Death in Venice


Death in Venice



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Thomas Mann is thirty-six when he meets a young man during a holiday in Venice. The event inspires him to write one of his most famous works, Death in Venice. In it, writer Gustav von Aschenbach falls in love with young Tadzio, who is spending his holiday at the Lido together with his mother. His fascination is so severe, he underestimates the danger of the cholera epidemic in the city. His intense and uncontrollable infatuation leads to his mental and physical downfall.

International tour
Zagreb, June 2020 / London, dates to be confirmed

Dutch with surtitles


For this musical theatre production, Death in Venice is adapted by Ramsey Nasr. He doubles the situation from Thomas Mann’s novella. Nasr portrays an author who is going through a crisis. Secluded in his workroom, he creates a counterpart of himself: Von Aschenbach, the man he cannot or dares not be in his personal life.

New music is composed specially by Nico Muhly (1981). This shooting star of American music works with both classical artists and in the world of pop music. He composed three operas and wrote film scores (e.g. for The Reader). Additionally, the performance will include music from Thomas Mann’s era. The conductor, David Robertson, is an expert of Twentieth Century and contemporary music.

In the Netherlands, this unique collaboration between Internationaal Theater Amsterdam and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra was performed exclusively at Theater Carré. In season 19|20 the performance will go on an international tour.

Ivo van Hove about Death in Venice

‘Thomas Mann called his most intimate and well-known novella ‘eine richtige Tragödie’. He claimed that nothing from the story had been made up. Mann describes the downfall of a successful writer who is freed, but gradually becomes obsessed by a startlingly beautiful underage boy. Despite his attempts to keep the fatal attraction to a minimum and cast it off, passionate infatuation descends on him like doom. As he gives in to the whirl of emotions, the plague breaks out in Venice. The writer becomes ill. Affected by the plague and confronted by who he really is, he dies in total loneliness. In Ramsey Nasr’s version, the tension between social expectations, or even demands, and personal desires is also a main theme.

Death in Venice is going to be a performance where music and theatre are equal. I’m thrilled about being able to take on this challenge together with the Concertgebouw Orchestra.’


Language NP Language no problem Aus Greidanus jr. Aus Greidanus jr.
Language NP Language no problem Marieke Heebink Marieke Heebink
Language NP Language no problem Achraf Koutet Achraf Koutet
Language NP Language no problem Ramsey Nasr Ramsey Nasr
Language NP Language no problem Steven Van Watermeulen Steven Van Watermeulen
ivo van hove
Ivo van Hove
Ivo van Hove

Ivo van Hove has been director of Internationaal Theater Amsterdam since 2001.

In season 18|19, he will be directing A little life (Hanya Yanagihara) and Death in Venice (coproduction Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest) and his directing of Small souls, The things that pass, The hidden force, After the rehearsal / Persona, Scenes from a marriage, The diary of one who disappeared, La voix humaine, The Fountainhead, Kings of war and The other voice will be reprised.

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naar Thomas Mann
tekst Ramsey Nasr
regie Ivo van Hove
dirigent To be confirmed
dramaturgie Krystian Lada
scenografie, licht Jan Versweyveld
muziek Nico Muhly, Anton Webern, Richard Strauss, Arnold Schönberg
musici Diverse orkesten
countertenor To be confirmed
kleding An D'Huys
castingadviezen Hans Kemna
producenten Internationaal Theater Amsterdam, Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest
coproductie Barbican Centre, Théâtre du Châtelet, Croatian National Theatre Zagreb
particulier producenten Esther Kwaks, Jeroen van Ingen en Jaap Kooijman
hoofd techniek en productie Wolf-Götz Schwörer
fotografie Jan Versweyveld
publiciteit Ewa Chojecka

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