EMILIE FLÖGE – GELIEBTE MUSE
In einem Theaterstück im Oberen Belvedere begibt sich Maxi Blaha auf die Spuren des It-Girls der Wiener Moderne, der Modepionierin und Geliebten Gustav Klimts: Emilie Flöge.
Schauspiel, Idee, Produktion: Maxi Blaha
Musik: Georg Buxhofer
Regie: Heidelinde Leutgöb
EMILIE FLÖGE – BELOVED MUSE
by Penny Black, 2018
for Maxi Blaha
on the centenary of the death of Gustav Klimt, 1918
Maxi Blaha impresses in this elegant and passionate one-woman play! Blaha controls the material without falling into the trap of sentimentality…Blaha’s interpretation looks at the bigger picture, showing Flöge as an artist in her own right…(Canberra TIMES)
It’s an utterly elegant and passionate production of a piece that does not fall into the trap of trying to explain all. And Blaha carries the role and the clothes with a lovely humour and authority. It is very clear that Emilie Flöge was much more than Gustav Klimt’s muse. Blaha wears Flöge’s geometric black and white robes with enormous style and a superb period hairdo as she tells the story of her relationship with this man.(SYDNEY MORNING HERALD)
In this text written by Penny Black specifically for Maxi Blaha, Emilie Flöge wrestles with herself. She maintains she is an independent woman and successful fashion designer, which she was, and yet she still hangs lovingly onto Klimt the womaniser…. she is a business woman, a gesamtkunstwerk, an artist…The information value is just one aspect. As Flöge, Blaha is full of energy and bravura. Georg Buxhofer on bass accompanies her for the one-hour duration equally jauntily, sometimes joyously, sometimes sumptuously or sentimentally. ..The play cleverly mixes the external (both wars, the flight of her Jewish clientele following the Anschluss) and Flöge’s internal world. Heidelinde Leutgöb’s production does not superimpose any false pathos, it has wit, the right tempo, shifting moods. Bravo. (DER STANDARD)
Maxi Blaha, sparkling in the role of Klimt’s beloved. (KURIER)
…at the Savoy, a sardonic Maxi Blaha was inhabiting the psyche of Gustav Klimt’s partner, Emilie Floge, in Beloved Muse in front of a full house…(Otago Daily Times, New Zealand)
…Maxi Blaha reveals the many sides of this relationship. She cleverly changes the mood – from grievance to friendly memories and back again. In this way a series of sketches are created, you could call it a text collage, and it remains enthralling until the end. The idea came from Maxi Blaha, the text is by Penny Black. And not to forget Georg Buxhofer’s delicate accompaniment on the guitar. All in all, a harmonious evening. …Enter Viennese actress, Maxi Blaha, a vision of elegant composure, statuesque in her diaphanous dress, autocratic with her hair piled high in fashionable style, gracefully moving across the patterned carpet to sit on the low wooden bench.
Blaha is the ideal vision of Klimt´s model, muse and intellectual partner of twenty seven years, Emilie Flöge- ….reveals a feminist of strong convictions, confronting and challenging convention. Blaha presents a woman, capable of jealousy, loyal and devoted resourceful and strongly opinionated. She criticizes Klimt´s misogynistic view of the lovers in „The Kiss“ with the woman in a suppliant pose while the dominant male figute hovers over her. Blaha invites the audience to look beyond the image to glean a deeper meaning in a performance that is as though provoking as it is illuminating and entertaining.
Klimt´s muse is the muse for all society, and Maxi Blaha is the perfect woman to bring Emilie Flöge to the world. (CANBERRA CRITICS CIRCLE, Australia)
Beloved Muse – Emilie Flöge reveals a feminist of strong convictions, confronting and challenging convention. Blaha presents a woman, capable of jealousy, loyal and devoted, resourceful and strongly opinionated. She criticizes Klimt’s misogynistic view of the lovers in The Kiss with the woman in a suppliant pose while the dominant male figure hovers over her. Blaha invites the audience to look beyond the image to glean a deeper meaning in a performance that is as thought provoking as it is illuminating and entertaining…Director Heidelinde Leutgöb uses this build up of tension perfectly and integrates the events into the space. For example, when Flöge stands at the window and looks down into the darkness of the park and sings of her loneliness. Or when she opens the heavy wooden doors to the exhibition halls and rolls the famous image of The Kiss into the room. (A copy, of course, the idea is great!)… This correspondence – including letters that Gustav Klimt sent to her – forms the basis of British writer Penny Black’s one-person show entitled “Emilie Flöge – Beloved Muse” playing in the fabulous and authentic ambience of the Marble Hall at the Upper Belvedere. Of course, at the heart of the piece is The Kiss, which Maxi Blaha, as Emilie Flöge, uses to exchange ideas with Klimt. Along the way Blaha reveals astonishing and lesser known information about the lively love life of the painter. Blaha is accompanied in this dramatized double portrait of Flöge and Klimt by a musician, Georg Buxhofer: mysterious notes from his bass guitar underpin the thoughts of this woman who viewed herself as equal to the genius painter.
New York: 12.7., 13.7.
Canberra, Australien: 10.-16.9.
Dunedin, Neuseeland: 21.-23.9.
Melbourne, Australien: 24.-26.9.
Zusatztermine Belvedere: 2.10., 16.10., 13.11., 15.11., 20.11., 27.11., 29.11., 4.12.
Halle/Saale (D): 30.11. (MUSEUM MORITZBURG, KLIMT 2018)
Paris: 6.12. (MAISON HEINRICH HEINE)
London: 23.-26.1.2019 (ACF, Barbican, Royal Academy)
Arnulf Rainer Museum, Baden: 20. März
Japan: 17. Mai TOKIO, 18. Mai NAGOYA, 21. MAi NARA
Washington & Kanada: September 2019
Schloß Artstetten: 19.10.2019
Emilie Flöge (1874-1952), reformist fashion designer and one of the Flöge Sisters who ran a hugely successful fashion salon; she was also life companion to Gustav Klimt and an integral part of Vienna’s fin de siècle art movement. Those are the facts, but who was Emilie Flöge really? Beloved Muse re-imagines the part of Emilie’s life that she deliberately burnt, and rescues a radical and extraordinary woman from the ashes.
Maxi Blaha, an actress renouned for her sensitive portrayals of Austrian female icons (e.g. Bertha von Suttner, Elfriede Jelinek, Ingeborg Bachmann) in her acting utilizes original props initially owned by Flöge and Klimt, her musical partner on stage accompanies her on the E-Bass.
ES GIBT MICH NUR IM SPIEGELBILD
Bachmann | Jelinek
Szenische Uraufführung mit Musik
„Hier wird kaum von einer Biographie die Rede sein, eine Biographie ist ein zu weiches Bett für die Werke der Bachmann, und ein solches Bett steht uns nicht zu.“ ELFRIEDE JELINEK
“I exist only in the reflection”: premiere rewarded with plenty of applause.
“Jelinek’s virtuously artful text converted into 55 minutes of intense stage delight.”
“The very amusing contrast between strenuous intellectual labour and quite “profane” household chores an the insatiable desire to lead a “normal” life…….
All that (and a lot more) Blaha concentrates with urgency and at the same time “playfully” under M. Gredler’s direction a double Portrait of two most exceptional Austrian writers intensively and well worth seeing.”
„Blaha performed the monologue with sovereignty and intensive stage presence”
“Not even an hour, and it is all over. One feels almost short taken.”
Maxi Blaha, actress
Born and raised in Vienna, Austria. Graduation at the University of performing Arts and the Schauspielschule Krauss in Vienna, Mozarteum Salzburg Masterclasses. Member oft the Wiener Burgtheater Ensemble and many other well known theatres all over Germany and Austria. She has worked with renowned directors like Giorgio Strehler, Andre Heller, Achim Benning, Paulus Manker and played more than 50 main characters in theatre plays. (Goethe, Schiller, Jelinek, Shakespeare, Kleist, Bernhard…).
Maxi Blaha has released 7 Solo-CDs and toured with her jazz/literature programmes and solo plays all over Europe, USA, Australia, NZ, India, Iran, Japan.