Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz, Sturm und Drang poet: unquestionably an extraordinary talent and a much-documented sensitive soul. Praised highly during his youth as a literary genius, Lenz became increasingly solitary and isolated throughout the course of his life. He was too free spirited for the spiritual close mindedness of his strictly religious homeland of Livonia; for the society of poets surrounding Goethe at the Weimar court, he was not elegant enough, not polite enough, not well-dressed enough – in short, too poor. Thus, Lenz remained a "wanderer between countries", without a home and misunderstood. read more
A few decades after Lenz's death, Georg Büchner described his sojourn at the Steintal, a landscape both barren and impressive. Lenz spent twenty days there at the house of Pastor Oberlin. These twenty days became the metaphor of a life-long search in which recurring themes and states of mind intensified: the gradual shift in perception, the effect of nature, the longing for community and communion with others, his being torn and ambivalent, wavering between religious mania and atheism, between hubris and self-castigation, mania and boredom, dreams and wakefulness.
Theater Montagnes Russes and its director Cornelia Rainer take Lenz' well-documented stay at the Steintal as the point of departure for a theatrical portrait of the poet. One special focus is on music: for the first time, Cornelia Rainer collaborates with the Swiss collective Schi-lunsch-naven, consisting of the musicians Sophie Hunger, Christian Prader and Julian Sartorius. Since Cornelia Rainer is from the Tyrolean mountains, while the members of Schi-lunsch-naven hail from the Swiss mountains, the exploration of their own backgrounds, local dialects and traditional songs occupies a central position in the work of all these artists. The natural surroundings of the Steintal and Lenz' inner world become an acoustic landscape: harmonious, disturbing, and radically contradictory, as is the topic of Lenz.
Dates and cast
Premiered on 10th of August, 2012, at the Republic Salzburg
with English subtitles
inspired by Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz, Georg Büchner and Johann Friedrich Oberlin
With Clemens Ansorg, Manfred Böll, Markus Meyer, Karola Niederhuber, Christian Prader, Gertrud Roll, Julian Satorius, Jonathan Seißler | Stage Direction Cornelia Rainer | Stage and Costume design Aurel Lenfert | Dramatic Adviser Sibylle Dudek | Music Schi-lunsch-Naven (Sophie Hunger, Christian Prader and Julian Sortorius) Press