Leopold Hoesch
Andrzej Klamt
Nicholas von Brauchitsch
ZDFtheaterkanal / 3sat / ZDFdokukanal
1 x 30'
Eva Voosen & Jörg Lemmer
Staatstheater Wiesbaden

The Hessische Staatstheater Wiesbaden is a five-section theatre with around 600 employees. More than 20 new productions in opera, drama and ballet, together with the diverse performances of the repertoire, offer a wide range of cultural events each season, including classical works as well as modern music theatre and pieces of contemporary dramatic literature.

Since all three stages of the Hessisches Staatstheater can be played in parallel, up to four performances take place on some days.

Emperor Wilhelm II initiated and financed the construction of the new Wiesbaden Theatre in neo-baroque style and ceremoniously opened it on 16 October 1894. At the turn of the century, the spa town advanced to become the "German Nice" with the flair of a rich and aristocratic world. The Russian Tsar and other greats such as Wagner, Dostoevsky and Caruso regularly stayed in the city. Emperor Wilhelm II was so fond of the theatre that he not only intervened in its direction but also encouraged regular festivals.

In this way, the May Festival was launched two years after the theatre was rebuilt. He was particularly interested in the frequently performed production of Carl Maria von Weber's "Oberon". In the meantime, the May Festival has become the oldest and most glamorous in the republic next to Bayreuth. In more recent times, Hansgünther Heyme was the "enfant terrible" of the Wiesbaden State Theatre from 1963 onwards, first as director, and a year later as acting director, scaring away traditional theatre audiences with his adaptations.

Despite bold experiments during the 1980s, the programme of the Hessisches Staatstheater remained rather tradition-conscious. The May Festival always offered a lavish programme of opera, drama, dance, ballet and children's theatre performances. The new artistic director Manfred Beilharz continues the balancing act between classical and avant-garde and dreams - after Bertolt Brecht - of the "pleasure of beginning!"

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