Livia Anne Richard is not unknown in Zermatt. In 2015, this writer and stage director and author launched the Zermatt Open-Air Theater at Gornergrat for the first time with "The Matterhorn Story". This was part of the events marking the 150 Years First Ascent of the Matterhorn in 1865. This staging attracted over 23,000 guests to this knoll with a view of the mighty and dominating Matterhorn. The performances in July and August 2015 were almost completely sold out. The story of the first ascent of the Matterhorn deeply moved the members of the audience.
The actors included four professionals and 30 amateurs from the region as well as many locals from Zermatt. The latter included father and son Josef and David Taugwalder, direct descendants of the surviving mountain guides from 1865. Romaine Müller from Zermatt played the beloved of the young mountain guide David Taugwalder.
Romeo und Julia am Gornergrat (premier)
During the 2017 summer, two major Zermatt talents play the main roles: David Taugwalder is Jakob and Romaine Müller plays Maria. The author Livia Anne Richard has transformed the universal love story Romeo and Juliet into a Zermatt mountain farmer tale. Here is her text:
Two Zermatt farm families each with a grudge,
Their despairing, enamoured children,
A headless puppet as a bad omen,
The parish priest, who sees what’s coming,
And tells the lovers a tale:
The story of Romeo and Juliet.
A homeless knife grinder with a great dream.
Will a new fate be carved
Out of a bad omen?
The Matterhorn: it knows – and clemently smiles.
Romeo und Julia am Gornergrat – a different story...
An Experience on the Mountain
There are open-air plays presented throughout Switzerland. But there is only one place, on Riffelberg on the mountain called Gornergrat, where the setting in the landscape is so impressive with a huge mountain panorama. The Matterhorn (4,478 m) enthrones the story 7,500 m away in the background – bearing witness to universal feelings in the summer of 2017.
The music specially composed for “Romeo und Julia am Gornergrat” comes from the Bernese musician Hank Shizzoe, who spent the last three years with the Swiss musician Stephan Eicher on the European Tour. Music and the mountain panorama melt together into a great theatre experience.
- Performance dates: 6 July to 27 August 2017
- Acts from Wednesday to Saturday 07.30 h p.m., Sunday 3 p.m.
- Location: Open air at Gornergrat (Riffelberg), at 2,600 m
- Performances in Valais Swiss German with written descriptions of scenes in German, French and English.
- Seating capacity: 700
- Gift vouchers are available until March 2017
- Advanced ticket sales from March 2017
- On site food and drink
- Performances take place in all weather
- Wool blankets are available
- Plastic rain gear will be handed out if needed
- Warm attire is recommended
- Travel to Riffelberg with the Gornergrat Bahn (cog railway)
- Travel time: 23 minutes
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