Una Notte Italiana
“Una Notte Italiana” will turn the world heritage Sanssouci Park into two summernights filled with entertainment on August 16th and 17th. This year’s motto “Una Notte Italiana” is inspired by Frederick II. and Frederick William IV.. Their love for Italy is evident in the architecture around the city, in the parks and castles, and in the many baroque pieces of art which grace the castles. This Italian tradition is beeing honored in Potsdam and especially Sanssouci Park. Spectacular light arrangement, opulent visuals as well as artistic and culinary delights will present the illuminated park as a world star. The historical buildings and the park with its fountains and waterworks will be the stage for various musicians and artist who will turn the night itself into a work of art.
The motto “Una Notte Italiana” is corresponding to the upcoming exhibition at Museum Barberini which will present artworks from the Pallazi Barberini and Corsi as well as the Nationalgalerie. The connection of Potsdam and Italy, which is everpresent in Potsdam’s architecture, will be celebrated in 2019 with many events. The Potsdamer Schlössernacht will be a highlight of this upcoming Italian event summer.
Theater Tol presents Italian lightness with the bike parade
Theater Tol was founded in Antwerp (Belgium) in 1998. Its performances during which the spoken word does not play any role focus rather on acting, music and the utilisation of strong images. At Potsdamer Schlössernacht they surprise the visitors with their bike parade which represents a combination of fairy dancers and wonderful bicycle creations. They ride through the alleys of Sanssouci Park and dance to the music in breath-taking costumes and accessories. Bike parade is fairytale and dream in one, which condenses as soon as the parade moves on.
Place of performance: Main alley
The Venetian gondola: Venetian romanticism with music
A genuine Venetian gondola with an impressive length of 11 metres and a gondolier spread Italian flair in Sanssouci Park. The gondola will move across the pond near the Roman Baths. This is all rounded off by a musical act which will take the audience mentally to the history-steeped streets of Venice.
Place of performance: Engine Pond near the Roman Baths
UliK Robotic – DRUMGOD
A robot that moves in all directions, reaches up to a height of five metres and at the end of which a huge drum is attached. Within a few minutes a turbulent game develops between the artist UliK and his robot. It is a mixture of wild rollercoaster ride and drum show, which UliK presents to his audience. Musical, full of humour and above all visually a real eye-catcher! The unusual production shows in a fascinating way the surprising possibilities of man and machine when acting together. Through this interplay the machine gets human traits and turns its show into a special experience!
Place of performance: Around Sanssouci Palace
The shining fair
The lanterns inspired by Stravinsky’s burlesque ballet Petrushka create a special stopper in the park. The Petrushka story is based on elements of Russian popular theatre and the Italian Commedia dell’arte, which Stravinsky has blended in an original manner. The colourful fair happenings known from Italian narratives constitute the background to the Petrushka story. The tragic love story which develops during the depicted act is particularly moving. It is based on the old love triangle of the Italian improvised comedy: Pierrot, Harlequin and Columbine.
Place of performance: At the Chinese Tea House close to Selloweg
Historical costumes are traditionally an integral part of Schlössernacht. Costumi offers with its imaginative costume items, however, rather art than historical quotes. They have won many awards including at the Carnival of Venice. During the past years Costumi has developed the largest collection of acclaimed wearable costume works of art. At Potsdamer Schlössernacht 2019 the group can be admired as a walking act in the main alley – always ready for colourful selfies with the guests. Another four costumes can be seen in the exhibition “Table Art and Table Culture” in the eastern Greenhouse.
Place of performance: Moving in the main alley and stationary in the eastern Greenhouse of the Orangerie Palace
Fenix Theatre Company
Commedia dell’arte – the almost forced marriage
The Commedia dell’arte is a particularly interesting variant of drama in theatre history. It is an improvised comedy invented in Italy in the 16th century which did not impose a fixed text on the professional actors but defined only types and stereotype courses of action as well as entanglements which were spontaneously varied on stage and interpreted linguistically. Consequently, there are no traditional plays but model books for the improvisation of certain scenes. The figures of the Commedia dell’arte have almost become proverbial in Italy: the Dottore, a talkative, learned pedant from Bologna, or Pantalone, the silly father; moreover, there is the posh merchant and the cheated husband from Venice who play central roles.
The play “The almost forced marriage” is part of the Commedia dell’arte tradition with a simple plot: Pantalone is an old disgruntled man who is intimately convinced that his pretty daughter must marry a rich man.
Place of performance: In front of the Meierei
Another part of Potsdamer Schlössernacht is Teatro Pavana, a professional stilt theatre which was founded in Venice in 1993. In their performances the international artists combine many different theatrical forms, such as stilt walkers, acrobats, musicians and dancers in lavish costumes and masks. Their programme “Le Ballerine” is characterised by experienced dancers in multi-coloured costumes who offer the audience a diverse show danced on pointes. In each individual costume more than 250 metres of tulle have been used which are swung in a spectacular manner by the dancers to the sound of the music.
Place of performance: Weinbergterrassen
Garden tools are the instruments of the Floraphoniker, a group consisting of four former gardeners devoted to music. With the garden shears, the watering can guitar or the garden hose trumpet, they play popular songs in their very own interpretation. A textual and musical pleasure with a large number of even more bizarre instruments. During numerous international performances the extraordinarily inventive Floraphoniker have thrilled their audience.
Place of performance: At Holzplatz
… e la luna?
The sounds of Italy are also contributed by the trio …e la luna?, which won the musica vitale music award in 2002. The music, canzoni italiane, is presented in the original adaptations and a small ensemble with a special expression: the singer Eva Spagna is born in Florence and has the originals so to speak in her blood, the musical foundation comes from Holger Schliestedt on guitar and Andreas Henza on the double bass.
Place of performance: At Maulbeerallee below the Orangerie Palace
Joe Löhrmann has his self-constructed mobile piano always with him – all over the world, if necessary also in the middle of a forest or on an open meadow. He always surprises with My Travelling Piano playing piano music in the open air and enthused the visitors to Schlössernacht with his impressive nature concerts already last year. As a magnet for the audience of Potsdamer Schlössernacht he will again contribute very special emotional moments this summer.
Place of performance: In the palace forecourt of Sanssouci Palace
Marquis Louis de Montignac Musikus
Marquis Louis de Montignac Musikus is a storyteller and lute and lyre player with a pompous garb at the court of Frederick II. He plays baroque lieder and dances from all over Europe and narrates stories about the old Fritz and Sanssouci Palace. And he always refers to the place of performance and has equally exciting and entertaining anecdotes ready for the audience.
Place of performance: Strolling across the entire event grounds
Mona Seebohm plays her favorite Vivaldi works and interprets Italian charts on her e-violin, both in her very own style – trendy and fresh.
Place of performance: Picture Gallery
Joel von Lerber
Anyone who’s ever heard the Swiss harpist Joel von Lerber play Smetana’s “The Moldova” is instantly fascinated. He also plays jazz on the harp which works surprisingly well. All of that on a balmy summer evening at Sanssouci Park is an experience you don’t want to miss.
Place of performance: Charlottenhof Palace
Anna Wierer and Evgeny Beleninov
The duo Anna Wierer (flute) and Evgeny Beleninov (guitar) captivates their audience with enchanting pieces by Astor Piazzolla, Jaques Ibert, Gabriel Fauré or Francoise Bore. A special highlight at Sanssouci Park.
Place of performance: Main alley
Romeo and Juliet: With Shakespeare in Italy
A young group of actors will perform the most famouse scenes from Shakespeare’s italian dramas like Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummernight’s Dream or Othello.
Marsha Cox will be directing.
Place of performance: Next to the Chinese Teahouse from 6.30 to 9.30 pm
Light installations and table culture
The art of light
The famous Picture Gallery in the Schlosspark turns its inside out with its altogether 140 paintings from Caravaggio through Rubens to Lairesse. The masterworks of the great Italians from baroque and renaissance ornate in artfully arranged large projections the façade of the Picture Gallery which is the oldest preserved German museum building. It is particularly advisable to enjoy this sight in the night light of Sanssouci Park.
Place of performance: Facade of the Picture Gallery and the Orangerie Palace
Tribute to the light – a fire and light show
After the positive response of the audience last year there is another breathtaking light extravaganza with music, illuminations, projections, lasers, fire and movement at this year’s Schlössernacht. Embedded in a brilliant orchestration, the artists of the group LOOOOP and the Potsdam fireworks have choreographed an extravaganza of light and movement. Visitors can enjoy flamboyant moments full of fire arts and state of the art LED technology – old and new are melting here into something great. The captivating performance will take place on both evenings of Schlössernacht twice at 10 pm and around midnight.
Place of performance: At the Jubilee Terraces in front of the Orangerie in the area of Maulbeerallee
Table Culture and Table Pleasures
Eating and feasting at the Prussian court was not only a celebration of the senses and delights, but also involved places of representation and communication. With caution and depending on the occasion as well as the type of the court festival, the food, beverages, menus, courses, porcelains, tableware and the invitation of the guests were selected. Even the seating arrangements at the table were based on a court ceremonial. Following these exciting historic traces a co-operation with the Society for Royal Culinary Delights presents in the eastern Greenhouse of the Orangerie an extract from this treasure of royal table culture. The visitors follow the tracks of Frederick William IV, can admire a royal table with porcelain arts, listen to music of that time, experience how culinary delights from an authentic royal menu are served and receive information about the table culture and table pleasures of the Prussian court around 1850.
Place of performance: Eastern Greenhouse of the Orangerie Palace