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THe REsT Is nOIse - EtAPPe 1 ESsEn

A joint series of readings by the Ruhrtriennale and Schauspiel Dortmund, Schauspiel Essen, Schauspielhaus Bochum, Schlosstheater Moers, Theater an der Ruhr, Theater Oberhausen and Bochumer Symphoniker.

1st stage:
The Golden Age - Strauss, Mahler and the Fin de Siècle
Dance of the Earth - The Rite, the Folk, le Jazz

In May 1906 Gustav Mahler presents the world premiere of his 6th Symphony at the Saalbau in Essen. Seven years later in Paris the scandalous premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s ‘Le Sacre du Printemps’ ends in a riot. In his book ‘The Rest is Noise’, New Yorker critic Alex Ross presents the history of the 20th century from the perspective of music. Here political upheavals go hand in hand with the aesthetic advances of the avantgarde. The opening night in this series of readings concentrates on the period of rapid change between the fin de siècle and the avantgarde movements at the beginning of the 20th century. It focuses on composers including Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Claude Debussy and Igor Stravinsky. 

The global bestseller ‘The Rest is Noise’ by American music critic Alex Ross takes us on a vast, pulsating journey through the last century.  A voyage into the labyrinth of new music and its links to the social and political upheavals of the 20th century. Its title echoes Hamlet’s final words (“The rest is silence”) and in the broadest sense the prejudice that new music is simply noise. However, by “listening to the twentieth century” - the book’s subtitle - we also re-experience history: the major figures, the fateful shifts, the utopian dreams from 1900 to the present day. Alex Ross takes us to Vienna before the outbreak of the Great War, to the Paris of the Twenties, to Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia. We discover New York City in the Sixties and Seventies and futuristic globalization before the turn of the century. The result is the history of a century told through its music.

The Ruhrtriennale will visit over six months outside the festival period six theatres of the region: Schauspiel Dortmund, Schauspiel Essen, Schauspielhaus Bochum, Schlosstheater Moers, Theater an der Ruhr and Theater Oberhausen. The first collaboration of the six theatres of the Ruhr since the European Capital of Culture RUHR.2010 is also their first collaboration in this form with the Ruhrtriennale, supported by the Bochumer Symphoniker. Johan Simons will, together with his team of dramaturgs, develop six new instalments of his successful series of readings ‘The Rest is Noise’, which was first presented at the Münchner Kammerspiele. Here in the Ruhr region, ‘The Rest is Noise’ will take place once a month from November 2015 to April 2016 on a Thursday in one of the participating theatres.  Actors from the resident company will read, with musical accompaniment by members of the Bochumer Symphoniker and the musician Carl Oesterhelt. The director will be the Ruhrtriennale’s Artistic Director Johan Simons.

A literary and musical journey in stages. Through the Ruhr region, through the world and through the music of the 20th century.

Alex Ross © David Michalek


Piano - Sachiko Hara
With - Ensemble des Schauspiel Essen
Bariton - Wiard Witholt
Bochumer Symphoniker
Actor - Thomas Büchel, Stefan Diekmann, Ingrid Domann, Axel Holst, Thomas Meczele, Philipp Noack, Philipp Pröhl, Janina Sachau, Stephanie Schönfeld, Sven Seeburg, Rezo Tschchikwischwili, Jens Winterstein

The readings by the Münchner Kammerspiele were based on text versions by Matthias Günther, Julia Lochte, Tobias Staab, Koen Tachelet and Jeroen Versteele.