FESTIVAL Imago Dei 2023: “Balance”

(c) Imago Dei 2023
(c) Imago Dei 2023

NADJA KAYALI’S second round as Artistic Director of the IMAGO DEI festival (3/17-4/10/2023) celebrates HK GRUBER and ERNST KOVACIC, while continuing the focal points “Zwischent√∂ne Polen” and “Imago Deae” (among others with five commissioned texts to Austrian authors), and embarks on literary-musical-legal explorations of law and justice. Fifteen concerts in the Klangraum Krems Minoritenkirche culminate in the grand finale on Easter Monday with Handel’s “Messiah” (Company of Music).

After the very successful first edition, Nadja Kayali has chosen the title “Balance” for her second Festival Imago Dei. Balance – that means two scales in equilibrium: when music and literature make the soul fly and stimulate reflection; when familiar things become audible (again) from the treasury of music and new things find a place; when art brings its feminine weight to the scales in a clearly visible way; or when Goddess Justitia lets balance prevail in questions of justice and law.

Nadja Kayali (c) Trifoliata Walter Skokanitsch
Nadja Kayali (c) Trifoliata Walter Skokanitsch

The opulent opening on March 17 in honor of the important Austrian composer and chansonnier HK Gruber, who celebrates his 80th birthday on January 3, 2023, brings his world-renowned work, “Frankenstein!!!” and “Nebelsteinmusik” to the stage with a second jubilarian of the domestic music scene: violinist and conductor Ernst Kovacic, who will also turn 80 in 2023! He will be a guest at the festival for a second time on March 31 with the Leopoldinum Orchestra Wroclaw and singer Agata Zubel.

Until the grand finale with George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah” (Company Of Music) on Easter Monday (Apr. 10), fifteen concert events are on the program at the Klangraum Krems Minoritenkirche: the focus on “Intermediate Tones Poland” will continue with four very different concerts by the Polish string quartet Messages Quartet, which was acclaimed last year. Pianist Florian Stemberger presents rarely heard works by Bach (Mar. 19). The multifaceted multimedia evening “Nach Lemberg!” (To Lviv!) on March 25 sets out on literary-musical-legal explorations of law and justice (with Petra Morz√©, Robert Reinagl, Platypus Ensemble, and many others). For the popular morning concerts during Holy Week, Imago Dei commissioned five Austrian authors to write new texts on the theme of “balance” (Barbara Frischmuth, Anna Kim, Ana Marwan, Sabine Gruber and Maja Haderlap).

Klangraum Krems Minoritenkirche (c) Imago Dei
Klangraum Krems Minoritenkirche (c) Imago Dei 2021

Also in the program: a reunion with Sakina Teyna and Salah Ammo, who together with the Kurdophone Ensemble will create an imaginary Kurdistan, new literary and musical interpretations of the Andersen fairy tale “The Girl with the Matches” (with Sophie Reyer and Company of Music) on Good Friday (Apr. 7), the new production in cooperation with the Salzburg Toihaus Theater “Nebelweich” (for children from 1 year on!) on Mar. 26, a film program in the Kino im Kesselhaus and much more.

In addition to the concerts in the Minoritenkirche, there will also be events in the Wirtshaus Salzstadl and at cooperation partners in Vienna (Austrian National Library, Polish Institute, Vienna Hofmusikkapelle).

The entire festival program can be found here.

Translated from the German original by Arianna Alfreds.