While the main programme of the festival belongs to the play alone, which this year goes by the name of “BRYNHILD” (see my text on this), there are always little gems of live music or theatre in the accompanying cultural programme that deserve to be noticed and attended. An unspoken tradition here is that artists who performed in the main play in previous years always return as part of the cultural programme, with the exception of the “Theatre Encounters”, which are entirely devoted to the current play.
Below I have briefly summarised the highlights for you this year:
Theatre Encounters on 9 July 2023 at 11 am in the Heylshof Park
It is the first event to take place in the cultural programme every first Sunday after the premiere in the fantastically beautiful ambience of the Heylshofpark Open Air on Sunday mornings. Moderated by the renowned film critic Rüdiger Suchsland, Intendant Nico Hofmann, the author and Artistic Director Thomas Laue will be on hand to answer questions. They will talk about the first reactions of the audience to the play, give exciting insights into the development process and reflect on the content and messages of the current play. The central question this year is “Who determines who we are?”. This morning is livened up by live music, usually featuring musicians from the current production. For me personally, it is the most beautiful event in the festival environment, because on the one hand it provides exciting insights and on the other hand there are only a few opportunities to have culture presented in such a relaxed way on a Sunday morning.
am 14. Juli – ein Theaterstück mit Alexandra Kamp und Miguel Abrantes Ostrowski im Lincoln Theater
Die Schauspielerin Alexandra Kamp kann man mittlerweile getrost als Dauergast in Worms bezeichnen. Im Hauptstück der Nibelungen-Festspiele trat sie zuletzt 2016 in dem von Albert Ostermaier verfassten Stück „Gold – Der Film der Nibelungen“ auf. Seitdem besuchte sie mit wechselnden Theaterstücken, wie der Theateradaption des Films „Eine verhängnisvolle Affähre“, die Nibelungenstadt. Im Kulturprogramm gastiert sie nun mit dem Zweipersonenstück „Offene Zweierbeziehung“ im Lincoln Theater. Die sympathische Schauspielerin spielt in dem Stück eine Frau, deren Ehe sich in der Krise befindet. Das Duo verspricht eine turbulente Komödie, die bereits von der Kritik vielfach gelobt wurde.
on 15 July – a “Scenic Reading” with Katharina, Anna and Nellie Thalbach at the Worms Theatre
Probably not much needs to be said about the Thalbach family. After all, they are one of the leading acting dynasties in Germany. No less than three generations meet in this “staged reading” at the theatre in Worms. In his “Witwendrama”, the author Fitzgerald Kusz deals with the sensitivities of widows, and in doing so, he has put together his cheerful, ironic and sad thoughts to create widow dramas. Performed by the three great Thalbach women, the evening should be an entertaining theatrical treat.
Genija Rykova and band
on 18 July at the Worms Theatre
Last year, actress Genija Rykova slipped into the role of Brünhild and proved extraordinary qualities as the “water mermaid” in the face of the “water stage” at that time. In this one she returns to Worms to convince of her musical qualities. Together with her band, she presents songs by strong female artists of the 20th century such as Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and others under the title “A Woman’s World”.
on 16 July in the Heylshof Park
Children’s theatre, enchanted creatures and lots of fun and games: the Children’s and Family Day invites you to join in the fun in the beautiful Heylshof Park at Worms Cathedral – there will be handicrafts, games and glitter tattoos. For the first time, the event will again take place without corona-related restrictions. Admission is free, no tickets need to be reserved in advance.
The admission prices, times and further information on the cultural programme can be found here:
Enjoying time in the Heylshof Park during the Nibelungen Festival
It’s as if you were suddenly in the midst of a different, fairytale world…that’s roughly how a visit during the festival to what is probably Germany’s most beautiful theatre foyer feels. To immerse yourself in this world in the evening, you don’t even need a theatre ticket, because “flâneurs” or pleasure-seekers also have access to the park. For this, however, you need a strolling ticket. At 4 euros, they are not necessarily cheap, but they make up for it with live music before the play and during the interval, as well as the stylish ambience, which is particularly effective in the dark, as the park is tastefully illuminated. There is also a wide selection and food and drink to match. My personal favourite place during this time is the wine lounge, where only Worms vintners offer their wines. This year, that means being able to choose between ten fine wines. The Heylshofpark opens at 5:30 pm and closes at 1 am. Those who want to enjoy a stylish dinner can also find what they are looking for in the Heylshofpark. Under the name “Dinner in the Park” there is a multi-course menu every evening from the exclusive festival caterer “Gauls Catering” from 6 pm.
Further information on strolling tickets, Dinner in the Park etc. can be found here: https://www.nibelungenfestspiele.de/nibelungenfestspiele/2020/Arrangements-Auswahlseite-2020-2021/index-2020-2021.php?navid=199481199481.
All photos are courtesy of the Nibelungen Festival – thank you!