Meeting with Romeo Castellucci.
Doctor Faustus is an installation/ concert inspired by Thomas Mann’s novel of the same title. The book’s main character, Adrian Leverkühn, is a rational, withdrawn man who, in his music, goes beyond any moral and philosophical boundaries. In return for his musical genius, he enters into a pact with the devil. However, the arrangement turns out to be subversive as its effect is Leverkühn’s greatest work, an elevated hymn praising the Lord. Romeo Castellucci’s installation is not an illustration, but a synthetic portrait, a commentary on Thomas Mann’s novel whose main theme is the relationship between evil and art. This is a topic present in many of Castellucci’s performances from the last decade of the 20th century, e.g. in Lucifero or Genesi: From the Museum of Sleep.
Romeo Castellucci (1960) is one the most highly-regarded contemporary directors and thinkers of theatre. He is considered the successor of such visionaries as Jerzy Grotowski, Tadeusz Kantor or Robert Wilson. He graduated in stage design and painting from the Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna. In 1981, with his sister Claudia and his future wife Chiara, he founded Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio – an association that was meant to operate in between the fields of theatre, performance and visual arts in order to explore the possibilities of theatre expression beyond a fictional pattern. For the past 25 years the team have functioned as a kind of family institution, an extraordinary phenomenon on the European stage. Since 2006 Romeo, Chiara and Claudia have been creating autonomous performances within the framework of Socìetas. Since then, the director has been engaged in the creation of other projects outside Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio – installations, operas, and theatre performances.
In 2005 Romeo Castellucci became a curator of the Biennale theatre section in Venice, in 2008 – an associate artist who co-creates the programme of the festival in Avignon. In 2013 he was awarded The Golden Lion at the Festival in Venice in the category “Theatre” for lifetime achievement. In the same year he was the curator of the Idiom Oh Man, oh Machine at Malta Festival Poznań. It was not his first visit in Poznań. He came to Poland for the first time in 2002 when he presented his renowned performance Genesi: From the Museum of Sleep at the Malta Festival. In 2004, he came back to Poznań with his performance Voyage au bout de la nuit, while in 2013 he presented Four Seasons Restaurant and the concert Prelude to an Event – made in cooperation with Scott Gibbons and commissioned by Malta Festival Poznań.