Ganymed Nature – intense performances at the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien

Wow!  Just wow!  If you have not been to any of the productions by wenn es so weit ist, and even if you have, you really should go see Ganymed Nature at Vienna´s largest art museum, the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien.

GanymedNature Opening
The opening performance of Ganymed Nature

After Ganymed Boarding (2011), Ganymed Goes Europe (2014), Ganymed Dreaming (2015), and Ganymed fe male (2017), this new production is all about the connections between art and nature in all its complexity and facets.  Between writers choosing paintings and writing short stories on how they relate to them, actors studying the texts, and the producer and director deciding on staging, I can see why the production process for one such show takes an entire year.  It is well worth it!

Ganymed Nature - Darkstone
Martin Eberle on trumpet and harmonium with Martin Ptak on piano playing Darkstone – Blech about the painting The Gloomy Day by Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

I enjoyed outstanding musical performances, ranging from instrumental (e.g. Martin Eberle and Martin Ptak performing a mesmerizing composition about Pieter Bruegel the Elder´s painting Gloomy Day – Düsterer Tag) to vocal (e.g. Sona MacDonald performing The Last Rose of Summer with Mira Lu Kovacs and Philip Haas, about a painting  of Archduchess Marie Antoinette by by the female (!) 18th century French portrait painter Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun).

Sona MacDonald at Ganymed Nature
Burgtheater actress Sona MacDonald has a wonderful singing voice.

This is not light entertainment though.  Enjoyable, yes, but also profound.  The short pieces that are performed by excellent actors at the very least made me think, and in some instances touched me deeply and brought me close to  tears.

Ganymed Nature - Consider  the lobster - Peter Wolf
Consider the lobster performed by Peter Wolf – Let that sink in!

Can anyone still eat a lobster in good conscience after hearing David Foster Wallace´s text Consider the Lobster performed by producer and actor Peter Wolf? (I have not been eating lobster in years, by the way, for the very reason that I cannot stomach its suffering.)

Listening to Rania Mustafa Ali, who filmed her flight – aptly referred to as Odyssey – was very emotional.  She related her own experience on the run, the exhaustion, the fear,   the need to rest,  to the painting Rest on the run to Egypt – Ruhe auf der Flucht nach Ägypten by Orazio Lomi Gentileschi.


This highly recommended evening of intense cultural experiences begins at 7pm and lasts until 10pm.  Visitors are welcome to watch all or just a few of the performances.  Refreshments are available  at the Museum Cafe, and I saw more than one visitor just resting and looking at a painting in an empty museum room.

Some tickets are still available in the museum´s online shop.  Go get them while you can!

(All photos (c) karinsvad)


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