Junge Szene

Häuptling Abendwind / Chief Abendwind

Jacques Offenbach

Buffo operetta in one act, text by Léon Battu and Philippe Gille German version by Bettina Bartz Performed in German

The location: a South Sea island teeming with cannibals. Chief Abendwind has invited Biberhahn, the chief of the neighbouring tribe, to a feast to parley with him on matters of state. The feast, however, lacks a suitable main course. Then, just in time, a shipwrecked young man arrives, whom Abendwind finds in the company of his daughter Atala. Rather unfortunately, she has already fallen in love with the stranger, and he in her. Nevertheless, hospitality comes first: the stranger must be eaten! During the meal, Chief Biberhahn suddenly asks for Atala’s hand on behalf of his son Arthur, who any moment should be arriving on the island. Did Abendwind just eat his future son-in-law? Excitement, humour and warmth are the ingredients making up this unusual feast. Karl May, the author of »Winnetou«, would certainly have enjoyed himself! »Chief Abendwind« (1857) is a political satire, written at a time when Napoleon III was transforming the Republic of France (once again) into an empire. Offenbach composed over 50 one-act musical plays with funny, sometimes bizarre content and critical undercurrents before, between or alongside his full-length operettas. The absurd relocation of this witty examination of political capriciousness into a savage culture, combined with Offenbach’s sparkling music, delighted the audience at the Parisian premiere, and is still relevant today. Dramaturge Bettina Bartz has written a new, contemporary version, which will now be performed in Dresden.

Summary

The location: a South Sea island teeming with cannibals. Chief Abendwind has invited Biberhahn, the chief of the neighbouring tribe, to a feast to parley with him on matters of state. The feast, however, lacks a suitable main course. Then, just in time, a shipwrecked young man arrives, whom Abendwind finds in the company of his daughter Atala. Rather unfortunately, she has already fallen in love with the stranger, and he in her. Nevertheless, hospitality comes first: the stranger must be eaten! During the meal, Chief Biberhahn suddenly asks for Atala’s hand on behalf of his son Arthur, who any moment should be arriving on the island. Did Abendwind just eat his future son-in-law? Excitement, humour and warmth are the ingredients making up this unusual feast. Karl May, the author of »Winnetou«, would certainly have enjoyed himself! »Chief Abendwind« (1857) is a political satire, written at a time when Napoleon III was transforming the Republic of France (once again) into an empire. Offenbach composed over 50 one-act musical plays with funny, sometimes bizarre content and critical undercurrents before, between or alongside his full-length operettas. The absurd relocation of this witty examination of political capriciousness into a savage culture, combined with Offenbach’s sparkling music, delighted the audience at the Parisian premiere, and is still relevant today. Dramaturge Bettina Bartz has written a new, contemporary version, which will now be performed in Dresden.

Complete Cast

The Giuseppe Sinopoli Academy of
the Staatskapelle Dresden

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No coming shows this season.