Erfurt (dpa) - Regencapes instead of monks cowl: Because it has poured so violently, was canceled on Friday, the musical premiere of Umberto Eco's "The Name of the Rose" before the break. The approximately 2000 visitors experienced in front of the impressive backdrop of the Erfurt Mariendom just under half of the piece, before they had to vacate the grandstand.
Packed in ponchos, jackets and plastic bags they first waited at the food stalls and entrances before Guy Montavon, general manager of the Erfurt theater, had to declare the premiere at the cathedral festival over.
Previously, the visitors had an almost an hour to experience the medieval criminal history in musical form. The Franciscan monk William of Baskerville was in the process of examining the first two of a total of seven mysterious deaths in an Italian Benedictine abbey.
The role of the church, with which Eco deals intensively in his bestselling book of the 1980s, is musically thematized right from the beginning - which, like other parts of the musical, might seem strange to some.
"Power - a small word!" Smashes the abbot of the Benedictine abbey (Stefan Poslovski), wistful, almost hopeful about the cathedral steps and gives the theme with a very different emotional color than in the original. One could almost forget that the abbot here tells of the bitter struggle of the Franciscan monks against the wealth of the church.
A gloomy, complex and theoretical novel in musical form: Can this work? The librettist Øystein Wiik had previously described it as a "challenge" to "compress such a dazzling novel in two and a half hours."
It would be possible through the music, according to the author. The novel has a musical-friendly structure due to its clear division - seven days, seven deaths. Wiik works in a team with the composer Gisle Kverndokk, who has underpinned the story with giddy melodies and big choral numbers.
"When it comes to music, it's about emotions," said director Axel Köhler before the premiere. "And that's the weight that occupies a bit more space here."
So the makers of the piece want to make complex topics talk through music - but they do not necessarily succeed at least in the first half of the piece. But the songs are too arbitrary and not very catchy.
The singers are vocally great, including the protagonists William of Baskerville (Yngve Gasoy-Romdal) and his pupil Adson von Melk (Máté Sólyom-Nagy). It is also gratifying that one of the monastic roles is surprisingly occupied by a woman. Nevertheless, the actors do not play the lead role this evening.
The strongest remains after the abrupt end of the imposing stage design in memory. Stage designer Frank Philipp Schlößmann had decorated the 70 steps between Mariendom and Severikirche with a huge, colorful Jesus mosaic. It is fragmented into individual fragments, which can be partially moved and unfolded. If you put the pieces together, you would see a mosaic that can be seen in the Cathedral of Cefalu in Sicily. After the rain, they shine a little bit stronger on Friday evening than before.
The name of the rose at the cathedral festival