Rudolf Mayerling Affaire (Wildhorn - Murphy) Vienna Cast
Composer: Wildhorn, Frank
Lyricist: Murphy, Jack
Passion, rebellion and inescapable destiny.
High ideals, true love and betrayal.
A tragic story that rocked an empire.
A visionary reformer is destroyed by political
intrigues and his own fateful passion.
Following the resounding success of ELISABETH, the VBW again turned to the Habsburgs to tell the story of a tragic Austrian figure using modern music and choreography. And, like ELISABETH, the musical drama RUDOLF – AFFAIRE MAYERLING combines elements that have universal appeal: an absolutist ruler, his crown prince, a fading empire, the clash of modern ideas with tradition and the conflict of personal happiness and public duty.
RUDOLF, based on Frederic Morton’s novel A Nervous Splendor, brings one of the most dramatic and most talked about episodes in Austrian history to spectacular life: the mysterious double suicide of Crown Prince Rudolf, heir to the throne of the Habsburg Empire, and his 17-year-old lover Baroness Mary Vetsera in Mayerling in 1889.
Frank Wildhorn, composer of the worldwide hit JEKYLL & HYDE, and Jack Murphy created a romantic musical full of longing and passion. Until his tragic suicide, Crown Prince Rudolf carried an empire’s hopes of an open, modern and socially aware Europe. But he was destined to be beaten by the rigid, Catholic world that his father, Emperor Franz Joseph, represented. But until his defeat, Rudolf goes his own way with his ideals and moral concepts, but with his doubts, too – and with the teenaged Baroness Mary Vetsera at his side, his kindred spirit who shared his vision. Leading a double life, both politically and within his family, Rudolf finds himself trapped by the ruthless and powerful Prime Minister Count Eduard Taaffe, who uses his knowledge of the Crown Prince’s secret activities to ruin his political career.
It is not the aim of the musical to explain in detail the historical background of the tragedy. Instead the ideological and romantic motives are presented by sweeping melodies, passion-filled ballads and marvellously evocative stage sets and lighting. The “Mayerling affair” itself – the death of Rudolf and Mary – is shrouded in darkness, just as it was in real life.
Story of successThe VBW's second "Habsburg" musical.
A spectacular retelling of a prince's last days.
350,000 visitors worldwide.
RUDOLF – AFFAIRE MAYERLING premiered as a licensed production in Budapest in May, 2006. In the spring of 2008 the Japanese version, also co-produced by the VBW, opened at the Imperial Theater in Tokyo, and the German-language version ran at the Raimund Theater in Vienna from February, 2009 to January 2010.
The Viennese production, directed by Tony award winner David Leveaux (Broadway, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF) continued the VBW’s policy of concentrating on original productions. This production uses a stage with a revolving section that allows set designer Mike Britton (Royal Shakespeare Company, numerous Shakespeare plays) to create scenes with tremendous vibrancy and movement, such as the Ringstrasse and ice-skating scenes. The atmospheric lighting that heightens the tension as the web is drawn ever more tightly round the lovers is designed by one of world's true greats in the field: Patrick Woodroffe, whose credits read almost like a Who's Who of rock, classical and stage music: ABBA, Bob Dylan, The Police, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Van Morrison, Rolling Stones, Phil Collins, Depeche Mode, Tina Turner, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the English National Ballet, "Son et Lumière" in the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, Cirque du Soleil, the Millennium Dome in London and Michael Jackson's "This Is It" tour and film.
Above all, the musical is characterised by sweeping ballads that powerfully convey a huge range of emotions, from anger, despair and gnawing uncertainty to tender love, joie-de-vivre and revolutionary fervour.
And the empire slowly crumbles to the strains of the Viennese waltz …
FactsBook & Lyrics: Jack Murphy / Nan Knighton
Music: Frank Wildhorn
Director: David Leveaux
international premiere: 2006 Ungarn (Budapest)
visitors Vienna: 180.984
visitors international: 156.732
visitors worldwide: 337.716
shows Vienna: 210 shows
shows international: 190 shows
shows worldwide: 400 shows
4 countries: Austria, Japan, Korea, Hungary
4 languages: German, Japanese, Korean, Hungarian
opening date: 2009 RAIMUND THEATER
Press critics“While half a dozen towns in Germany do their utmost to become strongholds of musicals, Vienna has long been one and … also provides the storyline.”
“The musical Rudolf looks set for a long run. The Habsburgs […] always provide stories with a dash of history. And who better to preserve the legacy of the monarchy than the Vereinigte Bühnen Wien?”
“A standing ovation at the premiere at the Raimund Theater: the musical Rudolf scores with a tremendous story and great theatrical opulence.
[…] the production sets a spectacular imperial and royal stage carousel in motion that eventually throws off the heir to the throne. […] Viennese atmosphere with glittering Broadway flair.”
“Women love Rudolf, but he only loves his Mary who is not just beautiful but his soul-mate: Mary and Rudolf have some touching, passionate scenes together, whether they are rollerblading across the stage with a cute snowman or embracing in the bedroom.”