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His life his work

Ludwig II and the theater

His work

Chapter 7

Ludwig II and the theater


Theater of the court in Munich, XIXth century.

 The private representations can be widely considered as a creation of the king of Bavaria. They are born in 1874 because Ludwig, lover of the history and the direction, wished he could attend plays of his choice, especially centred on the French monarchy. On the other hand, fascinated by theater and giving itself entirely to his dream, Ludwig did not any more bear to be ceaselessly stared by the spectators during the public representations.

These plays constituted for the king practically the only charm of its stay compulsory for Munich. It is him who ordered the pattern and managed the direction. He attended the repetitions, sometimes playing himself the role of prompter and phonetician for the roles in French. He entrusted the care to authors, as Karl von Heigel, to draft the play with which he had even supplied him the framework.

For the theatrical culture of his country, Ludwig made translate every Shakespeare into German to popularize and to broadcast more widely the big classic works. He also made the glory of certain actors, as Joseph Kainz whom he discovered in 1881, during Marion Delorme of Hugo’s representation. He invited him in Linderhof and made him juggle with all his repertory! They left then for Switzerland, Ludwig subjecting the actor to a real theatrical initiation, in natural frame, the role of Melchtal in the William Tell of Schiller. Having disappointed Ludwig by not being the wished ideal friend, Kainz was nevertheless supported by the king in its career. He was the biggest actor of his time.

© Copyright 2015 Elisabeth Fontaine-Bachelier

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