The Fiery Angel

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January 1970

Opera in five acts (1927; UA 1954)
Music and libretto by Sergei Prokofiev


In Russian language with German surtitles
New production of the Theater an der Wien



Ruprecht has just - we are writing the year 1534 - returned to Europe from a trip to America and is staying overnight in a ramshackle hostel. Suddenly he hears the fearful cries of an apparently threatened woman from the next room. He breaks open the connecting door to help her and finds an overwhelmingly beautiful woman - but alone. She begs him for protection and amazes him with her story: Her name is Renata, and she has been closely associated with a fiery angel named Madiel since childhood, but the relationship changed as she grew up. The angel insisted on a pure spiritual devotion, longing for physical union. Upon her fervent prayer, he took the form of Count Heinrich, with whom she lived in sexual fellowship for a while. Then Heinrich escaped. Since then Renata has been searching for Heinrich-Madiel, always hunted by demons. First Ruprecht wants to take advantage of Renata's condition, then something touches him about the strange woman, and he becomes her companion and protector. More and more he falls in love with her, but she uses him and denies him her love and her body, nevertheless he stays. In Cologne they really meet Count Heinrich, Renata gets Ruprecht to challenge him to a duel, and Ruprecht is fatally injured by Heinrich. Renata now cares for him lovingly, but when he is well, she goes to a monastery. Disheartened, Ruprecht joins two travellers who promise to cheer him up. Their names are Faust and Mephistopheles. In the monastery where Renata lives as a novice, strange things have been going on since her arrival. The abbess therefore calls an inquisitor, whose exorcism gets completely out of control. Faust and Mephistopheles, unaffected by all the spells of the devil, watch the events amusedly, holding the desperate Ruprecht tightly so that he cannot intervene and spoil the fun. Finally, when the nuns in the inquisitor themselves believe they recognize the devil and attack him, he arrests Renata, whom he considers the source of the evil, and hands her over to the stake. 

Program and cast

Theater an der Wien

About the Theater an der Wien

The New Opera House is not just any theatre, but the one that Emanuel Schikaneder, the all-round genius, actor, impresario with a flair for organization but above all librettist of The Magic Flute, had built in 1801 in Vienna in keeping with the spirit of Mozart.

To coincide with the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth the Theater an der Wien presents itself as a new opera house from January 2006. As a “season” opera house with productions all the year round the Theater an der Wien carves a new and independent niche in the realm of high-quality culture in Vienna. For twelve months of the year, with one premiere every month, opera will be performed under the “stagione”, or season, system: that means the cast remains unchanged from the first performance to the last one, which guarantees that the very highest international standards are maintained.

The theatre’s modern, accessible approach to music theatre as demonstrated by the works performed, the overall artistic concept Bespielung and the artistes is further underlined by the building itself, its architecture and the vibrancy of its location. The surroundings and materials, the intimate atmosphere and perfect acoustics in the historical theatre prepare the senses to experience beauty. The Theater an der Wien deliberately enters into a symbiotic relationship with its lively surroundings on the Naschmarkt street market and the young cultural scene centred in the Schleifmühl quarter.

How to get there

With public transport:

We can be reached by public transport: 

U1, U2 und U4 Station Karlsplatz, Exit Secession
Bus 59A Station Bärenmühldurchgang
Bus 57A Station Laimgrubengasse, pedestrians via Laimgrubengasse to Linke Wienzeile

Fleischmarkt 24, 1010 Wien

We can be reached by public transport:
U1, U4: Station Schwedenplatz
Tram Linie D (bei Ablenukung über Kai), 1, 2: Station Schwedenplatz
Bus 3A (on workdays)

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