Rebecca (musical)

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Musical dates
Title: Rebecca
Original language: German
Music: Sylvester Levay
A book: Michael Kunze
Literary source: Rebecca by
Daphne du Maurier
Premiere: September 28, 2006
Place of premiere: Raimund Theater
in Vienna
Playing time: about 2:45
Place and time of the action: Cornwall , 1920s
Roles / people
  • "I"
  • Maxim de Winter
  • Mrs. Danvers
  • Jack Favell
  • Frank Crawley
  • Mrs. van Hopper
  • Beatrice
  • Ben
  • Giles, Beatrice's husband
  • Frith, butler on Manderlay
  • Robert, servant on Manderlay

Rebecca is a musical by Sylvester Levay (music) and Michael Kunze (text) based on the novel of the same name by Daphne du Maurier . The world premiere took place on September 28, 2006 in the Raimund Theater in Vienna , the last performance on December 30, 2008 (339 performances). It was initially performed until December 30, 2007, after a break (due to an interlude by We Will Rock You ) the musical was performed again from September 6 to December 30, 2008. From December 2011 to January 2013 the musical was shown for the first time in Germany in the Palladium Theater Stuttgartlisted. In the future it should also be shown on Broadway . The contracts were signed on the stage on September 6, 2008, the day of the resumption in Vienna. However, a Broadway premiere planned for fall 2012 was postponed indefinitely after a scandal involving non-existent investors. In the summer of 2017, the piece was shown as open air for the first time in the Tecklenburg castle ruins .


In Monte Carlo, the rich Englishman Maxim de Winter met the young companion “I” who worked there for the American Mrs. van Hopper. He marries her and takes her to his Manderley estate . Once there, “I” have to fight a long battle against the presence of Maxim's late first wife, Rebecca. This is still omnipresent in the minds of the residents of Manderley, but especially of the housekeeper Mrs. Danvers. Mrs. Danvers doesn't make things easy for her master's new wife. At the big Manderley fancy dress ball, she advises her to have a dress made up that allegedly an ancestor is wearing in a picture. When the new lady of the house appears in front of the assembled company, Maxim is deeply shaken because Rebecca wore the same dress at the ball last year. The next day, a boat wreck with a corpse is found after a storm. It turns out to be the late Rebecca. However, months earlier Maxim had identified a body other than his deceased wife. He admits to his new wife that he was hiding the truth about Rebecca's death from her. He pushed her away during an argument and accidentally killed her in the process. However, "I" stand by him and gain strength. She develops into an independent woman who tries everything to save her husband from the impending murder trial. Her and Maxim's relationship is put to the test as Mrs. Danvers continues to use stories to keep Rebecca's mind reigning over Manderley. However, it turns out that Rebecca was terminally ill and provoked this argument to save herself from a miserable, slow death.

1st act

Prologue: Manderley Ruins

Years after the dramatic events, the narrator "I" dreams of Manderley. The shadows of the past awaken in the nocturnal ruins of the former Manderley mansion. The memory comes back to life ( I dreamed of Manderley ).

Scene 1: Lobby of a hotel in Monte Carlo

“I”, the narrator, sees herself again in a hotel lobby in Monte Carlo. It's April 24, 1926. She works as a partner for a wealthy American named Mrs. van Hopper. Through this she met Maxim de Winter, who like her comes from England. Mrs. van Hopper takes the last bit of self-confidence from "I" ( you will never become a lady ).

2nd scene: Hotel terrace

When the young woman appeared the next morning alone for breakfast, Maxim de Winter asked her to come to his table. A holiday romance develops between the two, which gives hotel guests the material for gossip. “I” falls in love with Maxim, although he seems cold and harsh at times. Mrs. van Hopper's decision to leave Monte Carlo means the end of her dream for “I” ( he unexpectedly lost his wife Rebecca ).

Cliff: On the precipice

Magical natural (inserted here in 2011 for St. Gallen and Korea premiere in 2012)

Scene 3: Mrs. van Hopper's suite in the hotel

Everything is ready for departure. "I" wistfully remembers the wonderful days with Maxim. ( Time in a bottle ) He enters and when he hears that "I" should leave with the American, he asks her to accompany him to Manderley as his wife. You get married and spend cheerful days in Venice ( magical, of course) .

Italy: wedding

Magical natural (added here in 2011 for Stuttgart)

Scene 4: Manderley Hall

Seven weeks later, the couple arrive in Manderley. In the large manor house, the staff has lined up for the reception. “I” met the friendly and helpful estate manager Frank Crawley. Mrs. Danvers, the housekeeper, is a black-clad woman with severe features. She makes no secret of her contempt for the "new" Mrs. de Winter. Her loyalty still belongs to the late Rebecca ( The New Mrs. de Winter ).

5th scene: morning room

Mrs. Danvers thinks of her former mistress Rebecca when she looks after the orchids. When “I” enters the room, the housekeeper shows her the deceased's secretary and a porcelain figure depicting a cupid. Mrs. Danvers leaves the room, and "I", when she hears voices in the hallway, clumsily lets Cupid fall to the floor. She is about to hide the broken pieces in a drawer when Maxim's sister Beatrice appears with her husband Giles. The two of them live nearby and have come to see and say hello to the new Mrs. de Winter. Beatrice accepts "I" immediately and takes her sisterly in her arms ( she does not surrender , the dear relatives ).

Scene 6: library

Maxim and "I" decide to give a costume ball. Mrs. Danvers interrupts their cheerful conversation to report the disappearance of the valuable porcelain figure. The young landlady confesses contrite that she broke the figure. After Mrs. Danvers' departure, Maxim's mood is gloomy, to the point of an outburst of anger ( Are you happy? Are you angry? ).

7th scene: Suite in the east wing

In accordance with the customs of the aristocratic lifestyle, Maxim and "I" sleep in separate rooms in the renovated east wing of Manderley. At night, however, both of them have an oppressive feeling of fear. You take courage in the feeling that you can defeat the shadows of the past together ( help me through the night ).

8th scene: Beatrice's house

After a phone call with "I", Beatrice is worried about her brother. In her experience, Maxim is only tough and unfair when he's very desperate ( what's wrong with him? ).

Scene 9: Rebecca's room

On her forays into the house, “I” ends up in Rebecca's former bedroom in the west wing. There she meets Mrs. Danvers and a stranger. It's Jack Favell, a cousin of the late Rebecca. “I” is asked not to tell Maxim about the visit. As a thank you for her secrecy, "I" received a tip from Mrs. Danvers for the costume ball. She suggests that she transform into “the lady in white” from one of the paintings. Mrs. Danvers tells "I" about Rebecca and seems to be surrounded by invisible shadows ( she was used to being loved , our secret , Rebecca ).

Scene 10: Manderley Golf Club / Kitchen

The local golf club is looking forward to the planned Manderley costume ball. At the same time, however, one does not leave good hair on the new wife of Maxim de Winter ( WE are British ).

This scene is replaced in St. Gallen and Stuttgart by a scene in Manderley's kitchen:

The staff meets in Manderley's kitchen and doesn’t leave a happy eye on Maxim de Winter’s new wife ( Strange ).

11th scene: Boathouse

"I" discovers an abandoned boathouse in Manderley Bay. There she meets Ben, a mentally retarded man who plays with clams and talks confused things. When Maxim sees his young wife at the boathouse, he gets angry for no apparent reason. He yells at "I" so uncontrollably that she runs away. That brings Maxim back to his senses. He wonders if it was his mistake to return to Manderley ( you go , God, why? ).

Scene 12: Crawley's office

When "I" asks the estate manager Frank Crawley why Maxim forbade her to go to the boathouse, she learns that Rebecca stayed there the last night before her death. She died in a sailing accident. “I” have the feeling that I will never be able to step out of the shadow of the dead. Frank comforts her and gives her courage ( honesty and trust ).

Scene 13: Manderley Hall

The long-planned costume ball takes place a few weeks later. Mrs. Van Hopper is among the arriving guests. She flirts with Colonel Julyan, the Police Commissioner, and emphasizes her merits ( Manderley's Ball , I'm an american woman ).

14th scene: dressing room

"I" meanwhile transforms into the "Lady in White". In the costume she feels for the first time up to her task as mistress of Manderley. With pleasure she turns in front of the mirror and is already looking forward to the amazement of the guests when she comes down the stairs ( Tonight I enchant the world ).

Scene 15: Manderley Hall

"I" has her grand entrance. But when she appeared, the guests at the ball reacted with horror: Rebecca wore the same costume at the last ball before her death. Maxim angrily orders "I" to put on something else immediately. Mrs. Danvers smiles wickedly ( Finale first act ).

2nd act

1st scene: In the corridor in front of Rebecca's room

In the morning after the fancy dress ball, “I” looks for Maxim in order to reconcile with him. She suspects him to be in Rebecca's room in the west wing. But there is only Mrs. Danvers there. “I” confronts her. Mrs. Danvers threatens the young woman that she will never be able to take Rebecca's place. With imploring words, she advises her to take her own life in order to redeem herself and Maxim. "I" is on the verge of succumbing to the hypnotic power of Mrs. Danvers when thunderous explosions awaken her from the trance. Flares go up on the beach ( And that and that and that ).

Rebecca's room

Rebecca (reprise) , shadow

At the window

Just one step

2nd scene: the beach

A ship is stranded in Manderley Bay. In the early morning mist, helpers drive out. The curious and prey seekers gather on the beach. In the search for Maxim, “I” meets Frank and Jack Favell. She learns that divers have found Rebecca's boat and in it a corpse ( flotsam ).

3rd scene: boathouse

"I" goes to the boathouse, where Ben is hanging around as always. He is hiding under the stairs when Maxim appears. "I" is startled when she sees her husband. He is pale, sleepy, unshaven. Now everything is over, he explains to his young wife. “I” thinks he wants to end the relationship with her because he has realized that he will never break away from Rebecca. But Maxim surprises her with the fact that he never loved Rebecca, downright hated it. Then something breaks out of him that he has kept secret for a year. He admits killing his first wife in affect and have sunk the body by boat ( you's continued (Reprise) , you love them too much , No smile was ever so cold ).

4th scene: breakfast room

After "I" learned that Maxim alone loves her and that he needs her now, she is transformed. Beatrice notices the change immediately. She knows that a loving woman can achieve the impossible. "I" is determined to save Maxim from the gallows ( The Strength of a Woman ).

5th scene: corridor

The house staff drag furniture, vases, lamps, stacks of books, paintings, boxes and boxes across the stage ( The new Mrs. de Winter (recapitulation) ).

6th scene: morning room

The new Mrs. de Winter has taken over the regiment in Manderley. She has all objects that are reminiscent of Rebecca put away. The museum-preserved morning room is ventilated and changed. Even the painstakingly glued Cupid has to give way. Mrs. Danvers protests in vain. Now it is "I" who give instructions ( I am Mrs. de Winter! ).

7th scene: courtroom

Finding Rebecca's body leads to a preliminary judicial investigation. A jury will decide whether the suspicions against Maxim de Winter are sufficient to open an indictment. “I” encourages Maxim before entering the courtroom and admonishes him not to allow himself to be provoked under any circumstances. But at the trial, he feels so cornered that anger rises inside him. Before he can reveal his involvement, “I” faints. The proceedings are adjourned ( the preliminary investigation ).

8th scene: library

Jack Favell and Mrs. Danvers also attended the preliminary examination. To Mrs. Danvers' surprise, Favell accompanies her to Manderley to wait for Maxim in the library. He wants to blackmail him with a letter from Rebecca. Maxim calls Colonel Julyan, who first interrogates Favell, then Ben and Mrs. Danvers. It turns out that Rebecca went to see a gynecologist in London the day before her death. Favell suspects that Rebecca was pregnant - by him. This would answer the crucial question about the motive for murder. Colonel Julyan decides to go to London to see the doctor. Favell and "I" accompany him. Maxim is not allowed to leave Manderley ( one hand washes the other , you away (recapitulation II) ).

Scene 9: London / Hall of Manderley

While Colonel Julyan, "I" and Favell visit the doctor the next day, Manderley's staff is tormented by the question of whether their master will be arrested as a murderer. The phone is ringing at last. Maxim learns what the questioning of the doctor has revealed. Rebecca was terminally ill. She wanted to die. All at once , Maxim realizes that she had planned everything to destroy him ( they drove at eight , no one saw through them ).

10th scene: At the window

Maxim, "I" and Mrs. Danvers think about the surprising twist. Mrs. Danvers is determined not to have a new Mrs. de Winter in Manderley. Madness shines in her eyes ( I hear you sing - Rebecca ).

Scene 11: A train station in Cornwall

Late at night, Maxim picks up "I" from the train station. Relieved to have escaped Rebecca's shadow, they embrace. They look forward to a carefree future together. A light on the horizon alerts Maxim ( Beyond the Night ).

Scene 12: Manderley on fire

Huge flames eerily light up the park and Manderley's driveway. The staff tried desperately to put out the fire. When Maxim and "I" arrive, Frank reports that Mrs. Danvers has started the fire. Maxim sees the house of his ancestors turned to rubble, but his grief is also mixed with a feeling of liberation. With Manderley, the demons of the past are burning up ( Manderley in flames ).

Epilogue: Manderley Ruins

Decades later. “I” returns to the beginning of her dream. There are only a few broken walls left of Manderley. She has long been living with Maxim, far from foggy Cornwall, in a small hotel on the Italian Adriatic. She doesn't talk to Maxim about the past. Only in dreams does she occasionally return ( I dreamed of Manderley (recapitulation and finale 2nd act) ).


Act 1
  1. I dreamed of Manderley ("I", shadow)
  2. You'll never be a lady (Mrs. van Hopper, "I")
  3. He unexpectedly lost his wife (Ensemble, changed in Stuttgart 2011: Petit Dejeuner)
  4. At the abyss ("I", Maxim)
  5. Magical natural (Maxim; added 2011 at this point in St. Gallen)
  6. Time in a bottle ("I")
  7. Magical, of course (Maxim; added 2011 at this point in Stuttgart)
  8. The new Mrs. de Winter (Ensemble, Mrs. Danvers, Frank Crawley)
  9. She does not surrender (Mrs. Danvers)
  10. The dear relatives (Beatrice, "I", Giles)
  11. Are you happy? / Are you angry? ("I", Maxim)
  12. Help me through the night ("I", Maxim)
  13. What's the matter with him? (Beatrice)
  14. She was used to being loved (Mrs. Danvers, Favell)
  15. Our secret (Mrs. Danvers, "I")
  16. Rebecca (Mrs. Danvers, Ensemble)
  17. We are british (ensemble)
  18. Strange (Ensemble; replaced in St. Gallen and Stuttgart We are British )
  19. She's gone (ben)
  20. God why? (Maxim)
  21. Honesty and Trust (Frank Crawley)
  22. Manderley Ball (Ensemble)
  23. I'm an American Woman (Mrs. van Hopper)
  24. Tonight I enchant the world ("I")
  25. Finale First Act (Mrs.Danvers & Ensemble)
Act 2
  1. Entr'acte (instrumental)
  2. Whatever I do is wrong (and that and that and that) ("I")
  3. Rebecca - recapitulation (Mrs. Danvers, "I", shadow)
  4. Just one step (Mrs. Danvers)
  5. Strandgut (Ensemble, "I", Crawley, Favell)
  6. She's gone - reprise (Ben)
  7. You love her too much ("I")
  8. No smile has ever been so cold (Maxim)
  9. A woman's strength (Beatrice, "I")
  10. The New Mrs. de Winter-Reprise (Ensemble)
  11. I am Mrs. de Winter! ("I", Mrs. Danvers)
  12. The preliminary examination (ensemble)
  13. The Appointment (Favell, Mrs. Danvers)
  14. One hand washes the other hand (Favell)
  15. She's gone - Reprise II (Ben)
  16. They drove at eight (ensemble)
  17. Nobody saw through you (Maxim)
  18. I hear you sing - Rebecca (Mrs. Danvers, shadow; text change in Stuttgart from August 2012)
  19. Beyond the night ("I", Maxim)
  20. Manderley on Fire (Ensemble, Frank Crawley, Maxim)
  21. I dreamed of Manderley - reprise ("I", shadow)
  22. Closing music (instrumental)


Rebecca was already one of his favorite novels in Michael Kunze's youth. After his great success with musicals such as Tanz der Vampire , Mozart! and Elisabeth realized that the novel would be a good template for a new musical. Kunze wasn't the only one trying to get the rights to the novel. After the writer's son, Christian Browning (* 1940), saw the musical Elisabeth , he decided to give it to Michael Kunze and Sylvester Levay. Kunze worked on the lyrics for two years. The composition took another two years. On April 19, 2006, the first press conference took place, at which the premiere cast was announced and the first three songs were also presented. Including the title song "Rebecca". It is the first Kunze Levay musical in which the music was written directly to the text. The world premiere was originally planned in London , but the decision was made in early 2005 to go to Vienna.

Stations of the musical

Musical Rebecca in Vienna

AustriaAustria Austria :

  • Vienna : World premiere: September 28, 2006, Dernière : December 30, 2007 ( en-suite performance )
  • Vienna: resumption: September 6, 2008, dererniere: December 30, 2008 (en-suite performance: with world premiere 339 performances)

JapanJapan Japan :

  • Tokyo : Premiere: April 6, 2008, Derniere: June 2008
  • Nagoya : Premiere: March 2010, Derniere: March 2010
  • Tokyo: Premiere: April 2010, Derniere: May 2010
  • Osaka : Premiere: May 2010, Derniere: June 2010

FinlandFinland Finland :

  • Helsinki : Premiere: August 28th, 2008, Derniere: May 9th, 2009
  • Kouvola : Premiere: September 11, 2010, Derniere: May 7, 2011

RussiaRussia Russia :

  • Moscow : Premiere: March 29, 2009, Derniere: December 20, 2009 ( repertoire : 10 performances)

HungaryHungary Hungary :

  • Budapest : Premiere: March 18, 2010, Derniere: January 23, 2014 (repertoire: 140 performances)

RomaniaRomania Romania :

  • Bucharest : Premiere: May 7, 2011, Derniere: June 30, 2012 (repertoire)

SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland :

  • St. Gallen : Premiere: October 22, 2011, Derniere: May 9, 2013 (repertoire: 41 performances)

GermanyGermany Germany :

  • Stuttgart : Premiere: December 8, 2011, Derniere: January 6, 2013 (en-suite performance: 420 performances)
  • Tecklenburg : Premiere: July 21, 2017, Derniere: September 9, 2017 (Open Air: 20 performances)

SerbiaSerbia Serbia :

  • Belgrade : Premiere: December 9, 2012, Derniere: June 27, 2016 (repertoire: 26 performances)

Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea :

  • Seoul : Premiere: January 12, 2013, Derniere: March 31, 2013 (45 performances)
  • Seoul: Premiere: September 6, 2014, Derniere: November 9, 2014
  • Seoul: Premiere: December 4th, 2015, Derniere: March 6th, 2016
  • Seoul: Premiere: August 9, 2017, Derniere: November 18, 2017
  • Seoul: Premiere: November 16, 2019, Derniere: March 15, 2020

SwedenSweden Sweden :

  • Malmö : Premiere: February 7, 2014, Derniere: April 12, 2014 (19 performances)

Czech RepublicCzech Republic Czech Republic :

CD recordings

  • 2006 single The Power of a Woman in Love by Gloria Gaynor
  • 2006 Cast album for the world premiere in Austria
  • 2007 Complete recording live from the Raimund Theater for the world performance in Austria
  • 2010 cast album of the Japanese production
  • 2010 Cast album of the Hungarian production
  • 2012 Complete recording live from the Palladium Theater Stuttgart
  • 2013 Cast album of the South Korean production
  • 2017 Cast album of the South Korean production with 'Are you happy', 'God Why', 'Time in a flashe', 'Rebecca (long version)', and 'She does not surrender'.


German-language performances Premiere cast Vienna (2006) Cast for the first time St. Gallen (2011) Premiere cast Stuttgart (2011) Premiere cast Tecklenburg (2017)
Maxim de Winter Uwe Kroeger Thomas Borchert Jan Ammann
I Wietske van Tongeren Lisa Antoni Lucy Scherer Milica Jovanović
Mrs. Danvers Susan Rigvava-Dumas Maya Hakvoort Pia Douwes
Mrs. van Hopper Carin Filipčić Isabel Dörfler Anne Welte
Beatrice Kerstin Ibald Roberta Valentini
Frank Crawley André Bauer Jörg Neubauer Thomas Hohler
Ben Norberto Bertassi Oliver Heim Daniele Nonnis Christian Schöne
Jack Favell Carsten Lepper Andreas Wolfram Hannes Staffler Robert Meyer

Premiere cast in Belgrade:

  • Maxim de Winter: Ivan Bosiljčić
  • Me: Branislava Podrumac
  • Mrs. Danvers: Katarina Gojković
  • Mrs. van Hopper: Nataša Marković
  • Beatrice: Dušica Novaković
  • Frank Crawley: Zafir Hadžimanov
  • Ben: Žarko Stepanov
  • Jack Favell: Dejan Lutkić
  • Colonel Julyan: Predrag Miletić

Premiere cast in Seoul:

  • Maxim de Winter: Ryu Jung Han, Yoo Jun Sang
  • Me: Kim Bo Kyung, Lim Hye Young
  • Mrs. Danvers: Oak Joo Hyun, Shin Young Sook

Premiere cast in Ostrava:

  • Maxim de Winter: Tomáš Novotný
  • Me: Martina Šnytová
  • Mrs. Danvers: Katarína Hasprová
  • Mrs. van Hopper: Lenka Bartolšicová
  • Beatrice: Eva Jedličková
  • Frank Crawley: Ján Slezák
  • Ben: Libor Olma
  • Jack Favell: Tomáš Savka
  • Colonel Julyan: Jan Drahovzal

Web links

Individual evidence