Death in Venice/Kindertotenlieder

after Thomas Mann/Gustav Mahler
Direction: Thomas Ostermeier

A version by Maja Zade and Thomas Ostermeier

The writer Gustav von Aschenbach is consumed by wanderlust. He travels to Venice in the hope of freeing himself from work regime. When he encounters the fourteen-year-old Tadzio, Aschenbach is consumed by an unprecedented passion. In the boy Aschenbach believes he has found the embodiment of his artistic ideals. Soon, however, the yearning for youthful beauty is transformed into a wild and deadly obsession. Thomas Ostermeier’s production is an experimental arrangement: a narrator, a pianist, a video artist and a group of actors and dancers approach the subjects of erotic passion, physicality and transience which are at the core of Thomas Mann’s novella. The inner drama of the aging man finds its musical counterpart in Josef Bierbichler’s interpretation of the »Kindertotenlieder« by Gustav Mahler – Thomas Mann’s inspiration for the character of Gustav von Aschenbach.

Coproduction with Théâtre National de Bretagne in Rennes.

Owners of the Tanzcard receive a discount of 20% of the regular price.


Direction: Thomas Ostermeier
Choreography: Mikel Aristegui
Composition: Timo Kreuser
Stage design: Jan Pappelbaum
Costume design: Bernd Skodzig
Video: Benjamin Krieg
Dramaturgy: Maja Zade
Light design: Erich Schneider
Sound design: Daniel Plewe

Gustav von Aschenbach: Josef Bierbichler
Tadzio: Leon Klose/Maximilian Ostermann
Tadzio's sisters: Martina Borroni, Marcela Giesche, Rosabel Huguet
Governess: Sabine Hollweck
Waiter: Felix Römer
Page boy, dancer: Mikel Aristegui
Guitar player: Bernardo Arias Porras
Piano: Timo Kreuser
Narrator: Kay Bartholomäus Schulze

Duration: ca. 75 minutes

(without interval)

Premiered in Rennes on 10 November 2012
Premiered in Berlin on 12 January 2013

Tour Dates

Rennes (November 2012)
Recklingshausen (June 2013)
Zagreb (September 2013)
St. Petersburg (November 2013)
Paris (January 2014)