Patrick Stanke, Mark Seibert & More Set to Lead Premiere of New Wildhorn Musical ARTUS - EXCALIBUR in Switzerland
The Theater St. Gallen announces the performers in the title roles of the world premiere of the musical ARTUS - Excalibur on 15 March 2014. Patrick Stanke will portray the figure of Arthur. Stanke's repertoire includes numerous leading and title roles. In 2012 he received the DaCapo Award for the best male voice. Mark Seibert will play the legendary figure of Lancelot. Seibert is currently appearing in the musical Elisabeth at the Raimund Theater in Vienna. The figure of the wizard Merlin will be played by Thomas Borchert, who is already familiar to St. Gallen audiences from his roles in the musicals Rebecca and MOSES - The 10 Commandments. The two heroines will be portrayed by Annemieke van Dam (Guinevere) and Sabrina Weckerlin (Morgan le Fay). Van Dam has interpreted the title role of Elisabeth in the eponymous musical and Sabrina Weckerlin was last seen in the German premiere of the Broadway musical Next to Normal - Fast Normal.
The new musical by Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll & Hyde; Dracula, the Musical; The Count of Monte Christo) transports you into the world of Arthurian legend. The director of this world premiere is Francesca Zambello, whose speciality is large musicals, as she last demonstrated in St. Gallen with her successful production of Rebecca.
A country at war, a people longing for peace, a wizard who ties together the threads of fate, knights who lose their hearts, and worlds from which ordinary people are debarred - this is the setting in which the young King Arthur has to assert himself. With the help of his trusty companions he seeks to realize the utopia of the Knights of the Round Table in the hope of bringing peace to his divided kingdom. At first he appears to succeed effortlessly in everything he does: Arthur marries the beautiful Guinevere, gathers the best knights around him and rebuilds the castle of Camelot. However, Arthur's plans are foiled by his half-sister, the sorceress Morgan le Fay. She first allies herself with the tyrant Lot, the most dangerous enemy of the knights at Camelot. Later Morgan exposes the relationship between Lancelot and Guinevere, robs the wizard Merlin of his mysterious powers and finally tries to stab Arthur to death. Only Guinevere's spirited intervention prevents the worst. The battlefields in front of the gates of Camelot are still wet with spilt blood. Arthur questions the purpose of his actions and his existence. What has all the fighting achieved? - He is shut out of Merlin's magical world, his best friend Lancelot has fallen in the battle and the knights are scattered in all directions. All that is left is Guinevere's love and the vision of perhaps resurrecting the legendary Round Table at some future date. A dream that spans the ages. The staging of Arthur's world is musically accompanied by symphonic sound strongly inspired by Celtic influences, which creates a powerful contrast between this work and the usual musical soundscapes.
The music is by Frank Wildhorn with lyrics by Robin Lerner and book by Ivan Menchell. The orchestration and
arrangements are by Koen Schoots. The German text is by Nina Schneider.
The technical team includes Francesca Zambelloon stage production, Peter Davison on sets, Mark McCullough on Lighting, Susan Willmington on costume design, and Katy Tucker on projections. The choreography is by Eric Sean Fogel and the fight scenes are by Rick Sordelet.