Salzburg (dpa) – Rarely in recent times has a Salzburg actor “Jedermann” received as much praise as Berlin actor Lars Eidinger. But the high expectations were justified.

Eidinger, who excelled in many Shakespeare roles as well as the popular “Babylon Berlin” television series, has been one of the most convincing “Everymans” for a long time. There was a standing ovation for the 45-year-old after the premiere at the opening of the Salzburg Festival in 2021, which again took place on Saturday night in the Grand Festival Hall due to continued rain.

This year, there was indeed to be a revival of the production of veteran Austrian director Michael Sturminger, which premiered four years ago. However, due to the overhaul of almost the entire cast, it was decided to completely reinterpret Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s mystery play on “the death of the rich man”, to whom death demands the last journey. at the banquet and who, after his conversion as a repentant sinner, appears before his divine judge. For 101 years, the game that is usually given on Domplatz has been an integral part of the Salzburg Festival and regularly sells out.

It is rare for the same director to undertake the same play twice in a row. The 2017 version of Sturminger with Moretti in the title role was the most modern of all time, with a lot of technology, little faith and a lot of text interventions. In the second attempt, the director corrected most of his interventions and, after an unconventional start, ostensibly moved closer to the serious style of the original production of festival founder Max Reinhardt.

At first it was still believed that Sturminger would now destroy the longtime hit. As God the Father with a long white beard, Mavie Hörbiger, who later also gave the devil, remembered the cult leader who was once revered as Bhagwan, a laughing stock. During Jedermann’s opening monologue, in which he bragged about his wealth, Verena Altenberger sat on his shoulders in tribute, shared the text with him and immediately took on the role of the cook who presented the menu. of the banquet. And everyone in the ring knocked down the guilty servant he sent to jail – a few too many stories with a cheerleader duet and slapstick effects.

With full physical effort

But Sturminger went on to direct its production, for which Renate Martin and Andreas Donhauser had created alienated, historicizing costumes, in calmer lanes. Now Eidinger was able to fully develop his talent as a sensitive and powerful text interpretation and did not skimp on offensive physical use, which resulted in his meeting with the lover, who wore a red pantsuit with his short hairstyle, an immensely erotic component. Her farewell to all those she does not want to follow on her last trip was celebrated without a word as a pantomime of attraction and repulsion, a strong scene.

Mavie Hörbiger, granddaughter of Austrian theater legend Paul Hörbiger, as the first female devil in the history of the festival has fallen: In order to really stand up to the faith, she did not have the comic overpressure despite a considerable commitment.

After four years as a fanatic mother of everyone, stage star Edith Clever this time embodied death. Outwardly reminiscent of a Shinto priest, she proclaims the end of all socialization to everyone with a mournful voice. In the end, the condemned man voluntarily sinks into his arms. In Bach’s chorale “Come, dead, sleeping brother” (music: Wolfgang Mitterer), they form the touching image of a Pietà. Then the light goes out.