Jedermann (2021)

18 April ’21 > 17 July ’21



Jedermann… Everyone. Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s play Jedermann is based on a tradition of medieval mystery plays, notably that of Everyman, an English mystery play dating back to the 16th century. God sends Death with a command to the stingy and selfish Jedermann: he must get ready for his last journey. In the pivotal hour before his death, loved ones, friends and relatives abandon him and he realizes that all material goods are perishable. Jedermann repents for his sins and, in an ultimate attempt to avoid the devil, finds faith in God.

The play Jedermann tells a near-universal story of moralistic decay accompanied by an abundance of earthly possessions. Everything earthly is transitory and not only material goods but also human love and friendship are valid only up to the threshold of the hereafter. Ultimately, only God’s grace can be trusted. It should be clear: Jedermann is bursting with morality.

Jedermann is based on medieval mystery plays but was not created until the 20th century, 1911 to be precise. In that year the work was premiered. The play quickly gained world fame for its traditional recurring performances at the Salzburg Festival. Since 1920, with the exception of the years during the Second World War, the play has been performed every year during the festival to thousands of visitors.

In 1943 the Swiss composer Frank Martin set the six monologues from Hofmannsthal’s play to music. Martin took the psychological development of the main character as a starting point in his adaptation and his composition is therefore a musical rendition of the transformation that Jedermann undergoes from a rich egoist who fears death to a repentant man who regrets his sins and to the heaven begs for forgiveness. The six musical monologues are among Martin’s most frequently performed works and are available in versions for piano and voice and for voice and orchestra.

In March 2021, bass-baritone Huub Claessens, designer Andre Joosten, actor Peter Vandemeulebroecke and pianist Hans Eijsackers entered the studio to create a new musical adaptation of the Jedermann story. The six musical monologues by Frank Martin and texts by Hugo van Hoffmansthal form the basis for this contemporary arrangement. The result is a unique and contemporary synthesis of drama, opera, classical music and visual arts from a story about divine morality. Universal and for everyone.


Werktheater Opera Zuid

Jedermann is part of Werktheater Opera Zuid: a series of innovative theatrical concerts and performances in which classical singing is the starting point for unexpected and surprising encounters between artistic forms of expression such as music, dance, fashion, visual art, poetry & literature. With this we want to further broaden, deepen and develop the genre “opera”. Amazement and dialogue with the artists are central to this. And surprise. Expect the unexpected in Werktheater Opera Zuid!


Vocals, concept, script en direction Huub Claessens
Acting Peter Vandemeulebroecke
Piano Hans Eijsackers
Design Andre Joosten





Sun 18.04.2021

Online voorstelling
Online voorstelling