Theatre has Tradition in MannheimSignet

THE NEW SEASON AT THE NATIONALTHEATER MANNHEIM

Creative, full of passion, emotional and with a few surprises, the Nationaltheater Mannheim is launching the 2020/21 season.

Nationaltheater Mannheim is one of the oldest municipal theatres in the world.
Nationaltheater Mannheim is one of the oldest municipal theatres in the world. © Stadtmarketing Mannheim GmbH, Achim Mende

Present and future united under a tradition-rich roof. The Nationaltheater Mannheim (NTM) is one of the largest, oldest and most respected municipal theatres in Germany. Schiller and Mozart worked here, and even in the year of Corona, the four-part house will be offering a contemporary continuation of the tradition: opera, drama, dance and youth theatre will be launching the new season with innovative ideas and concepts.

Numerous projects have been created during the lockdown. Within this process, the five directors and the ensembles have, among other things, worked through their experiences of coming to a standstill. The programme offers some surprising creative solutions and formats.

„Vespertine“ is an opera based on the album of the same name by Icelandic singer Björk.
„Vespertine“ is an opera based on the album of the same name by Icelandic singer Björk. © Hans Jörg Michel

The opera takes as its start point the motto “We for you!” The programme includes six different opera productions with highlights such as the successful opera “Vespertine” by pop artist Björk in October. Elsewhere, repertoire classics have been rethought and will be presented under the new concept “White Wall Opera”.

The name says it all, because a “white wall” becomes the backdrop for large-format projections by renowned artists. In periods of 90 minutes each and with new arrangements in place that allow live music-making while observing distancing rules, audiences can enjoy classics such as “The Barber of Seville” or “The Magic Flute” with Anna Thalbach, under the musical direction of Alan Pierson and with projections by Katrin Bethge.

NTM's drama theatre presents several premieres this season.
NTM's drama theatre presents several premieres this season. © Hans Jörg Michel

In drama, the monologue format is celebrating a comeback. In addition to Dea Loher’s “Land ohne Worte”, the programme features Simon Stephen’s “Steilwand” and “Das Prinzip Nosferatu” by house writer Sivan Ben Yishai.

Relationships are a thematic focus running through the new season. As the National Theatre explained, “the last few months have forced us to rethink and question our relationships” – and have inspired new perspectives on relationships. Whether in Thomas Mann’s “ Bekenntnisse des Hochstaplers Felix Krull” directed by Anna-Elisabeth Frick, or Kleist’s “Das Käthchen von Heilbronn” directed by house director Christian Weise.

NTM's dance ensemble face the challenge of dancing together while practising social distancing.
NTM's dance ensemble face the challenge of dancing together while practising social distancing. © Hans Jörg Michel

The new house writer is Necati Öziri. He will celebrate his debut at the NTM in February 2021 with the world premiere of “God, Vater, Einzeltäter”. In this commissioned work, Öziri explores the male images in the work of Heinrich von Kleist.

Working artistically at a distance is a very particular challenge for dancers. Dance director Stephan Thoss has taken on this challenge himself by creating two very different evenings for the 19-member ensemble. In “My Island” he creates a panorama of individual places of longing, while the orchestral dance evening “Crescendo” develops entirely from the spirit of music.

The youth NTM kicks off with insights into the mysterious world of insects and a topic that is as diverse as it is familiar: family. Whether enjoying the world premieres of “Insects” or “Performing Family”, visitors aged 8 and over can look forward to seeing each other again very soon.

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