Sunday, July 12, 2015

Opulent and colorful "Night in Venice" in Mörbisch

A review of the latest production

A cruise ship on Lake Neusiedl is not seen every day. And such a sumptuous and colorful operetta as Thursday night at the premiere of Johann Strauss's "A Night in Venice" is also not often seen. Both singers, dancers and the ensemble "behind" set designer Walter Vogelweider -- Karl Absenger, Susanne Thomasberger -- were very impressive.

Anyone who might still be skeptical at director Dagmar Schellenbergers debut in this responsible position in 2013, must after this year's production throw all concerns literally overboard. Because the Mörbisch Lake Festival has ascended to the heights. One part of the impressive stage was rotated by hardworking staff on foot and then we saw the mighty ship with photography-mad tourists on deck, sometimes one even saw below deck.

Vocally shining in the costume drama and comedy of errors were, inter alia, Herbert Lippert as captain and his first officer, Caramallo, Mirko Roschkowski. The director herself was also on  stage  playing the lively Barbara with her interest in her muscle-bound nephew Enrico (Otto Jaus) because of her aged husband. Schellenberger shines especially with the "Schwipslied"  (Tipsy song) and rightly reaps  much applause.

This year's production stands out but not only vocally. Costume and dancers enter into a wonderfully harmonious symbiosis. The clothes: Thomas Berger was apparently among others inspired by Steampunk, which, although at first glance seems unusual for an operetta from the 18th century, but skilfully brought the Strauss classic into the present day. That one is in the 21st century, one notices at the latest when the first phone is seen or when someone is  complaining about missing SMS.

Things did not go entirely to plan on the opening night. Now and then there were some technical problems, particularly with the sound going up and down. Nevertheless, it is was well done, with impressive images and beautifully sung and played tunes (musical director: Andreas Schüller).  To start,  there were some beautiful fireworks synchronized with a musical water ballet - that's Schellenberger's signature and not to be missed. Mörbisch is - with or without a giant ship - Schellenberger's homeport.


Hofmeister, Serafin, Schellenberger at the Premiere

Verena Scheitz (as Agricola) with Prokopetz (as Senator Barbaruccio)

Herbert Lippert as Captain, with Elena Puszta (Annina)

Dagmar as Barbara Delacqua

The whole show is already online, though it did not run smoothly for me.

Tipsy song

I suddenly feel so strange,
Something is prickling and tickles my blood,
Something carries me far away in heaven’s delight,
And I must laugh, laugh for joy,
Also, because I feel like doing something stupid,
Maybe I am a little tipsy,
No, no, it can’t be so.

Before I drank from one glass,
Now I am drinking from two, how did that happen?
And then I wonder, if I only knew,
Did I kiss someone already today?

No, no, no, no, ha, ha, ha, ha…

I suddenly feel so strange, etc.

Hopsasa, tralala, oh, I know what I know!
Everything looks crooked, everything is turning in circles,
Everything that was standing still, I can tell,
I can’t trust it any more, it is dancing away;
And when I walk I feel like I am floating,
Until I finally get to the place I am trying to reach.

Yes, yes, yes, yes, ha, ha, ha, ha…

I suddenly feel so strange, etc.

Friday, July 10, 2015

"Very surprised and overwhelmed"

On Thursday evening, at the premiere of this year's operetta production at Mörbisch,  Harald Serafin, from 1992 to 2012 director of the festival, was awarded an honorary membership of the Festival by his successor Dagmar Schellenberger. Serafin expressed that he was "very surprised and overwhelmed".

The former Mörbisch director made an attempt to grab a microphone and  make a long speech -- to lots of laughs from the audience - as in his heyday as festival director. Schellenberger in turn hoped with a wink that he accepted the award anyhow.


Saturday, July 4, 2015

News from Moerbisch -- 3 July

A ship will come: On July 9,  on Lake Neusiedl a huge cruise ship will be at anchor. It is 30 meters in diameter, weighs at least a ton and is the centerpiece of the stage for the new production of Johann Strauss' operetta "A Night in Venice" at the Mörbisch Lake Festival 2015.

After a recent drop in attendance, the Open -Air Festival is  now improving. 7,000 visitors  more than 2013 were counted last season and the upcoming spectacular new production of the turbulent carnival comedy is expected to continue this trend.

Director Dagmar Schellenberger has engaged audience favorites like Joesi Prokopetz and Verena Scheitz as the main character.  Tenors Herbert Lippert and Heinz Zednik will also set a good tone.  The show has flirting, intrigue and hectic action

Original German here

More good news: "Due to the recently covered forecourt of 5,000m2 on two levels for the upcoming season we can guarantee that also during unfavourable weather situations our visitors won´t be exposed to the forces of nature anymore."