Producer
Director
Niels Negendank
Editor
Genre
Culture
Broadcaster
ZDFtheaterkanal / 3sat / ZDFdokukanal
Length
1 x 30'
Format
Digital Betacam
Year
2009
Theatrescapes
Staatstheater Braunschweig

Braunschweig is a city of superlatives - and hardly anyone knows it: it is home to the oldest public museum in the world. The first real stage designer worked here. It is proud of the world premieres of "Emilia Galotti" and "Faust" - and of one of the oldest orchestras in Germany.

The city where Till Eulenspiegel is said to have made mischief is the city of the Guelph Henry the Lion, who ruled from here. Heinrich Julius, the Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, was a theatre enthusiast who founded the theatre tradition in Brunswick in the 16th century and was himself an author of plays. Brunswick got its first public theatre as early as 1690 at Hagemarkt. - It was founded by Duke Anton Ulrich, who at that time enjoyed a reputation throughout Europe as a patron of the theatre. The theatre soon became too small, so that in 1861 the Great House of the State Theatre of Brunswick was opened, not far from the castle. It still stands there and today has 4 sections: opera, dance, spoken theatre and theatre for children and young people. Especially in the summer, no one in Braunschweig can miss the theatre when open-air opera is performed on Burgplatz.

The classics have a special place on the Braunschweig stage. After all, the city can boast of having premiered two of the greatest playwrights: Lessing's Emilia Galotti was first performed here in 1772. In the magnificent library in nearby Wolfenbüttel, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing was once a librarian and also wrote his best-known play Nathan the Wise. Since then, Lessing's plays have had a regular place on the stage of the Braunschweig Theatre. The theatre experienced its finest hour with the premiere of Goethe's Faust in 1829 - until then the play was considered unplayable. And to this day, "Der Faust" remains a challenge. Especially in Braunschweig. But when Wolfgang Gropper brings the play back on stage in 2003, it becomes one of the most successful productions of recent years.

In the 60s of the 20th century, the theatre plays in the upper leagues. The Austrian artistic director Helmut Mathiasek even succeeds in bringing two world premieres by Elias Canetti to Braunschweig.

Today there is even a separate programme series for Braunschweig topics at the State Theatre, such as the production of Daniel Kehlmann's successful novel "Measuring the World". An ideal partner for the programme series is also the successful Braunschweig band Jazzkantine, with whom various projects with a local connection have been realised. However, Braunschweig, which is steeped in science, is not closed to avant-garde theatre: for works such as Karlheinz Stockhausen's "Helicopter String Quartet", the theatre sometimes takes to the air by helicopter. Contemporary ballet also finds a place in ballet director Eva-Maria Lerchenberg-Thöny's international festival "Tanzwelten".

Esther Schweins presents the eventful history of Braunschweig theatre. The general director Wolfgang Gropper, trumpeter & orchestra director Martin Weller, bassist & composer of the Jazzkantine Christian Eitner, actor Götz van Ooyen, actress Anne Cathrin Buhtz and others have their say.

Theatrescapes: Staatstheater Braunschweig

Braunschweig is a city of superlatives - and hardly anyone knows it: it is home to the oldest public museum in the world. The first real stage designer worked here. It is proud of the world premieres of "Emilia Galotti" and "Faust" - and of one of the oldest orchestras in Germany.

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