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Montblanc & Salzburg Festival Young Directors Project
Theater Montagnes Russes/Austria Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz

Commissioned work by the Salzburg Festival
World premiere
With texts by
Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz (1751–1792),
Georg Büchner (1813–1837),
Johann Friedrich Oberlin (1740–1826)

A production of the Theater Montagnes Russes

In German with English surtitles

Commissioned Work by the Salzburg Festival

World Premiere

End approx. 21.30


  • 10 August 2012, 20:00


  • 11 August 2012, 20:00
  • 12 August 2012, 20:00
  • 13 August 2012, 20:00



Print programme (PDF)


Cornelia Rainer, Stage Director
Aurel Lenfert, Stage and Costume Design
Sibylle Dudek, Dramaturgy
Schi-Lunsch-Naven (Sophie Hunger, Christian Prader, Julian Sartorius), Composition
Christian Prader, Music Director


Markus Meyer, Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz
Manfred Böll, Reverend Oberlin
Gertrud Roll, Madame Oberlin
Karola Niederhuber, Maidservant
Jonathan Seißler, Johann
Clemens Ansorg, Martin
Christian Prader, Sebastian Scheidecker
Julian Sartorius, Musician


Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz, poet of the Sturm und Drang: unquestionably an extraordinary talent and a much-documented sensitive soul. Praised highly during his youth as a literary genius, during the course of his life Lenz became more and more solitary and isolated. For the spiritual narrowness of his strictly religious home and homeland of Livonia, he was too libertarian; for the society of poets surrounding Goethe at the Weimar court, he was not elegant enough, not polite enough, not well-dressed enough – in a word, too poor: thus, Lenz remained a “wanderer between countries”, without a home and misunderstood.

A few decades after Lenz’ death, Georg Büchner described his sojourn at the Steintal, a landscape both barren and impressive. Lenz spent twenty days there at the house of Pastor Oberlin. Twenty days that became the metaphor of a life-long search, and in which recurring themes and states of mind intensified: the gradual shift in perception, the effect of nature, the longing for community and communion with others, his being torn and ambivalent, wavering between religious mania and atheism, between hubris and self-castigation, mania and boredom, dreams and wakefulness.

The theatre company Montagnes Russes and its director Cornelia Rainer take Lenz’ well-documented stay at the Steintal as the point of departure for a theatrical portrait of the poet. One special focus is on music: for the first time, Cornelia Rainer collaborates with the Swiss collective Schi-lunsch-naven, consisting of the musicians Sophie Hunger, Christian Prader and Julian Sartorius. The exploration of their own background – Cornelia Rainer is from the Tyrolean mountains, while the members of Schi-lunsch-naven hail from the Swiss mountains –, their local dialects and traditional songs occupies a central position in the work of all these artists.

Theater Montagnes Russes is a theater company led by stage director Cornelia Rainer, which brings together a selection of artists tailored to each individual project. The company collaborates regularly with the stage and costume designer Aurel Lenfert and the dramaturge Sibylle Dudek.