Rubens and the non-euclidean women A play by Péter Esterházy with music. German translation by György Buda

First performance
Director, stage:
Musical director:
Bendix Dethleffsen
Kathi Maurer
Georg Veit
Stefan Kessner, Max Stolzenberg
Jan Dvorak
Christoph Bantzer, Angelica Böttcher, Matthias Brenner, Philip Langridge, Torsten Ranft, Hans-Michael Rehberg, Musica Antiqua Köln
Opening night:
2. September
7:30 pm
3., 5., 7., 8., 11., 12. September
7:30 pm
2., 5., 11. September
The introduction begins 45 minutes prior to the start of the event.
Category A
40 €
Category B
30 €
Category C
20 €

He is regarded as one of the world's greatest painters, admired by Rembrandt, Van Dyck and all the other geniuses who followed him. Born in Siegen in Westphalia in 1577, Peter Paul Rubens industrialized art and built up one of the largest painters' workshops in Europe. As though that were not enough, right up to his death he was also one of the most influential diplomats - and that on behalf of various courts. In his play, the Hungarian writer Péter Esterházy confronts this sophisticated and at times gout ridden star of the artistic and political scene with historical personalities from other eras and attempts to discover Rubens's secret. To complement this, the conductor Reinhard Goebel and the ensemble Musica Antiqua Köln will be performing music which Rubens heard on his visits to Europe's royal courts. The journey through his jam-packed life is presented by the young video artist and director Philipp Stölzl.

»What is greater, death or gout? Can the world's greatest painter be a mediocre dead man? How can anyone be born in Siegen? Is the world paintable? What did Schiele have to say about Rubens? What do we understand by an arse aria? Is it true that every single arse in Rubens's pictures (including the horses' arses) was painted by the master himself, that he simply chased his assistants away, even sweet Van Dyck, breathed in deeply and then ...? Who will be (became) the champions at World Cup? What did Rubens actually learn from the mathematician Gödel? Is it true that the author (whoever he may be) has been dreaming of blissfully robust women with queenly hips, rosy thighs and mighty arses for weeks and what follows from this with regard to the dreams of the audience? And will the performance give us any answers to these questions? Or to other questions? Are there in fact any questions we can get answers to? Or will things turn out as usual – so that we get questions instead of answers?« Péter Esterházy

A work commissioned by the RuhrTriennale.
With kind support from RAG Aktiengesellschaft –
the RuhrTriennale's main sponsor.