Austrian premiere of Battistelli’s The Embalmer (based on the theatre text of the same name by Renzo Rosso) on 22nd January at RadioKulturhaus in Vienna. The text of the music theatre work for actor and ensemble is presented here for the first time in German (translation by Sabine Heymann).
Der Einbalsamiererwill feature, in the role of Aleksej Miscin, the famous actor Martin Schwab, who will be accompanied by Klangforum Wien under the direction of Johannes Kalitzke. The stage direction is by Michael Schedl. There will be two further performances on 28th and 29th. The production is by Netzzeit.
Aleksej Miscin is the man appointed to preserve Lenin’s body, which is exhibited to
thousands of people every day. During this dramatic and grotesque monologue there unfolds a confrontation between the illustrious corpse and a man on the brink of failure: a semi-alcoholic also about to be abandoned by his wife. Rosso’s text, which is tinged with black humour and given a grotesque setting by the presence of Lenin’s corpse, recounts the very human tale of a
man of little substance against the background of the collapse of the communist dream of Utopia. The disintegration of the embalmer’s private life is inextricably bound up with that of Soviet society; while outside, the instinct of preservation of the new Moscow asserts itself with voracious vitality in countless crimes and shady deals.
The world premiere of The Embalmer took place in July 2002 at the Almeida Festival, which commissioned the work.