Wednesday, June 24, 2015


(Sensation! 168,000 visitors to the lake stage at Moerbisch for "Anatevka", the Moerbisch version of "Fiddler on the roof". Most patrons had already seen the Broadway version. Lots of new patrons, including young people)

Die Intendantin der Seefestspiele Mörbisch im Burgenland (Österreich, Europa) Dagmar Schellenberger und ihr Team freuen sich über die gelungene Seebühnen-Saison 2014. 168.000 Besucherinnen und Besucher wurden in der Saison 2014 gezählt. Für Dagmar Schellenberger war es 2014 die zweite Saison als Intendantin und sie spielte in der Seefestspiel-Produktion "Anatevka" die Rolle der Golde.

Von den 168.000 Besuchern haben sich insgesamt 127.000 Besucher die Broadway-Produktion "Anatevka" angesehen. Der Musical-Klassiker "Anatevka" wurde in 23 Vorstellungen (21 reguläre Vorstellungstermine, 1 Generalprobe und 1 Sondervorstellung) von denen zwei regenbedingt abgesagt wurden, aufgeführt. Dies entspricht einer Auslastung von 91 Prozent. Zum Vorjahr konnte ein Besucherzuwachs von etwa 7.000 erreicht werden.

Dagmar Schellenberger: "Es ist uns dieses Jahr gelungen, unser Stammpublikum zu erfreuen und gleichzeitig viele Gäste anzulocken, die sonst nicht unbedingt nach Mörbisch kamen, vor allem viele junge Leute!" "Das bestärkt mich auf dem Weg", so die Seefestspiel-Intendantin weiter "traditionell inszenierte Operette in Mörbisch unregelmäßig auch mit klassischem Musical abzuwechseln."


Dagmar as "Golda"

The stage

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Behind the scenes at Moerbisch 2014

The video below has just been released.  It gives us a look at preparations for the 2014 performance of "Anatevka" and events surrounding it.  I was pleased to see that a lot of the original "Fiddler on the Roof" music was retained.

But what I liked best was that we are given a few good shots of a cheery Schellenberger.  And she is looking remarkably good for a lady in her late 50s.  That North German climate she grew up in is very kind to complexions.

The poor thing looked quite tense in the 2013 interview -- understandably as it was her first year of running the show there. She obviously felt under great pressure to get everything right. She did make some substantial changes, I gather. Anyway 2013 did apparently go well so in the 2014 interview she is back to what I believe is her normal cheerful self. Good to see.

No subtitles, unfortunately.

Saturday, June 6, 2015


You might have seen Dagmar Schellenberger already, if you have been to our festival. In this interview you get to know her a little bit better.

My favorite operetta... always the one that is currently occupying my mind, but I especially like the really opulent, classical pieces.

I like to relax...

...working in my garden. It has always been of great importance to me to have that possibility. Since I have moved to Burgenland, I even know about the cultivation of grapevines – I have some behind my house.

My family...

...supports me in everything I do. My daughter, son-in-law and my two (three by the end of this year!) grandchildren live in Berlin. For quick, spontaneous visits, that’s a long way. But fortunately nowadays there’s the internet and we can do videochats! In summer, they all come to Burgenland and visit the festival of course.

An on-stage-experince I will never forget...

...was when I actually broke my ankle during a show in 2000. I still finished singing „Les Contes d’Hoffmann“ and was rushed tot he Hospital afterwards. I needed surgery to put everything back in order.

My favourite dish...

... is nearly everything apart from herring. I particularly like a good steak every now and then.

What I like about Austria...

... ist the laid-back and humorous way people have about themselves. That made it really easy for me to feel at home here.

The fascinating thing about Lake Neusiedl is...

... how many colors it shows! According to time and light it might sparkle vividly yellow one moment and then turn into powerful red or majestic purple. This gem instantly put a spell on me and I am very glad to be able to live here now.

Friday, June 5, 2015

A review of Schellenberger's Bettelstudent

The review is anonymous -- from 2013. I am glad I now know who to blame for the wacky costumes. Something in period would surely have been better. What WAS the point of making the leading ladies look like beetles? -- JR

Dagmar Schellenberger must have felt tremendous relief following the premiere of Der Bettelstudent at this year’s Mörbisch Lake Festival. In her first year as the festival’s Intendantin, she was facing more than the usual pressures. Her predecessor was the enormously popular operetta star Harald Serafin, who had been in charge at Mörbisch for two decades, and who had been forced into retirement against his will (presumably because of mandatory age limits). He and his devoted fans were just waiting for Schellenberger to make a misstep.

On top of that, the soprano is a German now at the helm of one of Austria’s most popular summer festivals, and the old rivalries between the two countries still crop up from time to time. In any case, those hoping to see her fall flat on her face must have been sorely disappointed, as this year’s event proved to be a resounding success.

There was marvelous singing from the two tenors Gert Henning Jensen and Mirko Roschkowski as the Polish patriot, Count Opalinski, who had disguised himself as the student Jan Janicki, and his friend, Symon, the beggar student of the title.

With his imposing height and clear, radiant timbre, Jensen was ideal as the youthful adventurer who easily won the heart of Daniela Kalin’s charming Bronislava.

Roschkowski’s warmer, mellower instrument offered the necessary contrast to Jensen’s voice and was well-suited to the daydreamer who finds himself inadvertently caught up in a tangle of events.

Henryk Böhm made the ranting and raving Colonel Ollendorf the comedic center of the show, backed by an attractively singing quintet of his officers and Olaf Plassa as the jailer, Enterich.

Cornelia Zink sang Laura with a glowing, innocent soprano.

On the podium of the festival orchestra, conductor Uwe Theimer supplied plenty of lilting mazurka rhythms in the crowd scenes, but also took the time to highlight the score’s lyrical beauty.

This attention to detail was made possible by the new orchestra hall located behind the seating area, from which their music was fed to the stage area in an arrangement similar to that used at Austria’s other major lake festival at Bregenz.

Director Ralf Nürnberger’s wacky staging was matched by Susanne Thomasberger’s over-the-top costumes with towering wigs and enormous, ballooning hoopskirts.

In contrast, Yadegar Asisi’s unpretentious sets featured a simple city wall that blocked the lake view, and gigantic cabinet-like elements that stage workers opened up to reveal the buildings of Krakow.

Frau Schellenberger’s plans for the 2014 Lake Festival include performances of Anatevka (i.e., Fiddler on the Roof), as well as Mörbisch’s first-ever children’s music theater work composed specifically for the festival, to be performed in the new 300-seat purpose-built facility.