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Salzkammergut 2024, world premiere of “Briefe Von Ruth”

Gmunden, Castle Ort Gmunden, Castle Ort Photo by Elsemargriet / Pixabay

Since 2015, theater makers Elisabeth Sikora and Markus Olzinger have been establishing Gmunden as a location for Austrian and German-language premieres of what is probably the most modern genre in theater history, the musical. 

Their programming also causes a stir internationally. This is how the New York Opera Society, based in Washington, became aware of Gmunden and entrusted the world premiere of BRIEFE VON RUTH to the Musical Frühling. The plot is based on letters and diary entries by the Viennese Jew Ruth Maier during the National Socialist period.

Elizabeth Schweeger: "The title of Capital of Culture was won, among other things, to cultivate the culture of remembrance, to give it a word and to enable voices that clearly depict this history of the past. The point is not to accuse, but to remember how people had to live under certain power structures and what happened to them. Perhaps when we look at biographies like Ruth Maier's, we realize what we've done to ourselves. That these intelligent, clever, artistic people have been driven out, oppressed or killed. In doing so, we have also inflicted a loss on ourselves in Europe. That's why I think it's great that the medium of musicals is used here to tell the story of Ruth Maier with a certain lightness. Because musical stands for lightness, but also has a special tradition, namely it comes from the operetta culture. Operetta was an important art form in the Salzkammergut, which was quite modern in the 19th century and tried one thing above all: to combine entertainment with critical social positions. If we just tell her story like this, it sounds bitter. We should go beyond the bitterness. That's why I would like to quote Ernst Bloch here: "Without dreams, we cannot look into the future." The affected generation could hardly afford to dream, but as the artist Ruth Maier writes, she had a lot of imagination and many wishes for the future. Those were her dreams. It shows: Art is stronger than any attempt to destroy it.
Premiere on March 31, 2023 in the Stadttheater Gmunden.

Tickets here.


FRI 31.3. / 19:30 PREMIERE
SAT 1.4. / 19:30
SUN 2.4. / 4:30 p.m
MON 10.4. / 4:30 p.m
FRI 14.4. / 19:30
SAT 15.4. / 19:30
SUN 16.4. / 4:30 p.m
FRI 21.4. / 19:30
SAT 22.4. / 19:30
SUN 23.4. / 4:30 p.m

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