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Christoph Marthaler receives the world's largest theatre award

Pressemelding   •   mar 20, 2018 10:15 CET

Christoph Marthaler is known for his unique stage language in the intersection between musical theatre and stylised, physical theatre. Photo: Dominik Odenkirchen

The Swiss director, composer and musician Christoph Marthaler has been selected for the International Ibsen Award 2018.

Marthaler (born in 1951) has worked at theaters and opera houses across Europe and is best known for his unique stage language in the intersection between musical theatre and stylised, physical theatre.

"Christoph Marthaler has been one of the world's most important and influential theatre directors for more than 30 years. He has created his own unique stage language that paves the way for new insight into interpersonal relationships and has inspired a large international audience," says Per Boye Hansen, head of the jury for the International Ibsen Award.

Boye Hansen acclaims Marthaler as a strong source of inspiration for young theatre aspirants around the world.

"His contribution to the development of theatre as an art form has been considerable and the entire jury is enthusiastically united behind the presentation of the world's most important theatre award," adds Boye Hansen.

You can download the jury's justification and a biographical presentation of Christoph Marthaler as related material.

Read more about the International Ibsen Award and find Marthaler's full CV here.

Watch a video interview with Christoph Marthaler and Per Boye Hansen here:

Norwegian artists about Marthaler:

Playwright and past recipient of the International Ibsen Award, Jon Fosse, had the following to say about the prizewinner:

"Of all the theatrical performances I have seen, Christoph Marthaler's productions are in a category of their own. They have a musical precision that is beyond all sense and for which I can think of no better term than brilliant. And there is no getting around their oddly human, slow-paced scenic character. Christoph Marthaler's theatre is pure and creates musical theatre magic with an incredibly human element."

The Norwegian singer and actor Tora Augestad has worked together with Marthaler on countless theatre and opera productions:

"Christoph Marthaler is a highly musical professional and his deep love of and respect for the music is clearly evident throughout his work. The point of departure is always the music and his poetic musical melancholy is extraordinary. Working with him is pure pleasure and an artistic voyage of discovery. I love the openness and room for interpretation in his work. His productions have a captivating humanistic quality and love of the imperfect in human beings and the course of life. He is a scenic wizard and a tremendous personality with a huge heart."

About the award:

The Norwegian government established the International Ibsen Award in 2007. The prizewinner receives NOK 2.5 million and is selected by a committee comprising seven theatre professionals appointed by the Norwegian Ministry of Culture. The award is presented every other year on 20 March, Henrik Ibsen's birthday. The award presentation ceremony takes place during the International Ibsen Festival, held at the National Theatre in September. The festival entails a guest performance by the award recipient and a theatre symposium.

The jury is headed by Per Boye Hansen, former head of the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet and director of the Festspillene (Bergen International Festival). The jury members are the Swedish director and head of the theatre company Jupither&Josephson, Sofia Jupither, director and head of the French national theatre Le Théâtre de l'Odéon, Stephane Braunschweig, head of the Norwegian National Theatre, Hanne Tømta, dramatic adviser and head of the Berliner Festspiele, Dr. Thomas Oberender, and dramatic adviser and head of the Theatre of Nations and Territoria Festival in Moscow, Roman Dolzhanskiy. 

Om Nationaltheatret

Nationaltheatret er Norges største teater med et uttalt mål om å bli anerkjent som et av Europas ledende teatre; tradisjonsrikt og grensesprengende. Teatret ligger midt i sentrum av Norges hovedstad Oslo – mellom slottet og Stortinget - i et praktbygg fra forrige århundreskifte. Det har tre faste scener; Hovedscenen, Amfiscenen og Malersalen, under samme tak i sentrum, og Torshovteatret, en biscene i bydel Torshov på Oslos østkant.

Nationaltheatret har siden åpningen i 1899 gitt den norske dramatikken og norsk som scenespråk et hjem. Ønsket om å etablere et teater for norske dramatikere og scenekunstnere var en selvsagt del av nasjonsbyggingen og løsrivelsen fra Sverige rundt forrige århundreskifte, en prosess som munnet ut i unionsoppløsningen i 1905. Statuene av Henrik Ibsen og Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson troner fortsatt foran hovedinngangen. Sammen med Ludvig Holberg har disse to nasjonale ikonene også navnene gravert på fasaden av teaterbygningen.
Bygningen ble fredet etter lov om kulturminner i 1983.

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