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What's on and what's exciting in the theatres, cinemas and exhibitions spaces of the German-speaking world.


What's on

A roundup of cultural highlights

Dance | Exhibitions | Film | Opera | Theatre


"The Seventh Symphony" by Uwe Scholz, at the Stuttgart Ballet.


"China: between past and future". Festival of photography, video, opera, music, film and lectures from the fastest-growing country in the world. Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.

"Jonathan Monk: yesterday today tomorrow etc..." The British artist's playful reinterpretations of the absolutist and purist dogmas of art giants from Mondrian and Sol LeWitt to Richard Serra. Kunstverein Hanover.

"Hans Holbein the Younger: The Years in Basle 1515 - 1532". kunstmuseum basel, until July 2, 2006.

"Of Mice and Men", the exhibition of the 4th Berlin Biennale runs until May 28. With over 70 artists in 12 locations all along the Auguststrasse.

"Mozart. The Enlightenment: An Experiment". The official exhibition in celebration of the Mozart year in the Albertina in Vienna, until September 20.

"rarrk. John Mawurndjul." A journey through north Australia at the Sprengel Museum in Hanover until June 5.

"Louise Bourgeois. La Famille". Exhibition on the French artist at the Kunsthalle in Bielefeld, until June 5.

No less than three exhibitions in Frankfurt are now paying tribute to German painter Max Beckmann. At the Schirn Kunsthalle, the Städel Museum and the Museum für Moderne Kunst.

"Monika Baer - Paintings and Drawings 1992-2005". At the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, until June 10.

"Feast of Color. From Picasso, van Gogh and Klee to Kandinsky, Kirchner and Matisse – The Merzbacher-Mayer Collection". At the Kunsthaus Zurich until May 14.

"Click doubleclick". Contemporary greats at the Haus der Kunst, Munich, until April 23.

"Melancholy. Genius and Madness in the Art". The major show from Paris' Grand Palais comes to Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie, until May 7.

"Joe Colombo – Inventing the Future". Televisions that retract into the ceiling, pivoting walls with a built-in mini-bar – the works of Italian designer Joe Colombo could have emerged from the set of a contemporary James Bond film. Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, until September 10, 2006.

"Urban Islam. Between Mobile and Koran". Museum der Kulturen in Basel, until July 2, 2006.

"Ella Bergmann-Michel". Photographs and films by the early 20th century avant-garde artist. Sprengel Museum Hanover, until April 17.

"Hans Purrmann. The Powerplay of Colours". Paintings and watercolours by Matisse student Purrmann, a major figure in the German artworld in the first half of the 20th century. Kunsthalle Tübingen, until April 23, 2006.

"Rock! Music and Youth in Germany". At the Forum of Contemporary History Leipzig, until April 27.

"Lichtkunst aus Kunstlicht" at the ZKM in Karlsruhe. If you like light art, it's all here in the "largest show on light art ever". Until May 1, 2006.

"Fast Nichts. Minimal Artworks from the Friedrich Christian Flick Collection". Hamburger Bahnhof museum, Berlin. Until April 23, 2006.


"Spiele leben" (you bet your life) Austria, 2005. Antonin Svoboda's debut film is a charming, abrasive and dirty portrayal gambling addiction in the underbelly of Vienna.

"Ceský sen" - (the Czech Dream). Czech Republic, 2004. Directed by Vít Klusák, Filip Remunda. A film about the biggest consumer swindle ever to take place in the Czech Republic. A witty and provocative take on the rising consumer madness in post-communist society.

"Im Schwitzkasten" (In the sauna). Germany, 2005. Comedy by Eoin Moore. Every Thursday, an eclectic group of friends meet in a Berlin sauna for a convivial sweat and chat about the little and not so little things that make up vastly different lives.

"Aus der Ferne" (From Far Away). Germany, 2005. Documentary by Thomas Arslan. The director travelled through Turkey in early summer 2005, through Istanbul and ankara to Gaziantep in the south, and as far as the border with Iran.

"Das Leben der Anderen" (The life of others). Germany, 2005. Drama by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. East Berlin, 1984. Line-toeing Stasi officer Gerhard Wiesler is entrusted with spying on a successful playwright and his actress girlfriend. But he hadn't reckoned on the changes the assignment would have on his own life.

"Zur falschen Zeit am falschen Ort". Germany, 2005. Documentary by Tamara Milosevic. In July 2002, 17-year-old Marinus was brutally tortured and killed by three youths. The film looks at the town where the events took place and how they effected Marinus' friend Matthias.

"Knallhart" (Tough Enough). Germany, 2005. Drama by Detlev Buck. After an argument with his long-time lover, Dr. Peters kicks her and her son Michael out of his house. The two find refuge in Berlin's tough neighbourhood Neukölln...

"Arktos: The Inner Journey of Mike Horn". Switzerland, 2005. Documentary by Raphaël Blanc. Mike Horn journeys around the polar circle against all winds and currents, spending more than two years in extreme conditions.

"Requiem". Germany 2005. Drama by Hans Christian Schmid. Sandra Hüller won the Silver Bear for best actress at the Berlin Film Festival for her portrayal of a deeply religious girl subjected to an exorcism.

"Gernstls Reisen - Auf der Suche nach dem Glück" (Gernstl's journeys - on the search for happiness). Germany 2005. Documentary by Franz X. Gernstl. Since 1983, author and filmmaker Franz X. Gernstl has driven across Germany, Austria and Switzerland for the television series "Gernstl on the Road". Now highlights have been brought together in a touching, delightful and thought-provoking film.

"The Elementary Particles". Germany 2005. Drama by Oskar Roehler based on Michel Houellebecq's novel "Atomised".

"Fratricide". Germany / Luxembourg / France, 2005. Drama by Yilmaz Arslan. Azad and Ibo, two young Kurds, meet up with two agressive young Turks intimidating people in the Underground with their Pit Bull... Silver Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival.

"Based on a True Story". Netherlands, 2004. Documentary by Walter Stokman. In 1972 John Wojtowicz roobed a bank in Brooklyn to finance his lover's sex change. Sidney Lumet based his film "Dog Day Afternoon" on the story. Stokman films the real hostages and police, only Wojtowicz makes his cooperation dependent on absurd demands over the phone.

"Der Rote Kakadu". Germany, 2005. Adventure romance by Dominik Graf. Just a few months before the Berlin Wall goes up, Siggi comes to Dresden and falls head over heels in love with the young poet Luise. Through her he gets to know not only the infamous "Rote Kadadu" dance hall, but also Wolle, her husband.


"La Forza del Destino", opera by Giuseppe Verdi, at the Stadttheater Bern.

"Il Sogno di Scipione" (Scipio's Dream). Mozart's dramatic serenade in one act. Stadttheater Klagenfurt.

"Endstation Sehnsucht". Opera by Andre Previn, adapted from Tennessee Williams' play. At Landestheater Eisenach until May 4th.

"Der Drache" by Jewgeni Schwarz has opened at the Deutsches Nationaltheater in Weimar. A fairytale was written during the last world war, its message is political.

"Euryanthe" by Carl Maria von Weber. Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden.

"Death in Venice" by Benjamin Briten. Based on the novel by Thomas Mann. Frankfurt Opera.

"Orest", by Georg Friedrich Handel. Directed by Sebastian Baumgarten at the Komische Oper in Berlin.

"Don Giovanni" by Mozart. Directed by film and stage director Andreas Dresen, whose "Summer in Berlin" is now playing in the cinemas. Theater Basel.

Two Austrian opera houses boast productions of Mozart's "Idomeneo": The Theater an der Wien in Vienna (intermittently in February and June 2006), and the Grazer Oper in Graz.

"Maria de Buenos Aires", tango operetta in two acts by Astor Piazzolla, text by Horacio Ferrer. komische oper berlin.

"La clemenza di Tito", by Mozart. Frankfurt Opera. Premieres January 29 and plays intermittently in February and May.

"Norma", by Vincenzo Bellini, directed by Jürgen Rose and starring the prima donna of bel canto Edita Gruberova. Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich.

Peter Konwitschny's production of Richard Strauss' "Elektra" in the Stuttgart Staatsoper, which ends in a bloody massacre.

Arnaldo de Felice's freshly commissioned opera "Medusa" for four female voices at the Allerheiligen Hofkirche in Munich. Medusa is "sung unbelievably well" by Cynthia Jansen and supported by the three "fabulous voices" Stanislava Stoytcheva, Olga Pasichnyk and Sabina von Walther, writes Alfred Zimmerlin in the Neue Zürchner Zeitung.


"Die Vaterlosen" (Platonov) by Anton Chekhov. Directed by Stefan Pucher at the Volksbühne in Berlin.

"Brennende Finsternis". Drama dealing with the Franco dictatorship. Written in jail in 1946 by Spanish author Antonio Buero-Vallejos, directed by Alvis Hermanis. At the Schauspielhaus Zürich.

"The Cherry Orchard" by Anton Chekhov, directed by Barbara Frey. Deutsches Theater in Berlin.

"Die Räuber" (The Robbers) by Friedrich Schiller. Directed by Schirin Khodadadian at the Staatstheater Kassel.

"Rose Bernd" by Gerhart Hauptmann. Directed by Michael Thalheimer ("the Quentin Tarantino of the German stage") at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg.

"Mourning becomes Electra" by Eugene O'Neill. Directed by Thomas Ostermeier at the Schaubühne in Berlin.

"The Belle Vue" by Ödon von Horvath, directed by Martin Kusej. Schauspielhaus Hamburg.

"In the Jungle of the Cities" by Bertolt Brecht, directed by Frank Castorf at the Volksbühne in Berlin.

"The Cherry Orchard" by Anton Chekhov, directed by Lars-Ole Walburg at the Kammerspiele in Munich.

"Torquato Tasso" by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Directed by Stephan Kimmig. Burgtheater, Vienna.

"Othello" by William Shakespeare, directed by Matthias Hartmann. Schauspielhaus Zurich. (April 22, 23, 24).

"The Killing Game" by Eugene Ionesco. At the Schauspiel in Frankfurt.

"Maria Stuart". Friedrich Schiller's drama English court drama directed by Luk Perceval at the Schaubühne in Berlin.

Young star playwright Anja Hilling's latest play "Monsun", a near grotesque piece about a group of thoroughly modern characters desperately trying to keep pace with their destinies. Directed by Roger Vontobel at the Kammerspielen Munich.

In "Yotsuya Ghost story", Jossi Wieler puts a European spin on a traditional Japanese kabuki play. Originally written in 1825, the 12 Japanese actors portray a society riddled with greed and spite. In December at the Berliner Festspiele and touring Germany in 2006.

A compelling first-ever staging of Thomas Mann's "Buddenbrooks" by director Stephan Kimmig at the Thalia Theater Hamburg. (March, April, May)

"Hedda Gabler" by Henrik Ibsen. Directed by Thomas Ostermeier. A "triumph", writes Christina Tilmann in the Berliner Zeitung. "Thomas Ostermeier has found the ideal face for Hedda in Katharina Schüttler. Schaubühne theatre in Berlin. (April 24 and 28) - let's talk european