Die schöne Galathée
by Franz von Suppé with new book and lyrics by Holger Siemann
Performed: - St.Gallen, Switzerland, Dec 22, 2001 - Jun 30, 2002
Famous sculptor Pygmalion is hired by super cosmetic surgeon Dr.Midas to create the statue of the perfect woman, Galathée, to be displayed in his luxury practice. Down-and-out Pygmalion pours heart and soul into this project, and falls madly in love with his work. He can’t bear to give her up, and with his cool friend and trailor companion G., they devise ways to keep her. But then, surprisingly, the statue comes alive. Bliss? Not quite, as the newborn beauty has a mind of her own and does not consider her a natural partner to her maker. She wants to explore life in all facets!
In Dr.Midas’ practice there is a real-life woman who wants nothing more than to be perfect, and is planning to undergo as many procedures as it takes to achieve that goal. Being real is hard, hard work, whereas Galathée has to just be there and everything comes her way. Paths cross, mayhem ensues. Happy end?
(Click to enlarge)
„The artist Pygmalion falls in love with the image of woman he created. Venus takes pity on him and lets the marble statue come to life. Nine months later, the beautiful Galathée gives birth to a daughter. This happy artist’s story is told by Ovid in his Metamorphoses. Franz von Suppé’s one-act from 1865 takes a more skeptical view of things. As soon as warm blood flows through the veins of the marble ideal, less ideal female instincts awaken as well, such as vanity, flirtatiousness, fickleness. Of course this skeptical take on Ovid is equally open to skepticism. Aren’t these these negative characteristics of the living ideal not in fact positive? Arent’t they simply righteous claim to be alive?
This is the view of the St.Gallen production in a new book adaptation of Franz von Suppé’s operetta, by Holger Siemann. Catherine Cangiano, the protagonist at the center, fully embodying this take in her confident coloratura and lively performance. Katrin Hilbe’s direction allows her energy and initiative to shine even more, since the men are rather limp and empty.”
Herbert Büttiker, Der Landbote