Thursday, June 01, 2017


80 years ago German Hindenburg airship went on fire while trying to dock in New Jersey and 36 people died. Ralph Siegel has written a musical with Hans Peter Schreeb of that last trip and airship's developer Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin (1838-1917). This is already his sixth musical, and unlike the previous Johnny Blue, all music is new and composed for this project. 
Premiered in Berlin's Wintergarden as a read through aka so called Reading only with the orchestra and 18 singers and opera choir behind them singing their parts from the script and only narrator Gedeon Burkhard in the spotlight in the edge of the stage. Maybe not the merriest of topics for a musical but as Siegel explains it "Zeppelin was not a simple man and his life either. It's sadly sad story. As life often is."
Despite not having a staging the musical takes the viewers to a journey through time where historical context of 1937's national socialism is omnipresent. Siegel succeeds making cheerful music for serious topics and gives goose bumps, tears, emotion during those 2,5 hours, as spectators commented afterwards.
He gave praise to the performers and audience agreed judging by the "bravo" shouts and minutes long applause changing the Wintergarden into a Summer Garden thanks to appreciation.
Now he is looking for a producer to bring the musical on bigger stage in Berlin, Amsterdam or elsewhere admitting the dream of Broadway always is alive in his heart. But should he not succeed he won't be sorry but write another one. "Just like Eurovision, if Germany doesn't want me I go to San Marino!"

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