Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hannibal (Sölden, April 12th)

Next Friday April 12th, the historical spectacle of HANNIBAL will be performed again on the giant open-air stage at Sölden's Rettenbach Glacier. The performance of "HANNIBAL – The Crossing of the Alps" is all about the historical facts of the Second Punic War and its protagonist Hannibal, who is described in a biographical way with all modern theater settings on a really incomparable Nature Arena.
The artistic network directed by lawine torrèn in collaboration with Sölden and Red Bull, has put on stage Hannibal's historical crossing of the Alps. 500 actors will take part in the new production of Carthage's epic attack on Rome by crossing the Alps. Snow cats as elephants. Instead of elephants the spectators will see snow-grooming machines. Skiers, climbers, parachutist act as modern-day warriors. Giant horsemen cross the endless glacier fields on their skidoos while flying acrobats try to hinder the attack. The ultimate showdown features plenty of music, light effects, video films and pyrotechnic shows.
"We are happy to see that the Hannibal project is setting an international benchmark when it comes to connecting culture and tourism", says Jack Falkner from Mountain Railways Sölden. In 2001, together with Dietrich Mateschitz, he had the idea to connect skiing and aviation with classic mythology in contemporary fashion.
The art group Lawine Torrèn stages Hannibal’s life story in the form of a breath-taking glacier spectacle and as a modern parable about leadership, intrigues, world politics, and the striving for power.

The Story

218 BC Hannibal of Carthage crossed the Alps in only 10 days with 60,000 men and 37 elephants. He overcame steep mountain sides, quickly changing weather and avalanches to then defeat the Roman army in today’s Italy. Although Hannibal’s army was superior, they did not conquer the city of Rome.
This hesitation had historic consequences: the Roman Empire struck back and defeated Hannibal in the battle of Zama under the leadership of Scipio. Rome became the leading power in the Mediterranean while Carthage, which was located near today’s Tunis, lost all of its status.
The initiator of the HANNIBAL project Ernst Lorenzi describes the atmosphere up on 3000 m altitude just before the end of the show as follows: "The battle of Zama roars at the tongue of the glacier. Directly in front of the spectators Hannibal is defeated by his Roman counterpart Scipio. While humans and machines head towards culmination in frantic chaos, Hannibal flees the scenery quietly, dangling from a helicopter upside down".
Harald Krassnitzer narrates the story accompanied by an intoxicating soundtrack. From dusk until total darkness cutting edge light design and special effects reinforce the enormous size of the stage. The TV channel Carthage TV reports breaking news from the studio next to the snow pyramid, which alternately represents Carthage and Rome.
"Ten thousands of visitors act as multiplicators of a spectacular show which is designed as a direct experience for all senses and is staged in a landscape which we want to show as untouched as possible. During the day thousands of skiers on the slopes hardly look further than the tips of their skis. During the evening of the show, however, when the mountains’ endless silence streams down from the slopes and floods the place, their excited eyes will look up to the bizarre forms of ice and snow. In today’s media-centred world this natural spectacle is forward-thinking and acts against the loss of nature. A well thought-through adventure, which is staged analogously and in real time", says
director Hubert Lepka.

The Stage
The ultimate Rettenbach Glacier and its bizarre ice formations make a really incomparable Nature Arena. From Sölden you reach the glacier stage along the scenic Glacier Road, embedded in breathtaking 3000m-high mountain peaks. A semicircle with a high-towered palace forms the center of the stage.
Right in front of the spectators' area you find an antique site made of snow and ice. On the right you see Dido's Palace similar to a Maya Pyramid - the Castillo from Chichen Itza was its model.
At a few meters from the audience there is the Campus, an elevated platform with embankments. It serves as playground for the snow-grooming machines, as stage for the dancers and as terrain for motocross bikes. The Karthago.TV broadcasting studio is situated next to the Pyramid. Cameras, spotlights and a seating corner are positioned in front of a luminous, 42m² video wall. 
In the background, close to the giant blue sky brochure, a mountain chain with three summits. One of them is the Venus Hill where the Goddess herself resides - if she does not take action against Carthage by helicopter. 
On the right side, behind Carthage, you see the rock formations of Gibraltar, more exactly Karleskogel peak which is connected to Carthage by a chair lift. This area hosts the Spanish Colony famous for its gold and silver treasures - which are blown up like avalanches.
And in the center of Rettenbach Glacier you can find the floodlit glacier fields displayed as tent city or elephant skin - depending on the position of the numerous Bengal fires and Xenon spotlights.
The audience is standing on the car park next to the mountain restaurant at no less than 2700 meters above sea level. Exactly from here the open-air stage rises another 1300 meters, reaching the ideal height for parachutists and a diameter of 3 km.
This truly outstanding scene is light-flooded by the sun and the moon and the stars, in cooperation with countless floodlights and spotlights boasting some 200,000 watt. A state-of-the-art sound system adds to a memorable theater experience at high altitude: The images of the play are in perfect harmony with imaginative scenes - both in excellent stereo sound!

The Team

Staging: Lawine Torrèn
Text: Joey Wimplinger
Speaker: Harald Krassnitzer
Music composition: Peter Valentin
Choreography: Donna Jewell
Light design: Frank Lischka
Video: Stefan Aglassinger
Head of production: Klaudia Gründl de Keijzer
Idea and director: Hubert Lepka
Construction: Mountain Railways Sölden
Initiator: Ernst Lorenzi

Click here for more information.

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