöfer
dramatic composition: Constanze Kargl

Katja Jung as MR / MRS PERNELLE
Florian von Manteuffel as ORGON
Myriam Schröder as ELMIRE
Mario Fuchs as DAMIS
Leonie Merlin Young as MARIANE
Max Rothbart as CLÉANTE
Pia Händler as DORINE
Nicola Mastroberardino as TARTUFFE

Henning Nierstenhöfer as filipote / live music
Julian Gresenz as live camera

© picture: Priska Ketterer

Theater Basel | King Arthur

King Arthur is the first premiere from the season 2018 / 2019, showed with an adapted text by Ewald Palmetshofer after John Dryden.
The Britons and the Saxons are arming themselves for the final battle and young king Arthur and his army will face king Oswalds men in a combat to decide who rules the island.
Oswalds men have spirits and a magician to fight with them while king Arthur has the great magician Merlin. When Arthur leaves for the battle, his lover the blind Emmeline follows him and gets kidnapped by Oswald, who was previously rejected by her.
While Arthur tries to save her the final battle still lays ahead of them and tired of war and all the fighting, both are not really sure about wether they really want to fight it or not.
In this play, all sectors (acting, opera and dancing) work together and it is impressive and carried us away from the first moment, so that the rather long night seemed to pass very quickly.
Ewald Palmetshofer's version is updated in a way that fits the times back then as well as the times today, it is about conflicts and oppression and protest.
It is about love and war, illusion and reality, and the blurred boundaries between this world and an other, magical world.
The different curtains on stage - mainly red - create a special atmosphere and add a baroque touch and change the setup of the stage quickly between the different scenes.
King Arthur was the perfect start into the new season, it was entertaining and thought provoking at the same time, the actors, the dancers, the singers and the orchestra where absolutely outstanding.

musical direction: Christopher Moulds
direction: Stephan Kimmig
dance: Stephan Kimmig and Javier Rodriguez Cobos, Mirko Campigotto, Frank Fannar Pedersen, Raquel Rey Ramos
stage: Katja Hass
costume: Anja Rabes
light: Roland Edrich
choir direction: Michael Clark
dramatic composition: Bettina Fischer, Juliane Luster, Ewald Palmetshofer

Elias Eilinghoff as KING ARTHUR
Steffen Höld as MERLIN
Martin Hug as CONON
Nils Rovira-Muñoz as ALBANACT
Frank Fannar Pedersen as AURELIUS
Javier Rodriguez Cobos as GAWAIN
Mirko Campigotto as A WOUNDED MAN
Lisa Stiegler as EMMELINE
Raquel Rey Ramos as MATILDA
Michael Wächter as OSWALD
Max Mayer as GUILLAMAR
Carina Braunschmidt as PHILIDEL
Vincent Glander as GRIMBALD
Kristina Stanek as PRIEST, SPIRIT
Emanuel Heitz / Hyunjai Marco Lee as PRIEST, SPIRIT, WOUNDED MAN
Riccardo Fassi / Domen Krizaj as PRIEST, SPIRIT, ARTHUR DOUBLE, COLD MAN

choir of the Theater Basel
La Cetra baroque orchestra Basel
extras from the Theater Basel

© picture: Sandra Then

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Theaterfestival Basel 2018 | Rasp your soul - Kat Válastur

In Kat Válastur's rasp your soul, the dancer Enrico Ticconi merges with his digital environment, his movements, his words, his actions, everything he does is multiplied, extended or enhanced digitally, in a way that creates an almost stroboscopic sequence of actions and sounds that is very fascinating.
The dancer almost seems to be not human when he moves around the stage in a sometimes even exaggerated way, his words transform into mantras and get louder or slowly fade away, and the whole choreography stays unpredictable from the first to the last second.
Rasp your soul introduces the series "the staggered dances of beauty".