BOCHUM, GERMANY.- The RuhrTriennale is a new arts festival that closes October 12. It opens up the great monuments of the Industrial Age in the Ruhr Valley and establishes a structure of characteristic venues as incomparable cultural locations in the middle of Europe. At the same time, it opens new vistas for new paths in the arts. Theatre directors re-interpret lieder cycles musically and visually, jazz musicians perform opera, and theatre, visual arts, pop music and avant-garde merge into new forms in former factories or coking plants. The artistic direction of the RuhrTriennale changes every three years. The founding director of the first three-year period from 2002 to 2004 is Dr Gerard Mortier, former director of the Salzburg Festival. In 2003, there will be a total of 23 productions, with 129 performances at 18 different venues. In addition, there will be nine concert evenings of the "Century of Song," an installation by the American video artist Bill Viola in the Gasometer Oberhausen and the projects of the Off-Triennale (Puppet Theatre FIDENA and the International Theatre Festival OFF LIMITS). One of the key venues of the RuhrTriennale will be the Bochum Jahrhunderthalle. This gigantic building, formerly an electrical utility centre, will be turned into an "assembly hall for arts," a festival house with three separate halls and a new foyer annex, by the architecture office Petzinka, Pink & Partners by the time of the opening of the season on 30 April. Additional Triennale venues are in Duisburg, Dortmund, Gladbeck, Essen, Bottrop, Gelsenkirchen, Mülheim, Hamm and Wuppertal.
The outstanding projects include no fewer than ten world premieres and five new productions, among them Flaubert’s "The Temptation of St. Anthony" (Robert Wilson), Mozart’s "Die Zauberflöte" (La Fura dels Baus), Messiaen’s "Saint François d’Assise" (Sylvain Cambreling and Ilya Kabakov), Racine’s "Phèdre" (Patrice Chéreau), the Mozart project "Wolferl" (Alain Platel) and the big band opera "Heliogabal" (Peter Vermeersch, Thomas Jonigk). Pina Bausch, together with the Barockorchester Stuttgart and the Duisburg Philharmonic, will be presenting "Café Müller" and "Rite of Spring." The "Century of Song" project celebrates 100 years of singer-songwriter tradition with Suzanne Vega, Konstantin Wecker, Milva, Max Raabe, Van Dyke Parks, Lisa Bassenge, Joe Zawinul and others.