Das weite Land - Schedule, Program & Tickets

Das weite Land

At the beginning of Schnitzler's social panorama, the music falls silent: a pianist, who frequented the villa of the lightbulb manufacturer Friedrich Hofreiter and his wife Genia, shoots himself. The reason for this gives rise to speculation. It is believed that Hofreiter urged the young musician to take his own life after learning of his alleged affair with Genia. But Hofreiter claims he would have had no problem with an infidelity. On the contrary: the "doer" and "founder" of serial production calls on Genia to cheat. In his notes, Schnitzler, the doctor and diagnostician of his time, outlines the further course of events in short, precise sentences: “His wife is getting terrifying, bringing death. He can no longer own her. He's finally going insane."

With a keen eye, Schnitzler dissects a society whose urge to expand and desire for pleasure are paramount: friendships serve business relationships and hotel chains are set up in the bare rocky landscape of the Dolomites to satisfy erotic desires. Hofreiter's lightbulbs seem like an ironic commentary on a supposedly bright and enlightened world. The conversations of privileged society about infidelities and love affairs become seismographs of a catastrophe that can no longer be stopped.

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