Paolo Magelli

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Paolo Magelli (born March 3, 1947 in Prato ) is an Italian director . Since 2010 he has been the artistic director of the Teatro Metastasio Stabile della Toscana in Prato. Magelli has realized more than 150 performances in numerous countries. Most recently, in 2014, he won the prize of the "Festival MESS" in Sarajevo for his life's work . From the 1980s onwards, his numerous directorial work made him one of the most controversial and well-known artistic personalities in the Balkans and beyond.


Early work in Tuscany

Magelli studied theater studies and Slavic studies. He began working as a director before he was twenty years old at the Teatro Studio in Prato, which was founded in 1965 and headed by Magelli from 1968. There he worked with actors Pamela Villoresi and Roberto Benigni , among others . Shortly afterwards he became an employee of Giorgio Strehler , with whom he wrote joint manifestos for the reform of the Tuscan and Italian theater. However, the visions formulated in these manifestos were not implemented. The documents are archived in the Medici Riccardi House , the regional seat of government in Florence and in the Roman Palazzo Montecitorio , the parliament. Like most of the Teatro Studio ensemble, Magelli left Prato in late 1973.

Working in Europe

In 1974 he began his work in Belgrade , first at the National Theater and shortly afterwards at Atelier 212 . Here he is becoming more and more famous in all the important cities of what was then Yugoslavia and winning numerous prizes, for example in Sarajevo , Zagreb , Ljubljana , Split , Skopje or Dubrovnik . From the middle of the 1970s he worked for the international theater festival BITEF , at that time the center of the European avant-garde. There he met artists who were still relatively unknown in the West, including Robert Wilson , Pina Bausch , Lucian Pintilie , Antoine Vitez and old friends such as Julian Beck , Judith Malina , Peter Zadek and Benno Besson .

The piece Zur Schöne Aussicht von Horváth was performed as part of the Wiener Festwochen and toured various cities across Europe. He directed The Seagull by Chekhov with the then very young actor Miki Manojlovic in the lead role and celebrated in many European cities great success.

After a guest performance in Paris in collaboration with Atelier 212 , he staged Pirandello's Die Riesen vom Berge . He was then invited by Emmanuel de Vericourt to the Theater de l'Est Parisienne (now the Theater de la Colline), where he deepened his friendship with Benno Besson. In the following years Magelli acted and directed there, while at the same time working in the former Yugoslavia.

Time in Yugoslavia

In 1985 he moved to Zagreb. In Croatia he then staged the so-called "Trilogy of War", which focused on the works of his favorite author Euripides . He staged the tragedies of the Greek poet in a special place: The Phoenicians (1987) in a castle near Dubrovnik, Elektra (1988) in an abandoned Renaissance village in the mountains above Spilt and in 1989 Helena in a villa on the seashore: " In 1990, with “Helena”, we were already addressing the post-war period, before the war had even started. Euripides had already told me everything about the Yugoslav tragedy. "

In Croatia he dealt with the topic of nationalism and in 1987 developed the nation production . Magelli's four works by the German writer Carl Sternheim served as the basis for developing the play : Die Hose , Der Snob , 1913 and Das Fossil . The production lasted over seven hours and was performed at the ZKM Theater, where he had meanwhile become artistic director. The play explored the links between nationalism and war, and provoked intellectual and political circles in Yugoslavia as the country prepared for civil war . Magelli had previously designed the play The Crazy Days , which was composed of the works The Marriage of Figaro by Beaumarchais and Figaro is divorced by Horváth. It already prophesied the failure of state communism and was the subject of numerous controversial discussions.

From 1989 Magelli worked regularly as a director in Wuppertal . He stayed there until 1995 while he was director of Holk Freytag and realized a dozen productions. There he met Pina Bausch again.

While Magelli is staging Faith, Love, and Hope in Zagreb , war breaks out in Yugoslavia. Due to the tense situation and the fear of bombing, the piece was performed at noon so that the headlights would not cause a stir in the evening (blackout). Another production, The Great Magic by Eduardo De Filippo , he was only able to finish in Pula because Zagreb was bombed several times. Very soon the director turned against the nationalist regime of Franjo Tuđman and signed a document in favor of Bosnia and for the rights of the Serbs in Croatia.

Magelli joined various humanitarian and regime-critical organizations. As a result, from 1992 he was no longer able to direct in Croatia. Instead, staged in Germany, Switzerland and Belgium. In 1995 he decided to direct again in Zagreb. So he turned against the regime because he was not officially authorized. In the half-destroyed foyer of the Gavella Theater he worked on the production of Chekhov's cherry orchard , which he financed out of his own pocket. The performance was a great success and became Magelli's triumph.

International work

In 1996 Magelli moved from Wuppertal to Vienna in Germany. He also took up work in Budapest and again in Zagreb and Spilt. His performances toured again across Europe and beyond. Magelli won the "Festival Sarajevo" prize for staging Chekhov's Three Sisters . He then staged in various cities in Latin America.

In 2000 he worked at the Palestinian National Theater in Ramallah and at Israeli theaters in Akko and Haifa in view of the anniversary of the Crusades . This meeting provided the last opportunity for Palestinian and Israeli actors to work together before the Second Intifada began between the two countries. Goran Bregowitsch and his orchestra took part in this project. In Rennes , Magelli staged and played the play The Utopia tired snails , which celebrated great success in France. In 2003 he moved from Vienna to Dresden, where he worked as a director for the Staatsschauspiel until 2009 .

In June 2010, after being appointed associate professor at the Academy of Performing Arts at the University of Zagreb , Magelli became director of the Teatro Metastasio Stabile della Toscana . In addition, since 2010 he has staged at the Schauspielhaus Dortmund at irregular intervals . a. 2011 " Leonce and Lena " and 2015 the world premiere of " Elektra " by Alexander Kerlin .

Individual evidence

  1. Artist Talk with Paolo Magelli , MESS Sarajevo ( Memento of the original from February 17, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. a b "ELECTRIC IS THE PURE RESISTANCE" - Paolo Magelli in an interview in the blog of the Schauspiel Dortmund

Web links