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Styriarte under the sign of heroes

Styriarte under the sign of heroes

At the Palais Attems in Graz, Styriarte begins with various concerts at different stops, on Saturday the last of the six operas planned by Styrian composer Johann Josef Fuchs is shown.

Another project deals with Beethoven, whose dramatic books were used by Thomas Hooft as a basis for playing with music – more on this at Styriarte 2023 under The Sign of Heroes (December 2, 2022).

Entertainment and depth

Styriarte’s future can be seen under the tag “entertainment and depth” — but also in this year’s programme, according to director Mattis Huber. It is with “Costanza e fortezza” that Fux’s last opera festival takes place: “We wanted to bring Fux out of oblivion for a moment. We were aware that he was writing exclusively for an entourage audience, not for more than 300 people,” said Hooper.

The only exception was “Costanza e fortezza”, an opera spectacle staged in Prague in 1723 on an outdoor stage 200 meters long for a larger group of invited guests. Huber realizes that “it was the opera event of the century,” which is why this year’s concert version was deliberately chosen in the arena of Schloss Eggenberg.

The stage was developed with Beethoven for Styriarte

Beethoven is the centerpiece of a play with music created especially for the festival. The starting point was the increasingly hard of hearing composer’s conversation notebooks, through which he communicated with fellow human beings. “The language in conversation books wasn’t available,” Hooft said, so he looked around at letters and other documents. The piece also shows the “personal abyss” of the “somewhat drunken, ill-tempered and insufferable composer”, according to the Dramaturge. Karl Markovic will be seen and heard as pianist Olga Chipovetsky will contribute to Beethoven.

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Pupils take a trip through time with Beethoven’s texts

The school project also revolves around Beethoven, explains Enya Reinbrecht, as young people “brought the composer’s texts to the media of the time.” The results will be displayed in the Helmut List Hall.

Another world show is Manuela Keher’s play “Hasta la vista, Baby”, which was created from quotes from Arnold Schwarzenegger and will be shown at various stops in his hometown of Tal – more about this at Styriarte organizes Nachnachhalts (April 14, 2023).

The future of diversity

For the future, Hopper envisions introducing “music in the middle of life.” To this end, music from the pre-bourgeois era must be brought into the context in which it was at the time – which means, above all, greater audience participation. “We are facing the future, it will be a diverse future,” the director said.