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Everyman | Drama Salzburg Festival Summer 2017 tickets

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Everyman | Drama Salzburg Festival Summer 2017

Venue: Domplatz Salzburg Cathedral Square

5020 Salzburg
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Next performance (see season calendar above for other dates)
Event details
Composer: Hugo von Hofmannsthal

Hugo von Hofmannsthal, who wrote a modernist manifesto in Lord Chandos’ Letter, knew very well why he borrowed the clothing of a medieval mystery play: in his language and our own – the language of scepticism, of irony, of mistrusting speech at all times – we would never have been able to deal with his subject: the finite nature of our life and the nothingness of our earthly possessions. And the question of God which urgently and inevitably presents itself as a result.


The Christian and specifically Catholic flavour of the work, which is responsible for a good deal of the unease it provokes need no longer be regarded today as the theatrical embodiment of an all-powerful church. We may well, however – precisely as a result of the historical distance which Hofmannsthal gave hisJedermann (Everyman) – ask ourselves just how we view our own contemporary ‘Good Works’. What is the thinking on which we base our own ethics, our own morality? What are the beliefs which allow us to experience consolation and hope?


Perhaps Everyman is less of an attempt to remind us of belief than to emphasise its loss. Less a celebration of the supposed certainties of the church than an expression of our modern uncertainty. Less a demand for Christian humility than an expression of no confidence in our self-empowerment. Less about helping us to see the beyond and more about mourning for a heaven which is empty.


The mystery plays of the Middle Ages were performed at fairgrounds by travelling players. Their pious content served simultaneously as a pretext for robust theatre. The emblematic characters offered plenty of opportunities for colourful representations of life and the theatre’s subversive and anarchistic powers can be assumed to have prevailed over the wishes of authority.


Arthur Kahane, Max Reinhardt’s dramaturg, once observed that making theatre was like entrusting the holiest of holies to a whore. He was, however, at pains to emphasise that this misalliance offered enormous advantages to both parties. The playwright Hofmannsthal tackled this theme more than once, Reinhardt too. Their ambition was to combine the sensuality of performance with the spiritual task of literature. Not in order to facilitate the triumph of one or the other but to demonstrate the equal status of both operating together. Everyman is a text which illustrates this ambition perfectly. It is not for nothing that it has been able to hold audiences in Salzburg in its spell for over ninety years.

Sven-Eric Bechtolf
Translated by David Tushingham

Program details



The play about the death of the rich man


In case of bad weather the performance will take place at the Grosses Festspielhaus.
Duration approx. 2 hours.



Julian Crouch, Brian Mertes, Director
Julian Crouch, Sets, Masks and Puppets
Olivera Gajic, Costumes
David Tushingham, Dramaturgy
Martin Lowe, Musical Direction / Orchestration
Dan Scully, Lighting
Matt McKenzie, Sound
Jesse J. Perez, Choreography



Tobias Moretti - Jedermann
Stefanie Reinsperger - Buhlschaft
Peter Lohmeyer, Death
Christoph Franken, Devil
Jürgen Tarrach, Mammon
Johanna Bantzer, Good Deeds
Hans Peter Hallwachs, Faith
Julia Gschnitzer, Everyman’s Mother
Sven Dolinski, Everyman's Good Companion
Hannes Flaschberger, Fat Cousin
Stephan Kreiss, Thin Cousin
Fritz Egger, A Debtor
Eva Herzig, The Debtor's Wife
Johannes Silberschneider, A Poor Neighbour
Sigrid Maria Schnückel, The Cook
Nikolaus Rucker, God
Ensemble 013

Domplatz Salzburg Cathedral Square


The Grosses Festspielhaus, the House for Mozart and the Felsenreitschule form the Festival District, together with Cathedral Square and the Kollegienkirche, located 200 meters from them. In 1606/07, Archbishop Wolf Dietrich had stables built here, to which a winter riding academy was added in 1662. During the 19th century, the complex was used as cavalry barracks before gradually being opened to the Salzburg Festival from 1925 onwards.


When Hugo von Hofmannsthal warned Max Reinhardt to bear in mind what performances would cost on the cathedral square, Reinhardt apparently said, “I can see [Alexander] Moissi [the first actor to play Jedermann] kneeling in front of the cathedral.” And Reinhardt remained confident, “The money will be found somehow, that is of secondary importance. I am thinking now especially of the treasures we already have: a magnificent play, a location unmatched throughout the world.”

The cathedral in Salzburg was built between 1614 and 1628 according to plans by Santino Solari; it is the largest early Baroque church north of the Alps and also the oldest bishopric in present-day Austria. It provides an impressive theatrical backdrop for the morality play based on a mediaeval model: no stage set can match the overwhelming effect of the magnificent façade with its twin towers of white marble and with Christ as the ruler of the world on the gable between the towers. The closed square between the archiepiscopal Residenz and St. Peter’s Abbey has passageways to the left and right of the façade which can be used for entries and exits. The flat roof over the cathedral arches is an ideal position for the men who shout Jedermann and for the brass fanfares. Opposite the doors of the cathedral rises up the Gothic steeple of the Franciscan church, on which, besides other church towers in the old town centre as well as on the Mönchsberg and Kapuzinerberg, the men stand who call Jedermann to his death. Max Reinhardt left the lighting design to the sun: the play began at 5 p.m. or 5.30 p.m. when most of the square is still bathed in dazzling light. At the entrance of death the shadows grew longer and when the devil came, sunlight had disappeared.

The square seats 2,544 people. Within the temporary stage, there are several trap doors and pits for the actors. In bad weather Jedermann is performed at the Großes Festspielhaus.

Salzburg Festival 2017 Tickets
Salzburg Festival 2017 - Booking and Programme. Buy full subscriptions or single tickets. Complete assistance related to Salzburg. The new programme for 2017 will be officially presented and published on 11.11.2016.
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