Specter of the Gardenia Sujet
Specter of the Gardenia oder Der Tag wird kommen
Johannes Maria Staud / Josef Winkler (AT) / ensemble modern / Emilio Pomàrico / Sofia Simitzis
Fr 25/09 & Sa 26/09, 19.30
Helmut List Halle

steirischer herbst 2015 opens with an installation-based concert performance. Composer Johannes Maria Staud and poet Josef Winkler venture a contemporary music theatre experiment together with Ensemble Modern.

“Specter of the Gardenia oder Der Tag wird kommen” – surrealist Marcel Jean’s sculpture inspired Josef Winkler to create an unusual surrealist monologue. Formally, his text consists of three elements: litany-style invocations of animaginary vis-à-vis alternate with retrospective views of a Catholic childhood in Carinthia and powerful plaints on contemporary society. “You petroleum society, you watchers of our tragedy, with the tattooed model of a gallows in the jumpy hollows of your knees, the plagiarised plastic roses on your threadbare wreaths, you who take the sepulchral smile at its word with the smell of fresh ink mixed with human heart blood – oily hand on heart! – how many axes does your heaven need anyway?” The Austrian Johannes Maria Staud is one of the most internationally renowned composers of his generation. In close collaboration with the Büchner Prize winner Josef Winkler he developed the composition for twenty-two instrumentalists of Ensemble Modern. The main speaking part of the evening is played by the actor Johannes Silberschneider, who has received several prizes for his numerous film and television roles, winning the Grand Diagonale Acting Award in 2012. The artistic team headed by the young director Sofia Simitzis translates the artistic montage into three dimensions, into a kind of image or world machine. Large format projections, unusual objects, light, images, and the actions of the speaker and the ensemble interweave – engaging all the senses.

Composition and direction Georg Nussbaumer. Musical direction Franz Herzog. With Chorgemeinschaft Stainz, Gesangverein Wettmannstätten, Singkreis Stainztal, Gesangverein Deutschlandsberg, Singkreis St.Stefan ob Stainz, MGV Bad Gams-Frauental & Vocalforum Graz. Commissioned by steirischer herbst.


Warm, rainproof clothing and good shoes are recommended. The performance on Sun 12/10, at 16.30, is included in the musikprotokoll festival pass. Please get your reserved-seat ticket at any of the information and ticket offices while supplies last.