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Gerald Resch’s “Hanni”. Monologue with music after Franzobel in Linz

In his monologue with music “Hanni”, Gerald Resch turns to material by the Austrian writer Franzobel. The author's texts, which range between experimentation and Dadaism, humour, contemporary but also historical allusions, have already inspired many contemporary composers, including the German composer Moritz Eggert. In “Hanni” Franzobel tells a real story. And the surprise is that the almost 100-year-old main character Hanni will actually be present in person at the premiere of the piece by Gerald Resch on 25 June 2021 at the Brucknerhaus Linz.

Gerald Resch describes Franzobel’s “Hanni” and its musical adaptation in the following words:

“Her father, Rossknecht, had to sleep in the pigs’ trough, and she was kept like a serf by the peasants. Hanni’s story is full of bitter hardship, poverty and deprivation, a modern Cinderella, except that her prince, ‘a picture of a man’, had to go off to war soon after their wedding. Hanni and her father were forced to help build the barracks for the Gusen concentration camp. Later she saw what went on inside, as well as the victims of the Mühlviertel hare hunt. Her life-threatening attempts to help the prisoners had been of little avail. But when, after the war, the locals started to exploit the barracks for their own benefit and built a housing estate there, she wanted nothing to do with it. 

Her husband, who had been awarded the ‘G’frierfleischorden’ (Frozen Meat Medal or Order of the Frozen Flesh - awarded to those who had served on the Eastern Front for Germany during W.W.2.), only returned from captivity after two years later and had completely changed. Betrayed by life, he sought consolation in alcohol and salacious stories about women. As he drank and gambled away everything, Hanni had to struggle to support her six children. A history of constant evictions, confiscations.

Despite her terrible fate, Hanni never lost faith in life. Should you ask the soon to be centenarian how old she wants to be, she’ll tell you - one hundred thousand. The play, a tribute to a centenarian, shows the big story from the perspective of those so-called small people whose unwavering strength and courage to face life is exemplary.

It is a story that is as simple as it is gripping, which forms the basis for the new monologue with music. In ‘Hanni’, the writer Franzobel has traced the life of one of these many so-called simple women of the countryside, whose biography, however, stands out from the crowd in that it began almost 100 years ago and the person of the plot can be expected to attend the premiere as a guest on her 99th birthday: celebrated with a work that is to be understood as a homage to her and highlights her unwavering strength and courage to face life.”

World Premiere Gerald Resch
“Hanni” (monologue with music)
Maxi Blaha (acting, singing) 
Wolfgang Kogert (organ)
Ensemble Phace
Brucknerhaus Linz

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