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Death in Venice

Internationaal Theater Amsterdam

Death in Venice trailer

An intense infatuation fuels the tension between social expectations and personal desire in a show that deftly combines theatre and music, directed by Ivo van Hove.

Celebrated author Thomas Mann is in crisis. He is struggling with writer’s block and a forbidden attraction to a young boy. Secluded in his workshop, he creates a fictional counterpoint of himself: Von Aschenbach, the man he dares not be in real life. A classical score played live by Britten Sinfonia supports the ensuing whirl of emotions portrayed onstage as he sends his alter ego to Venice.

Adapted by former Dutch poet laureate Ramsey Nasr, who performs the role of Aschenbach, Death in Venice is based both on Mann’s intimate novella and the author’s own life. Highlighting the inner struggle of an artist who channels his experiences into his literature, the drama also introduces the viewpoint of Mann’s wife. New music by American composer Nico Muhly features alongside Strauss and Schoenberg.

1 hour 45 mins, no interval
Age guidance 16+ (adult themes. More Information)

Performed in Dutch with English surtitles

Presented by the Barbican. Co-produced by Théâtre du Châtelet and Croatian National Theatre Zagreb.

Supported by the Performing Arts Fund NL.


Algemeen Dagblad (The Netherlands)
‘Sensational and thought-provoking‘
De Volkskrant (The Netherlands)

With thanks

Logo for Fonds Podium Kunsten

Barbican Theatre