POSTPONED Death in Venice at the Barbican Theatre - Britten Sinfonia - What's On

POSTPONED Death in Venice

16 – 19 Apr 2020

Ramsey Nasr after Thomas Mann

Death in Venice


NOTE: This event has been postponed. Read our COVID-19 statement here.

An intense infatuation fuels the tension between social expectations and personal desire in a show that deftly combines theatre and music, directed by Ivo van Hove.

Celebrated author Thomas Mann is in crisis. He is struggling with writer’s block and a forbidden attraction to a young boy. Secluded in his workshop, he creates a fictional counterpoint of himself: Von Aschenbach, the man he dares not be in real life. A classical score played live by Britten Sinfonia supports the ensuing whirl of emotions portrayed onstage as he sends his alter ego to Venice.

Adapted by former Dutch poet laureate Ramsey Nasr, who performs the role of Aschenbach, Death in Venice is based both on Mann’s intimate novella and the author’s own life. Highlighting the inner struggle of an artist who channels his experiences into his literature, the drama also introduces the viewpoint of Mann’s wife. New music by American composer Nico Muhly features alongside Strauss and Schoenberg.

Ceative Team

By Ramsey Nasr, after Thomas Mann
Hans Hom, Translation
Krystian Lada, Dramaturgy
Ivo van Hove, Director
Jan Versweyveld Set Design, Video and Lighting
An D’Huys, Costumes
Nico Muhly, Theo Verbey Musical Adaptation

“Breathtaking” Algemeen Dagblad (The Netherlands)

“Sensational and thought-provoking” De Volkskrant (The Netherlands)

1 hour 45 mins, no interval
Age guidance 16+ (adult themes)

Performed in Dutch with English surtitles

Presented by the Barbican. Co-produced by Théâtre du Châtelet and Croatian National Theatre Zagreb.

Supported by the Performing Arts Fund NL.