"No God appears, no angel shows himself;
Closed are heaven’s portals, miracles have ceased."
A young peasant girl goes to battle for her king. Mounted high up on her horse, clad in shimmering armour, bearing helmet and sword – and against all predictions – she is victorious and becomes a folk heroine, honoured and admired by the people.
In Friedrich Schiller’s tragedy, which was published in 1801, he depicts an event that took place 400 years ago. Towards the end of the Hundred Years’ War, France’s position seems hopeless. The English are advancing and the Dauphin of France, Charles VII has been abandoned by his intimates. But then Joan appears, the daughter of a Lorraine farmer, claiming that the fatherland will be rescued by a chaste virgin: she has been called upon by divine voices and visitations. Shortly afterwards, the message arrives at court that a virgin wearing a helmet has led a battle believed to be lost to victory. Joan is placed at the head of the royal army. But when she encounters Lionel, an English army leader, on the battlefield, she is incapable of killing him. One glimpse at the face of this stranger, and her faith crumbles, marking the beginning of her downfall...
In his "romantic" tragedy, Schiller created an opulent array of images. He puzzled his contemporaries with this formally bewildering masterpiece full of political, philosophical and religious motifs: Kantian categorical imperative, catholic mysticism and the question of the national state. Schiller’s world is a shattered one, empty of any order or future. Humankind’s fallibility and capriciousness is confronted with its own maxims – and fails because of its own, self-imposed dogma.
Berlin-premiere September 27, 2013
A co-production with Salzburger Festspiele
Michael GerberThibaut d'Arc, a wealthy Countryman
Kathleen MorgeneyerJohanna, his daughter
Christoph FrankenCharles the Seventh, King of France
Meike DrosteAgnes Sorel, his lover
Andreas DöhlerEarl Dunois, Bastard of Orleans
Henning VogtDucratel, French Officer
Jürgen HuthLa Hire, French Officer
Almut ZilcherQueen Isabel, Charles' mother
Peter MoltzenPhilip the Good, Duke of Burgundy
Markus GrafTalbot, the English General
Alexander KhuonLionel, English Officer
Thibaut d'Arc, a wealthy Countryman
Charles the Seventh, King of France
Earl Dunois, Bastard of Orleans
Queen Isabel, Charles' mother
Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy
Talbot, the English General