The Eutin Festival is on the verge of a historical caesura: for the first time since 1951 it will not present any performances on the lake stage in summer.
What a pity: The Eutin Festival has to cancel all performances of the 2020 season due to the Corona crisis. Learn more
"This musical is the ultimate mixture of orgy of equipment and chamber play", Materna said at a press conference on February 20 in the Opera Barn.
The members of the artistic management team for the musical had met in the festival's operations building for another work meeting. Rehearsals will begin on 18 May, premiere on 26 June.
"A Cage of Fools", in the French original "La Cage aux Folles", brings the family entanglements of a homosexual couple from the travesty metier onto the stage. Their concepts for the production in Eutin were revealed to the press by Tobias Materna, his co-director and choreographer Vanni Viscusi, musical director Romely Pfund and set and costume designers Jörg Brombacher and Martina Feldmann.
Romely Pfund emphasized that composer Jerry Herman had written "incredibly cheerful and upbeat music in a compact big band sound". Romely Pfund: "Jumping, soaring eighth chains immediately put the audience in a good mood. One goes home after the performance humming and whistling." And of course he still has the great song "I am what I am" in his ears for a long time.
This song, in which a gay man demands respect and recognition, is timelessly topical and, as co-director Vanni Viscusi said, "calls for tolerance and understanding towards all people who supposedly do not conform to the norm". Viscusi continues: "This piece is an absolute musical classic for me. First performed in 1983, it was far ahead of its time and broke with classic gender and family images. Tobias Materna emphasized this: "In this piece, the views of the common images of society are interchanged. The somewhat crazy ones are those who lead a very normal life with everyday problems in an admittedly unusual world. And those who question this world with their conservative attitudes are ultimately the stuffy retards."
But how should this "upside-down world" be transported to the open air stage? Materna: "The lake stage allows play scenes to be staged in such a way that they retain the necessary intimacy. But it also offers enough space to put on a dazzling show. Stage designer Jörg Brombacher has come up with the following solution to meet these demands: "The basic idea is a large show staircase by means of which all performances in the nightclub can be led directly to the ramp to the audience. At the same time, however, the space for private life has to be created quickly during the change of scene, which makes a revolving element in the stage set possible. Technically, this will probably be a first for the lake stage."
For costume designer Martina Feldmann it is, in her own words, "an exciting task to make it appear in the costume that the figure of the travesty star Zaza, in all its eccentricity, is also highly vulnerable. Of course, it is not easy for the festival's small costume department to produce so many show costumes, which at the same time must allow full freedom of movement for the choreographic demands. But Martina Feldmann takes it sporty: "It's fun to be able to revel in the costumes like this.
Keyword choreography: Vanni Viscusi has exact ideas. Literally: "The choreographies should be modern and elegant at the same time. La Cage aux Folles is a travesty show. I want to create an illusion: "The audience should forget they're seeing men in women's costumes. Because that is also an important message of the show: it doesn't matter who or what you are. And finally, of course, a touch of irony."
Festival director Falk Herzog is certain that the globally successful musical will also find an audience in Eutin. "We know that the decision for such a socially topical play can be a daring one here. But the good advance sales show that we are trusted to put this theme on stage in an attractive form.
Colourful entertainment, great emotions - this is the enormous emotional range promised by director Tobias Materna for the production of the musical "A Cage Full of Fools" at the Eutin Festival.
The Korean baritone Hyunkyum Kim won the Eutin Festival prize of honour. Hilary Griffiths, Artistic Director Classical Music at the Festival, congratulated the 28-year-old singer on this success in the finale of the Maritim Music Prize.