There are authors, talk show hosts, literary experts, audiobook speakers and cabaret artists – and then there is Elke Heidenreich. It would be an arduous task to name all the artistic projects which Elke Heidenreich has been involved in in recent decades. Her great love is music. Moreover, music, especially opera, is an integral part of Elke Heidenreich’s life. “For me, opera is literature and music,” she says. “I need the books a lot for my head and for my life as a whole, but I’m filled to the brim with books, while I can never get enough of music. I couldn’t live without music. But in the end, the question is like choosing between eating and drinking – you need both!”
Elke Heidenreich shares this passion with Oscar award winner Volker Schlöndorff. For three of his films (Young Törless, Swann in Love and The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum), the music was written by none other than Hans Werner Henze. Schlöndorff’s interest in music theatre emerged from this collaboration with the composer. For example, he staged Leoš Janáček’s Katja Kabanova in Frankfurt in 1974, followed two years later by Hans Werner Henze’s We Come to the River in Berlin. Other productions include La Bohème (1984), Janáček’s From the House of the Dead (1988 and 2005) and Lady Macbeth of Mzensk (Paris 1993). That alone would be enough of a basis for an exciting conversation, but Elke Heidenreich and Volker Schlöndorff are sure to bring up other things as well. Curtain up!