AMERICAN PREMIERE OF JAN FABRE’S “TRAGEDY OF A FRIENDSHIP” AT PEAK PERFORMANCES NOVEMBER 1-3
A rock star among the European avant-garde, Belgian theater director and visual artist Jan Fabre, renowned for simultaneously seducing and challenging three decades of audiences and critics, will present the American premiere of his most recent musical-theater work, “Tragedy of a Friendship,” at Peak Performances, November 1-3.
Performed by Fabre’s theater company, Troubleyn, the production presents a searing and unsparing look at the loving, idolatrous, mercurial, and ultimately incendiary relationship between Friedrich Nietzsche and Richard Wagner. The composer and the philosopher each possess what the other secretly envies: Wagner desires Nietzsche’s brilliant philosophical mind, and Nietzsche covets Wagner’s musical genius. Together, the two great men embody the dichotomy between intellectual and creative brilliance, and exemplify the extreme times in which they were living.
Centering on the character of Wagner, “Tragedy of a Friendship” at times terrifies with its brutality, and at others glows with the sublimity of a Wagnerian opera. The work is conceived and directed by Jan Fabre, who also designed the set. Moritz Eggert and Wagner are composers for the piece, which features Hans Peter Janssens and Lies Vandeweghe in live performance as tenor and soprano, accompanied by a recorded score performed by the Flanders Opera Symphony Orchestra. The text is by Stefan Hertmans.
Where To Go
The Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University is located at 1 Normal Avenue, Montclair, New Jersey 07043. Tickets are $20, and are available at the box office, www.peakperfs.org, or by calling 973-655-5112. The performance will take place at 7:00PM on November 1-2 and 3:00PM on November 3.
Charter bus service is provided from New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal – arcade on 41st Street between 8th and 9th Avenues – to the Alexander Kasser Theater ($10 per person, roundtrip) for all Saturday and Sunday performances. Bus reservations may be made by calling 973-655-5112 or by visiting www.peakperfs.org. For train service, available only on weekdays, go online to www.njtransit.com or call 973-275-5555.
For restaurants close to the Alexander Kasser Theater, visit www.destinationmontclair.com.
Jan Fabre, one of the most innovative and versatile artists of his generation, has produced a multitude of works as a visual artist, theater-maker, and author. First making waves as an emerging performance artist in the late 1970s, two of Fabre’s works- This Is Theatre Like It Was To Be Expected and Foreseen and The Power of Theatrical Madness- brought him wide attention for his theatrical innovation in 1982. Chaos, discipline, repetition, madness, and metamorphosis are indispensable ingredients in Fabre’s theater. Productions such as Je Suis Sang ,Tannhäuser, Angel of Death, Quando L’uomo Principale è una Donna, Orgy of Tolerance, Preparatio Mortis and Prometheus-Landscape II earned Fabre international acclaim.
In 2005, Fabre was named Artiste Associé of the prestigious Festival d’Avignon. He later created Histoire des Larmes for the Cour d’honneur, where he had previously performed Je Suis Sang in 2001, and again in 2005, earning him the distinct honor of being the only artist in the world to perform three times on the Cour d’honneur in Avignon. In 2007, Fabre created Requiem für Eine Metamorphose for the Felsenreitschule of Salzburg.
Over the years, Fabre has also built an equally notable oeuvre as a visual artist. Recent exhibitions include: L’ange de la Métamorphose (Louvre, Paris 2008), From the Cellar to the Attic — From the Feet to the Brain (Kunsthaus Bregenz, 2008; venice biennale, 2009), The Hour Blue (Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, 2011), Hortus/ Corpus (Kröller-Müller Museum Otterlo, 2011), Pietas (Venice Biennale, 2011), Waxes & Bronzes (Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles, 2012-2013). This fall Fabre prepares a solo exhibition at the Maxxi in Rome, and at the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille. He is presently working on a 24-hour theater project, Mount Olympus, which will be out in 2015.
“Tragedy of a Friendship” is Produced by Vlaamse Opera and Troubleyn and Jan Fabre. It is co-produced by Concertgebouw Brugge, Théâtre de la Ville Paris, Opéra de Lille, Geneva Wagner Festival and Holland Festival.
Programs in this season are made possible in part by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New Jersey State Council for the Arts/Dept. of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment of the Arts; Discover Jersey Arts; the Mid-