ORESTES IN MOSUL - MILO RAU
Ghent's opulent Groot Huis Royal Dutch Theatre & NTGent (KNS)
The Classic City Theatre of the Future - NTGent in the city of Ghent and Orestes in Mosul tragedy.
The Royal Dutch Theater (KNS) and home of the NTGent is an appealing,historical building located on Sint-Baafsplein Square.
It was built in 1897-1899 by the Belgian architect Edmond De Vigne in Eclectic architectural style.It plainly displays a blend of diverse styles,such as Neo-Renaissance,Baroque,Byzantine and 19th century Flemish design.
- Click on the image to enlarge and see all the described details -
"Apollo and the Muses of Fine Arts" & Harmonia"
On its elaborate facade and above the entrance,there is an enormous mosaic,(9 metres wide & 4 metres high),made up of thousands of 15 millimetre coloured ceramic stones.The Art piece was designed by the Belgian painter Constant Montald,and it shows a scene titled : "Apollo & the Muses of Fine Arts".Apollo,God of the Sun,Music and Arts,is shown in his charriot playing the Lyre while he brings the nine Muses to the mountain of the Arts,Parnassus.
In the forefront,we see the Muse of Theatre,Thalia,holding a mask.
Right on the very top of the building,Harmonia is also playing the Lyre.It's a magnidficent Alois Buyens bronze sculpture.Harmonia, Ares' & Aprodite's daughter,is the Immortal Goddess of harmony and concord - Ἁρμονία -.
The harmonious interplay of architecture,mosaic,painting and sculpture in 1897, was a significant event in the history of Flemish culture.
Let's see what's happening inside where Milo Rau is presenting his own Oresteia.
Orestes in Mosul - 17 April ,2019 - 26 January ,2020
NTGent - Adaptation of Classics -
"The Oresteia is not only the one single trilogy that has come down to us from classical antiquity and one of mankind’s greatest tragedies,but it also represents the myth of the foundation of civilisation,whereby the principle of the blood feud,the never-ending cycle of revenge,an eye for an eye,was replaced by the principles of justice,integration and reconciliation." Milo Rau
He staged this tragedy with a mixed ensemble of European and Iraqi actors.The process includes research and activities in Mosul,where the Jihadi caliphate of ISIS was declared in 2014.
Milo Rau had the idea of staging a present-day version of Aeschylus’ Oresteia while he was conducting research for his play EMPIRE (2016) ,in northern Iraq on the frontline facing ISIS.
- Music by the Greek composer Eleni Karaindrou -
- in Greek with English subtitles -
"It is as if you were in a television scene and in a classical epic at the same time," as Rau puts it.How is it possible to stop the never-ending chain of violence in which the parties of the Syrian-Iraqi civil war and their Western allies find themselves?
Milo Rau retains the ancient grandeur of the tragedy,but links it to present-day issues, with an international ensemble.
He is probably the most advanced,controversial and influential European playwright,author and director.He was recently awarded the first honourary doctorate of the Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts at Lund University in Malmö,and Sweden,and assumed a post as lecturer at the University of Münster.
Although Greek tragedies go back 2,500 years,theatre directors continue to find them extraordinarily resonant today, sometimes staging them in contemporary settings or finding other ways to emphasise how pride and passion,ancient or modern,can bleed out and leave a society in ruins.
Insightful Reflection in the Future ...
In 2015 NTGent turned 50 years old.Since 1965,it has organized and staged more than four hundred plays.
NTGent is more than a theater in a Brechtian sense.It is a school for life and art that combines practice and theory,and sees it as an
investment in emerging artists,but also as an investment in Theater and Art.The NTGent programme includes theater projects,political discussions,lectures and activism,they think about the state of the world and call for action ...
"Don't expect the theatre to satisfy the habits of its audience, but to change them." Bertolt Brecht
- in Greek with English subtitles -