Articles
SELECTIVE recent BIBLIOGRAPHY (3)
The painter and scenographer of the theatre – Baron George Löwendal, an excellent collaborator of the stage director – has brought to life the interior of the factory manager’s office with the severe lines specific to a time when mechanisation prevails and civilisation flourishes. The spectator is transported straight into the mood of the play: the perspective with factory chimneys billowing smoke, the apparatus and luminous signals through which the factory is directed, doors opening and closing by themselves when somebody comes in, walls that raise themselves up in order to allow people access to another room, chairs that appear and disappear from the ground at the push of a button etc.
[...] The stage director took great pains to create the overwhelming mood of inevitable doom. [...] In this killing atmosphere, it is extremely impressive to see the rush of compact rows of robots, a grey mass that moves forward methodically, in successive waves, flooding the stage.

Rampa (The Stage), 17 December 1927


The first tableau in the play has a fascinating effect on the audience: the room of the department where robots are produced, the factory chimneys in the background, and the resounding noise of machinery running. Sirens are screaming. Everything is mechanised in the room. You push a button on the desk and pop! up come the armchairs. The doors open and close by themselves as soon as you get closer to or farther from them; whole walls move; secret lights come up in various colours, sometimes two, sometimes six, and sometimes twenty of them – and everything talks in an authoritarian language. You could really believe you were – should I say Praise the Lord, or God forbid? – in times which are still at some distance from us.
Czernowizer Allgemeine Zeitung, 4 December 1927


… the staging of this play, which has never been done in Romania, is due to the wonderful Baron Löwendal. He understood how to convey the style of this play in an impressive way through his Cubist-Futurist images. A great part of the play’s success is due to these images.
Czernowizer Morgenblatt, 9 December 1927

Viforul (The Snowstorm) by Barbu Ștefănescu Delavrancea, directed by Aurel Ion Maican

…The whole of Germany is dominated lately by the “fashion” of artistic scenery which should be as close to real nature as possible. German theatres no longer use painted bas-reliefs, only life-like creations. My opinion is that this “fashion” was brought about by the tour of the Moscow Arts Theatre, which exerted an immense influence on Western theatre arts.
This influence was felt considerably even in the style of the actors, who now give the most sincere internalisation to their acting in order to be as close to reality as possible. In the case of the stage setting, this influence led to the scenery moving closer to reality.

[…] In The Snowstorm, I set out to show the audience of Cernăuţi a model of the style of settings which have been done lately in Germany and also, I believe, in Western Europe.
To this extent, I created three-dimensional decors for the sites of action in the play. The modest means at our disposal made us enhance the artistic side with painting (but only a little).
With The Snowstorm, the National Theatre of Cernăuţi makes the first artistic [fine-arts oriented] staging in the whole of Romania. In order to recreate the play’s mood, I tried to stay close to reality, dealing with the influence of Gothic style in the times of Prince Ştefan cel Mare .
In Act I, I followed the directions in the play and I made the citadel of Suceava look abandoned, decrepit, and wild.
[…] In Acts III and IV, the scenery corresponds to the historical fact, but I wanted to suggest, through the low ceiling of the room, an atmosphere of doom that came over the nobles of the land.

Baron George Löwendal, Spectatorul (The Spectator), 29 October 1927


My deeply held conviction is that staging the play as it has been staged until now, would somehow falsify its meaning. […] I have ensured a completely naturalistic interpretation for this work. […] By taking the staging of the play away from a conception which, in some places, was connected to fairytales, I tried to connect Delavrancea’s work with history, and I did this by stressing the realism of the action. […] In order to create the atmosphere of the historical epoch when the play takes place, and to be able to embody the characters connected to the environment in which they lived, I took a trip with Baron Löwendal to Putna Monastery, to Suceviţa and Rădăuţi – places where our princes actually lived.

Aurel Ion Maican, Spectatorul (The Spectator), 29 October 1927
 
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