Was ihr wollt
By William Shakespeare
Performed in German
Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" is a tale of pleasure and suffering, a piece about the uncertainties of love and the constant ebb and flow of human emotions. The fictional kingdom of Illyria sets the scene for a society of chronically suffering lovers who are as much intoxicated with wine and as they are with love, music and dancing. It is a world where idleness is at the order of the day and indulgence is worth much more than modesty. Yet, gloom and doom looms over the land since its ruler, Duke Orsino, has fallen unhappily in love with Countess Olivia. His unfulfilled longing effectively paralyses everyone.
It is only when Viola is shipwrecked on the coast of Illyria that the lethargic society comes into motion again. Viola, who, for her own protection, has disguised herself as a man, enters the service of Duke Orsino. As the Duke's messenger of love, she seduces the Countess with her androgynous charm, but at the same time manages to create great confusion in the emotional lives of Orsino and his party-hungry court community. In this tumultuous cosmos of deception and disappointment, lost opportunities and upset lives, it soon becomes very difficult to tell the difference between man and woman, disguise and play, reality or make-believe.
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