No God appears, no angel shows himself;
Closed are heaven’s portals, miracles have ceased.
THE MAID OF ORLEANS
Salzburger Festspiele/DT Berlin 2013, link…
directed by Michael Thalheimer
Premiere: Salzburger-Festspiele: 28th of July2013
Premiere: DT Berlin: 27th of September 2013
Hamburger Theaterfestival: 2014
Staatsschauspiel Dresden: 2014
A young peasant girl goes to battle for her king. Mounted high up on her horse, clad in shimmering armour, bearing helmet and sword – and against all predictions – she is victorious and becomes a folk heroine, honoured and admired by the people.
In Friedrich Schiller’s tragedy, which was published in 1801, he depicts an event that took place 400 years ago. Towards the end of the Hundred Years’ War, France’s position seems hopeless. The English are advancing and the Dauphin of France, Charles VII has been abandoned by his intimates. But then Joan appears, the daughter of a Lorraine farmer, claiming that the fatherland will be rescued by a chaste virgin: she has been called upon by divine voices and visitations. Shortly afterwards, the message arrives at court that a virgin wearing a helmet has led a battle believed to be lost to victory. Joan is placed at the head of the royal army. But when she encounters Lionel, an English army leader, on the battlefield, she is incapable of killing him. One glimpse at the face of this stranger, and her faith crumbles, marking the beginning of her downfall…
In his “romantic” tragedy, Schiller created an opulent array of images. He puzzled his contemporaries with this formally bewildering masterpiece full of political, philosophical and religious motifs: Kantian categorical imperative, catholic mysticism and the question of the national state. Schiller’s world is a shattered one, empty of any order or future. Humankind’s fallibility and capriciousness is confronted with its own maxims – and fails because of its own, self-imposed dogma.
Michael Gerber (Thibaut D’Arc), Kathleen Morgeneyer(Johanna), Christoph Franken (Karl the Seventh, King of France), Meike Droste (Agnes Sorel, his lover), Andreas Döhler (Count Dunois, Bastard of Orleans), Henning Vogt (Duke Du Chatel, a French Officer), Jürgen Huth (La Hire, French Officer), Almut Zilcher (Queen Isabeau, Karls Mother), Peter Moltzen (Philipp the Good, Duke of Burgundy), Markus Graf (Talbot, English General), Alexander Khuon (Lionel, English Officer)
Olaf Altmann (set), Nehle Balkhausen (costumes), Bert Wrede (music), Sonja Anders (dramaturgy)