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claudia bosse / theatercombinat

die perser/les perses aeschylus/müller/witzmann - 3 performances with 3 concepts in 3 cities (geneva, vienna, brunswick), 3 spaces und 2 languages (german/french)

ergreifendes sprechen, christine standfest
project documentation

die perser, brunswick
die perser, vienna
les perses, geneva

perser review

2481 desaster zone
interviews with the choreutes


aeschylus' tragedy «the persians» (472 BC) contains 1075 verses. 500 of them are by the chorus as the main character. the stagings in vienna, geneva and brunswick adopt this fundamental idea of the oldest political-aesthetic praxis of our western culture: a chorus of citizens constitutes the centre of these productions. a practical process of appropriation of language and theatre. a singular working process, at the same time a discussion about theatre and modes of democracy.

together, the citizens entered the stage of the brunswick national theatre, occupied the black box of the théâtre du grütli in geneva or gathered in a 200 m subterranean tunnel under vienna's inner city. the public became part of the chorus-body to directly experience the impact of the spatial choreography and the force-field of the chorus.


die perser (brunswick 2008)
concept/staging/score: claudia bosse, translation: peter witzmann/heiner müller, messenger: jörg petzold, atossa: doris uhlich, ghost of dareios: christine standfest, xerxes: marion bordat, chorus leaders: roland bedrich, anne cathrin buhtz, inga kolbeinsson, hanna legatis, christoph linder, oliver losehand, christiane ostermayer, ilona christina schulz, katja thiele, cornelia windmüller, assistant director: andreas gölles, coordination/research/dramaturgical collaboration: anselm lenz, anke dyes, production manager: caroline farke. coproduction with festival theaterformen, national theatre brunswick, theatercombinat

die perser (vienna 2006)
concept/staging/score: claudia bosse, messenger: gerald singer, atossa/xerxes: doris uhlich, ghost of dareios: christine standfest, small chorus: aurelia burckhardt, gerald singer, christine standfest, doris uhlich, chorus of the 12: beatrix brunner, aurelia burckhardt, gerlinde egger, brigitte futscher, ulrike johannsen, dora müller, heidemarie pichler, ingrid racz, ana szilagyi, ilse urbanek, lena wicke, buildings: karoline streeruwitz/sammerstreeruwitz, christian teckert/as-if. production management: lena wicke, production theatercombinat

les perses (geneva 2006)
concept/staging/score: claudia bosse, messenger: barbara baker, atossa: doris uhlich, ghost of dareios: christine standfest, xerxes: gerald singer, chorus/chorus leader of 10 choruses: guillaume béguin, léonard bertholet, vincent coppey, elisa curchod (chine), jean-louis johannides, marie-eve mathey-doret, gérard moll, jacqueline riccardi, anne-frédérique rochat, delphine rosay, chorus of 500/grü500; assistant director: andreas gölles, aurélie matthey, coordination: imanol atorrasagasti, mentoring: sophie klimis. coproduction théâtre du grütli, association genèveberlin, theatercombinat

«die perser» / «les perses»
in vienna, geneva and brunswick


the speaking followed, in french, as well as in german a distinct speech-score, developed by claudia bosse. on each occasion, the chorus of «the persians» was a chorus of the respective city. gerald singer, christine standfest and doris uhlich were the protagonists in geneva, vienna and partly in brunswick. for each city a particular working model was developed, for every space specific space installations and choreographies were developed.

vienna: tragic chorus of the 12, 3 protagonists and 60 spectators. a 200 m subterranean void in the viennese underground between stations neubaugasse und zieglergasse.

geneva: chorus of 500 with 180 members, 10 chorus leaders, 4 protagonists and 100 spectators in the black box of théâtre du grütli.

brunswick: chorus of 500 with 340 members, 10 chorus leaders, 4 protagonists and 230 spectators on the stage of the national theatre brunswick.

«the persians» (472 BC) is the oldest in extenso preserved tragedy, a document of the rising democracy in athens. the expansion campaign of xerxes, the persian emperor, fails after the destruction of athens at the battle of salamis (480 BC). the greeks outwit the numerically superior persian fleet, that sinks into the sea.

aeschylus writes from the perspective of the enemy, thus constructing the image of the hostile political system: the barbarian persians, the military power, the tyrannical regime. the narration of the campaign and the battle in terms of a predramatic theatre text with chorus and 4 parts for protagonists is the first preserved medialisation of history and war in theatre.


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