Music & Poetry

The programme series Music & Poetry introduces you to the heterogeneity of Bregenz Festival: Multifarious combinations of chamber music and literature open up surprising perspectives.

  • KLEIST - The Earthquake in Chile

    Lisbon, 1 November 1755. A disastrous earthquake and the massive tsunami following it almost destroyed the Portuguese capital. The catastrophe also shattered the rational worldview of European intellectuals. Decades later, philosophers still argue whether there can be an almighty and omnibenevolent god in view of this tragedy and the immeasurable pain of the people. Heinrich von Kleist also got involved in the discussion. In his novella The Earthquake in Chile, he paints a grim picture of humanity. Is everything just coincidence? Actor Ulrich Matthes, who some may remember from his last performance as Don Quijote, now returns to Bregenz for the stone cold and emotionally distant text The Broken Jug.

    Music & Poetry 1
    23 July 2023 – 7.30 pm
    Festspielhaus | Seestudio

    Recital Ulrich Matthes
    Works by Franz Schubert

    approx. 90 minutes (no intermission)

  • HONOUR - The Offended Self

    »Sing, goddess, the anger of Achilles«. This is the first line of Homer’s Iliad, one of the world’s oldest literary texts. Why, though, is Achilles, the nearly invulnerable hero, angry? Because Achilles feels dishonoured by King Agamemnon. Giuseppe Verdi’s Ernani also deals with honour, bruised egos and narcissistic injuries. Even Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly returns to the archaic world of the Japanese Samurai at the end of the opera. Her attempt of becoming American fails. »Death with honour is better than life with dishonour«. Although times and cultures have changed, the concept of honour seems to have stayed the same. Michael Köhlmeier, a Vorarlberg-local, investigates this anthropological constant during this evening about honour.

    Music & Poetry 2
    30 July 2023 – 7.30 pm
    Festspielhaus | Seestudio

    Narrator Michael Köhlmeier
    Piano Sergey Tanin

    Works by Franz Liszt and others

    approx. 90 minutes (no intermission)

  • Brecht - »And a ship with eight sails«

    Bertolt Brecht was an all-rounder: a poet, an avowed Communist, founder of the Epic theatre – and a songwriter. Together with the composers Paul Dessau, Hanns Eisler and Kurt Weill, he produced classics, among them catchy-tunes such as the Alabama Song or Pirate Jenny from the play The Threepenny Opera. Less of the ideals of the bourgeoisie and more of the language of music; a language that is artistic but also reaches the masses. The evening with the French soprano Roxane Choux invites the audience to wallow in a selection of popular as well as unknown songs. Luzian Hirzel, who is an ensemble member of the Vorarlberger Landestheater, recites Brecht’s poems and essays.

    Music & Poetry 3
    6 August 2023 – 7.30 pm
    Festspielhaus | Seestudio

    Recital Luzian Hirzel
    Soprano Roxane Choux

    Works by Paul Dessau, Hanns Eisler and Kurt Weill

    approx. 90 minutes (no intermission)