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.

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