Strange Thing A melodrama for Lorenzo Da Ponte

Ludwig van Beethoven, Christoph Willibald Gluck, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert und andere
Katrin Lea Tag
Carsten Sander
Malte Ubenauf
THOMAS HAMPSON, Stefan Merki, Katja Kolm, Stefan Wirth, Sebastian Hess
Opening night:
8. September
8:00 pm
10., 11. September
8:00 pm
10. September
The introduction begins 45 minutes prior to the start of the event.
Category A
40 €
Category B
30 €
Category C
20 €

The poet Lorenzo Da Ponte became immortalized through his collaboration with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Much less well known is that he also wrote about forty other libretti for composers such as Salieri, Weigl, Soler and Gluck, in addition to Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanniand Cosí fan tutte.

Da Ponte had to leave Vienna after the première of Cosí, travelling first to London where he made ends meet by teaching Italian and writing libretti for an Italian opera company. Finally, in 1805, he emigrated to New York, where he lived up to his death in 1838. For him, a cultured man of the world who had known the great personalities of his times, the New World meant constant changes of profession and thus also of role. In New York he worked as a distiller, tobacconist, lecturer on Italian literature, librarian and bookseller. An impresario in the modern mould, he built the first opera house in New York in 1833 when he was already 84 years old; it burned down, however, on the first opening night.

Austrian storyteller and playwright Gert Jonke's melodrama for Lorenzo Da Ponte presents a fictitious autobiographical review of his life. Da Ponte examines his friendship with Casanova, his collaboration with Mozart and tells of his marriage to Nancy Grahl. His second wife had prophesied shortly before her death that in his second life he would return as a singer. Da Ponte discusses not only composers such as Rossini, Weber, Beethoven and Schubert but – anticipating future developments – also Verdi and Stravinsky. In the course of these digressions into his own and others' biographies, the works of great composers overwhelm him time and time again. Whether his words take the form of narrative or song, music was the central and unfulfilled passion in this poet's life.

A work commissioned by the RuhrTriennale in cooperation with the Theater an der Wien/Mozartjahr 2006

With kind support from RAG-Aktiengesellschaft, the RuhrTriennale's main sponsor