ROMEO AND JULIA IN THE VILLAGE. Delius

MUSICAL DIRECTION Paul Daniel
STAGEChristian Schmidt
DRAMATURGYNorbert Abels
COSTUMESaskia Rettig
LIGHTOlaf Winter
CHOIRMatthias Köhler
CHILDREN`S CHORSOLIMatthias Ehmann
EXTRASOpera Frankfurt
WITH:Amanda Majeski
Jussi Myllys
Johannes Martin Kränzle
Magnús Baldvinsson
Dietrich Volle
Chiara Bäuml
Julia Heße
Yvonne Hettegger
Magdalena Tomczuk
Natascha Djikanovic
Hyun Oul Cho
Garegin Hovsepian
Ludwig Höfle
Pavel Smirnov
Matthias Holzmann
Gerhard Singer
Sung Ho Kim
Birgit Treschau
Photos: Barbara Aumüller

“(…) last night’s highly acclaimed premiere in Frankfurt showed that with ‘Romeo and Juliet in the Village’ Delius has created a study of the impossibility of love that is as disturbing as it is oppressive. (…) Anyone with a taste for this kind of inwardness, for melancholy and world-weariness, will feel perfectly at home with Frederick Delius and this production in particular.”

Night review “Romeo and Juliet in the Village”, author: Peter Jungblut, broadcast: BR Klassik, B 5 aktuell

“… Eva-Maria Höckmayr’s staging, as poetic as it is virtuosic, supports this in that it does not retell the events diachronically, but shows them synchronously, so to speak: with the past omnipresent and the future flashing up again and again. (…) In any case, the piece almost presents itself as a symphonic poem with scenic interludes; in any case, large sections of the opera are kept purely instrumental, which the young director has handled brilliantly.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Peter Hagmann, 27 June 2014

“Frankfurt’s opera house dares to do something: it presents a moving production of the opera ‘Romeo and Juliet in the Village’. Director Eva-Maria Höckmayr avoids the obligatory set pieces of fields, stables and barns, instead surreally shifting times and spaces, allowing inside and outside to merge. (…) Thus the production in Christian Schmidt’s stage design gains in kinetics and conundrum character, it tends towards a multiple dance of death. (…) The danger of archaic woodcut figures has been consistently avoided. The vision of paradise is not only evoked by obligatory nudity, rather tree, sea and sky are vertically inverted: that nothing is ‘right’ here is true. (…) The death of love leads to nirvana.”

FAZ, Gerhard R.Koch, 24.6.2014

“…what the young director Eva-Maria Höckmayr and stage magician Christian Schmidt (…) succeeded in doing was an almost tear-jerking, at least humanely deeply touching condensation of love’s happiness and love’s death in 100 minutes of fabulous theatre magic (…). The most delicate scene became the climax, Vreni and Sali’s night in the ‘Garden of Paradise’: simple, overwhelming, unforgettable. (…) Cheers for a resounding ‘be-thought mark’ on the theatre.”

Neue Musik Zeitung, Wolf-Dieter Peter, June 2014

“Eva-Maria Höckmayr mixes the real with the surreal in her production to match the music, making for an exciting season finale.

In her Frankfurt debut, director Eva-Maria Höckmayr has been inspired entirely by the flowing character of the music, a music (…) that is above all able to ‘speak out’ what the characters do not dare to say, what they think and feel and what they longingly dream of. (…) In this ambience Höckmayr tells Delius’ opera on the one hand as a story of hatred and greed of the hostile family fathers, on the other hand – and this above all – as a story of growing up, of tender feelings in childhood and sexual desires in adolescence, of the longing for wedding happiness, which admittedly is fulfilled only in dreams and in reality leads to self-imposed death by tablets.”

Frankfurter Neue Presse, Michael Dellith, 24.6.2014

“Eva-Maria Höckmayr’s production does not rely on linear narration, but on simultaneities that carry meaning and constructive confusion. (…) Romeo and Juliet do not stay in the village in this production. Their village is also our world.”

Frankfurter Rundschau, Hans-Jürgen Linke, 23.6.2014

“(…) the Frankfurt production under Eva-Maria Höckmayr elicits existential dimensions from the village drama. (…) Life is a dream, a sad dream of vain hopes. Which nevertheless brings forth moments of great beauty and inexpressible happiness. The Frankfurt production succeeds in pure theatre magic.”

Deutschlandfunk Kultur heute, 23.6.14, Christoph Schmitz

“In her Frankfurt debut, the Würzburg director found powerful images for the relentless psycho-trip into the inner precincts of lovers immortal since Shakespeare. (…) Filmmaker Ingmar Bergman spontaneously comes to mind in the face of these fantastic dream visions with Sali and Vreli. (…) Never left alone by Höckmayr, whose intense direction of characters becomes clear.”

Offenbach Post, Klaus Ackermann, 24.6.2014

“The village as a private theatre of war of inescapable narrowness (…) is to be seen in all its hardships, and the chorus, the people, also remains present as an uncanny village demony. Happiness, on the other hand, seems multiplied into the unreal, in the form of numerous bridal couples, in which Sali and Vreli can be recognized, as children and as old people, as naked and finally as dead. (…) It’s not even kitschy, but oppressively told in a floating tone – great musical theatre, after all.”

Wiesbadener Kurier and Allgemeine Zeitung Mainz, Axel Zibulski, 27.6.14

“Played together with the expansively suggestive music by Frederic Delius, which can be interpreted like a wild, flowing river of life, this view into the world of Sali and Vreli holds bitter truth. (…) A Frankfurt premiere that goes to the heart and leaves its mark.”

Klassik.com, Barbara Röder, June 2014

“Acclaimed premiere: at the Frankfurt Opera, Frederick Delius’ forgotten opera ‘Romeo and Juliet in the Village’ celebrated a late triumph.”

Darmstaedter Echo, Silvia Adler, 26.6.2014

“For Oper Frankfurt, director Eva-Maria Höckmayr has staged Delius’ opera and she has done it really well. Her production can be called the best of the season. For she has worked up the dramaturgically weak piece in a multi-faceted, richly pictorial and intelligent way. (…) For the audience this results in a varied experience, the almost 100-minute performance flies by.”

Culture freak, Markus Gründig, Juni 2014

“With her production, director Eva-Maria Höckmayr has won an astonishingly political reading for the ‘lyrical drama in six pictures’. (…) This makes one sit up and take notice, especially since this interpretation literally nestles into the music. (…) The question of whether Delius needs to be rediscovered remains an academic one. The way Oper Frankfurt has solved it is exciting and thrilling, but for all its tender empathy, fairy-tale magic and political connotations, it cannot hide the fact that only this production of ‘Romeo and Juliet in the Village’ has breathed life into the composition.”

Main Echo Aschaffenburg, Anneliese Euler, 28./29.6.2014