Hugo von Hofmannsthal Jedermann
The Play about the Death of the Rich Man
In case of bad weather the performance takes place at the Grosses Festspielhaus.
Duration of the performance approx. 1 hour 40 minutes
- 21 July 2018, 21:00
- 24 July 2018, 21:00
- 26 July 2018, 21:00
- 30 July 2018, 21:00
- 01 August 2018, 21:00
- 06 August 2018, 17:00
- 09 August 2018, 21:00
- 11 August 2018, 17:00
- 12 August 2018, 17:00
- 14 August 2018, 17:00
- 16 August 2018, 21:00
- 19 August 2018, 21:00
- 21 August 2018, 17:00
- 27 August 2018, 17:00
Print programme (PDF)
Peter Lohmeyer, Voice of the Lord / Death / Narrator
Tobias Moretti, Everyman
Philipp Hochmair (09.08, 11.08, 12.08, 14.08, 16.08), Everyman
Edith Clever, Everyman’s Mother
Hanno Koffler, Everyman's Good Companion / Devil
Sigrid Maria Schnückel, The Cook
Roland Renner, A Poor Neighbour
Fritz Egger, A Debtor
Martina Stilp, The Debtor's Wife
Stefanie Reinsperger, Paramour
Hannes Flaschberger, Fat Cousin
Stephan Kreiss, Thin Cousin
Christoph Franken, Mammon
Mavie Hörbiger, Deeds
Johannes Silberschneider, Faith
After more than 680 performances in just about a century, Jedermann (Everyman) is a central component of the Salzburg Festival’s DNA and keeps on prolonging its own history, a unique occurrence in the German-language theatre.
Conceived as a renewal of a medieval morality play modelled on the English Everyman as further enriched by Hans Sachs’s Hecastus and other sources, Hofmannsthal worked on his own rendering over a number of years in a Europe marked by escalating conflicts. He always had in mind a realization by Max Reinhardt. ‘Having over the passing years persistently carried within me the essence of this dramatic structure, at least in my subconscious, there gradually awoke the desire and the freedom to treat the material at my own discretion. Its actual core kept revealing itself ever more clearly as a human abso-lute, not affiliated with any particular time, not even indissolubly connected to Christian dogma; it is more that man’s unconditional yearning towards something higher, towards the very highest, must play a vitally helping part when all earthly bonds of loyalty and ownership prove illusory and transitory, and that is portrayed here in allegorical-dramatic form: and what is there that could be more important for us?’
The risk of freely treating the material and of resituating its theme to a core with neither temporal nor doctrinal ties –as Hofmannsthal here explicitly describes his process –constitutes the ideological energy centre of Jedermann.
‘At its core, Jedermann poses this question: What happens when death enters our lives? In our culture, death is repressed more fully than ever before in human history. We try ever harder to wall ourselves off from our mortality and to confront it as little as possible, but it’s clear to everyone nonetheless that one requirement for living life purposefully is to find a reflective approach to dealing with death. That is a basic element of living. At some point all people must come to terms with death; no-one can avoid this confrontation. The mystery that surrounds the enigma of any human’s death and of humanity’s encounter with death in general exists in every religion and culture. And humankind has been concerned with this topic ever since we began singing and writing and producing art and pictures.
‘Our production aims for a contemporary reading. We transport men and women into the present and attempt to move them with a story that has great relevance in all times. In my opinion, a director must comprehend any text – regardless of whether it’s a classic or a contemporary drama – from within the present.
‘We are attempting in this production to do justice to the elemental complexity and archaic greatness of the theme without resorting to historical costumes or props. And our experience has shown that this approach casts new light onto the quality of the text.
‘There is scarcely any other play that rests so squarely on the shoulders of a single performer, when one considers the amount of text and the degree of attention the actor portraying Jedermann receives. He is the sole partner of every other character. It is his story. The performer of Jedermann must bring the character to life and make him shine forth by drawing on a great range of tones and colours; he must fulfill innumerable expectations and astonish the audience at the same time; he must stand for tradition but also embody renewal. All in all, this is an impossible task, but one for which no-one is more clearly predestined than Tobias Moretti.
‘When Jedermann is performed on the Cathedral Square, a significant element of the play’s success here in Salzburg has to do with the direct juxtaposition of theatre with church, that is of the confrontation between profane and spiritual. In using the Cathedral Square Max Reinhardt found a place where he could let these poles clash directly and was thereby able to develop from that clash a great piece of theatricality.
‘Jedermann has always been and still is a piece for people who sit in the audience and wonder how to think about their fate in this day and age.’
Michael Sturminger, Translation: Vincent Kling