Angelika Messner is a playwrite, dramaturg and director living in Vienna. Her work is marked by variety and quality. Her artistic roots lie in music with her studies of the violin at the universities of music in Graz and Vienna having shaped her effectively. Rhythm, sound, and the musicality of language remain important aspects of her directorial and literary work.
Angelika Messner has written pieces for renowned artists such as José Carreras and Willi Resetarits, her work constantly exceeding the limitations of genre. Her works and libretti have been performed at many distinguished theatres including the Volksoper Wien, Theater an der Wien, Musiktheater Linz and the Marinskij Theater in St. Petersburg, among others. Her long-standing collaboration with composer and arranger Christian Kolonovits resulted in more than 60 performances of their shared works “Antonia und der Reißteufel” (Antonia and the Greedy Devil) and “Vivaldi – die fünfte Jahreszeit” (Vivaldi – the fifth season) at the Wiener Volksoper.
She also wrote the libretto to José Carreras’ opera “El Juez“, which served as Carreras’ farewell from the operatic stage and had its debut in Bilbao in 2014. It was subsequently performed in several more European cities with great success. Joining forces with Iranian composer Nader Mashayekhi and her co-librettist Nadja Kayali, she wrote the opera “Neda – der Ruf” (Neda – the Call), which debuted in Osnabrück. Angelika Messner is currently writing for an international opera production with the composer Siamak Fallahi.
Her directorial career began working as an assistant to Frank Castorf at the Berliner Volksbühne. In the year 2000, her interpretation of Elfriede Jelinek’s “Stecken, Stab und Stangl” (English: Stick, Staff and Pole) as part of within a production by Offenes Haus Oberwart was the only performance authorized by the author in Austria. Furthermore, she has served as director for pieces in the Volkstheater Wien, dietheater Wien, Kosmos Theater, OHO and more.
Her dramaturgical projects have spanned several festivals for literature and music such as the Mondsee Tage, Loisiarte, the Festival Arsonore in Graz and various theatre productions. Since 2014 she has joined colleagues such as Michael Sturminger and Maria Happel at the Sommerspiele Perchtoldsdorf. In the course of her dramaturgical work she created, translations and new interpretations of pieces, including “Romeo and Juliet”, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “Onkel Wanja” and finally a revision of Bulgakow‘s piece “Molière” joined by Michael Sturminger.
Her great affinity to music is also shown by the great variety of musical and literary programs that she compiled for renowned actors including Wolfram Berger, Joachim Bißmeier, Michael Degen, Regina Fritsch, Maria Happel, Nicole Heesters, Fritz Karl, Joseph Lorenz, Peter Matic, Robert Meyer, Birgit Minichmayr, Erwin Steinhauer, Sonja Sutter, Walter Schmidinger and August Zirner, which led Angelika Messner to numerous festivals, for instance the international Mendelssohn Festival in Hamburg at the Elbphilharmonie.
A vital element to her occupation is theatre projects with children and adolescents. Her “Magic Flute for Children” has run for 20 years, among others for the Jeunesse and at the Brucknerhaus Linz. The children’s book to her pop-opera “Antonia und der Reißteufel “as well as many school- and children’s theatre projects perfectly showcase her enthusiasm for theatre pedagogy, which has resulted in several theatrical texts for and with children.
In addition to all this, Angelika Messner works as an educator, serving as lecturer at the Kreativakademie NÖ and in numerous workshops, for example at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz and at the FH Campus in Vienna. She is currently overseeing the module “Dramaturgy and Direction” for the master course Event Management at the FH Eisenstadt. For many years she served as a cultural advisor of performing arts for the state Burgenland and in several juries, for instance for the State Culture Prize. In 2016 she was decorated with several honours, that of the state Burgenland and the prize of the Theodor Kery Foundation in recognition of her service to the state.
In the last few years Angelika Messner has increasingly been devoted to the adaption of established works. Hence she created a revised version of the operetta “Das Dreimäderlhaus“ (The House of Three Girls) for the Musiktheater Linz. Her most recent work, an adaption of “Iphgenia” by Goethe, is set to debut in autumn of the year 2022 at TAG, Theater in der Gumpendorferstraße, under her own direction.