The Freeshooter

[Der Freischütz]

Romantic Opera in 3 Acts by Carl Maria von Weber, with a libretto by Friedrich Kind

Premiered on May 30, 2009 at the Pentecost Festival Baden-Baden, Germany

In 1990, at Hamburg's Thalia Theater, Robert Wilson, Tom Waits and William Burroughs created The Black Rider, inspired by an old German ghost story which was first published in 1810 by Friedrich Laun and August Apel. Dramaturge Wolfgang Wiens collaborated on the text, and thus naturally became Wilson's dramaturge of choice for Weber's Freeshooter: Weber and his librettist, Friedrich Kind, based their beloved opera on the very same folk tale in which a hapless huntsman enters a pact with the devil and, in exchange for bullets that never miss, pays a gruesome price.

The Freeshooter was Robert Wilson's second collaboration with the extravagant fashion design duo Viktor & Rolf from Amsterdam. They first worked together on the dance piece 2Lips and Dancers and Space (Luxembourg, 2004). The opening in Baden-Baden was conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock.

The French-German TV station arte aired a live broadcast of the opening as well as extensive documentaries around the production, excerpts of which can be found here.