Orest in Mossul
Nov. 22, 2019, 8 p.m.
Schauspielhaus Zürich (Pfauen)
Milo Rau, the artistic director of the NTGent, had the idea of staging a present-day version of Aeschylus’ Oresteia while he was conducting research for his play Empire in 2016 in northern Iraq on the frontline facing ISIS. “It is as if you were in a television scene and in a classical epic at the same time”, as Rau puts it. How is it possible to stop the never-ending chain of violence in which the parties of the Syrian-Iraqi civil war and their Western allies find themselves? In the first two parts of Aeschylus’ Oresteia there appears to be no way out. The only one who can stop this violence is Athena: she calms down the goddesses of vengeance by allotting them a place in society. Where hate has not helped, the loving embrace now succeeds.
Milo Rau retains the ancient grandeur of the tragedy, but links it to present-day issues, with an international ensemble. What can the Oresteia mean today, rehearsed and staged in Western Europe and in Mosul? Orestes in Mosul by Milo Rau will be the first NTGent production to be presented at the Schauspielhaus Zürich, in what we hope will be a long-term collaboration between our two theatres.
Kulturstelle contact: Dario Spilimbergo email
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