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.

Synopsis

Indianer-Spiele: »Wir essen keine Menschen. Wir essen nur Ausländer!«, verkündet Häuptling Abendwind selbstbewusst. Abendwind und sein Nachbar Häuptling Biberhahn sind verfeindet, seit der eine die Ehefrau des anderen verzehrt hat. Und umgekehrt. Doch nun wollen die beiden Häuptlinge ihre innige Feindschaft mit einem Festmahl beenden, das ihnen die Köchin Tapfere Eierschecke zubereiten soll. Glücklicherweise hat gerade am Morgen ein leckerer Fremder die Insel betreten. Dummerweise hat sich Abendwinds Tochter Atala vom Fleck weg in den Fremden verliebt. Und merkwürdigerweise sucht der Fremde – ein Friseur aus dem fernen Paris – seinen unbekannten Vater bei den Wilden. Die Gastfreundschaft verlangt, dass der Fremde gegessen wird – und doch keimen Zweifel darüber auf, wen oder was die Häuptlinge da auf ihrem Teller vorfinden …

Complete Cast

The Giuseppe Sinopoli Academy of
the Staatskapelle Dresden

Recommendations

Selected Performance

  • Friday 29 May 2020
  • Starting Time 7 pm
  • Intervals none
  • End 8.20 pm
  • Running Time 1 hour 20 minutes

  • Venue Semper Zwei

Cast

The Giuseppe Sinopoli Academy of
the Staatskapelle Dresden

Selected Performance

  • Sunday 31 May 2020
  • Starting Time 7 pm
  • Intervals none
  • End 8.20 pm
  • Running Time 1 hour 20 minutes

  • Venue Semper Zwei

Cast

The Giuseppe Sinopoli Academy of
the Staatskapelle Dresden

Selected Performance

  • Monday 1 Jun 2020
  • Starting Time 7 pm
  • Intervals none
  • End 8.20 pm
  • Running Time 1 hour 20 minutes

  • Venue Semper Zwei

Cast

The Giuseppe Sinopoli Academy of
the Staatskapelle Dresden

Selected Performance

  • Friday 5 Jun 2020
  • Starting Time 7 pm
  • Intervals none
  • End 8.20 pm
  • Running Time 1 hour 20 minutes

  • Venue Semper Zwei

Cast

The Giuseppe Sinopoli Academy of
the Staatskapelle Dresden

Selected Performance

  • Sunday 7 Jun 2020
  • Starting Time 7 pm
  • Intervals none
  • End 8.20 pm
  • Running Time 1 hour 20 minutes

  • Venue Semper Zwei

Cast

The Giuseppe Sinopoli Academy of
the Staatskapelle Dresden

Selected Performance

  • Tuesday 9 Jun 2020
  • Starting Time 7 pm
  • Intervals none
  • End 8.20 pm
  • Running Time 1 hour 20 minutes

  • Venue Semper Zwei

Cast

The Giuseppe Sinopoli Academy of
the Staatskapelle Dresden