Meiningen Ensemble

The Meininger called the ensemble cast of the Meiningen Court Theatre, the 81- guest performances presented from 1874 to 1890 with the modern director's theater, a profound reform of the theater throughout Europe. Under the supervision of the director and later director Ludwig Chronegk they enthusiastic at their performances the former theater world and enjoyed great success.


→ see also: Das Meininger Theater - Theater Duke to Meininger principles

At the theater his residence town of Meiningen led 1869-1874 Duke Georg II of Saxe -Meiningen, in collaboration with the director Ludwig Chronegk and his wife and actress Ellen Franz ( 1873 Baroness Helene von Heldburg ) with the Meininger principles have a profound theater reform through. George II was a very art-loving monarch with great fondness for the spectacle. He sat with an unwavering commitment and significant financial resources for the long overdue renovation of this theater genres.

The theater reform did not prevail with the performances alone at Meiningen Court Theatre, despite extensive reviews of major newspapers. So the Duke planned soon a series of guest appearances in the great theater cities. When guest performance of the Meiningen Ensemble on May 1, 1874 Friedrich Wilhelm Municipal Theater in Berlin was announced for the first time the general public with Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare this reform.

In the following years, the actors of the Meiningen Court Theatre, including convoy in 16 years visited a logistical feat 38 European cities. To Berlin alone, seven concert tours have been made. Several sailing to London were carried out. It came at 2,591 performances 41 works of various masters, especially of Shakespeare and Schiller, to the performance. Consisting of 70 to 80 persons Travel Company completed 15 to 20 wagons full of decorations, props and costumes with them. In the performance venues have already made the performances the faithful sumptuous costumes, realistic voices scenes and impressive crowd scenes stir.

These tours were breaking in other areas of the web. Logistically was first used the nascent European rail network for such a large undertaking on a large scale. Customs and import regulations had to be redesigned in certain countries that negotiated the government of the Meiningen Duchy means of special conditions with the respective other states. Since George II was also a reigning duke, he never took part in a tour yourself. All missions were led by Ludwig Chronegk.

A number of young and later famous actors started during the travel time her career and learned at that time an excellent education through George's wife Baroness Helene von Heldburg, born Ellen Franz Among them were Josef Kainz, Adele Sandrock, Bjorn Bjornson and Albert Bassermann. A to April 1887 planned by October 1886 and the contract already signed U.S. tour with 150 performances in numerous cities of the east coast had to be canceled because of a persistent and serious illness Chronegks. From this disease Chronegk never recovered, he died on July 9, 1891.

Soon the other stages in Europe learned from the reforms of the Meiningen and played them after. Inspired by the Meininger founded in 1879 in England, Charles Edward Flower, the predecessor theater of the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre.

On 1 July 1890, the Meininger gave in Odessa with Shakespeare's Twelfth her ​​last guest, the cultural mission was accomplished. A quote from Otto Brahm proves this aptly: " They died on the successes ." Although the long travel time for the Duchy caused high costs, the box office results brought a huge financial success. Many years after this trip it was time for actors honored to play at the Meininger Court Theatre and in the theater world was called the ensemble cast continue to respectfully " Meininger ".

These works are

  • William Shakespeare: Julius Caesar ( Drama ), Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, King Lear, The Winter's Tale.
  • Friedrich Schiller: Wallenstein trilogy, The Maid of Orleans, William Tell, The Robbers, Conspiracy Fiesco and Mary Stuart.
  • Heinrich von Kleist: Prinz Friedrich von Homburg, The Hermann Battle and Cathy of Heilbronn.
  • Franz Grillparzer: The ancestress and Esther
  • Goethe 's Iphigenie auf Tauris
  • Moliere: The Imaginary Invalid and The Misanthrope
  • Gotthold Ephraim Lessing: Nathan the Wise
  • Henrik Ibsen: The Pretenders and ghosts
  • Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson: Between battles
  • And another 15 works, among other things, by Pius Alexander Wolff, Julius Minding and Paul Heyse.

The host cities for the Meininger

  • Germany: Berlin, Dresden, Leipzig, Gotha, Magdeburg, Frankfurt am Main, Mainz, Baden -Baden, Bremen, Barmen (Wuppertal ), Hamburg, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Nuremberg, Munich, Königsberg, Stettin, Breslau, Strasbourg, Metz.
  • Rest of Europe: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Brussels, London, Basel, Trieste, Vienna, Graz, Budapest, Prague, Warsaw, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, Odessa, Copenhagen, Stockholm.