Martin Kusej has vowed to underline the significance of European diversity at the Burgtheater.
The Carinthian theatre and opera director is set to take over from director Karin Bergmann this autumn. “In my opinion, a theatre has to be open-minded. There should be no borders onstage,” Kusej told Austrian newspaper Der Standard.
“Being confronted with so many languages in Vienna is fascinating to me. I want this aspect to have an impact on what is happening at the Burgtheater. I love languages. I speak seven languages myself,” he added.
Kusej directed “Der Weibsteufel” at Vienna’s Akademietheater, which is part of the Burgtheater association, in 2008. News that the contracts of several renowned actors will not be extended have given an uneasy tension to his much-anticipated return. Stefanie Dvorak and Petra Morzé and have to leave the tradition-rich theatre after many years of cast membership.
Asked by Der Standard whether it was true that he informed award-winning director Andrea Breth about his decision not to assign her as of autumn by sending a text message, Kusej stressed: “That’s not true. Breth is a director I admire a lot. She had a long-term contract at the Burgtheater. This contract has expired. I aim at working with a new wave of directors. Apart from that, Breth has said she’s busy until 2022.”
Ulrich Rasche is hotly tipped to be in charge of the first play of Kusej’s term. Confronted with this claim, the incoming Burgtheater boss told Der Standard: “I’ve heard he’ll open the season with ‘Nathan the Wise’. I won’t comment on that. I prefer keeping the tension up.”
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