Herbert Gantschacher

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Herbert Gantschacher at the opening of Von der k.u.k. Wehrmacht in die deutsche Wehrmacht ("From the Austrian-Hungarian Wehrmacht to the German Wehrmacht") (ARBOS, Vienna-Salzburg-Klagenfurt-Arnoldstein-Prora 2009/2010) in Rügen, Germany

Herbert Gantschacher (born December 2, 1956, at Waiern in Feldkirchen in Kärnten, Carinthia, Austria) is an Austrian director and producer and writer.


1976 Gantschacher graduated on the second school in Klagenfurt. From 1977 to 1980 he studied at the Academy for Music and Performing Arts at Graz (now University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Graz). He graduated with honors in 1980 and in 1988 he got the M.A. Master of Arts.

Artistic activities[edit]

Gantschacher worked for the Schauspielhaus in Graz, the Salzburg State Theatre, the Tyrolian State Theatre Innsbruck, the Danubefestival in Krems, the Chamberopera in Vienna, the Theater an der Winkelwiese in Zürich, the festival "Musica Iudaica" in Prague, the "Kulturbrauerei" in Berlin, the Polish festival "Theatre without Borders" in Szczecin, the National Theatre of Kosovo in Priština, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, the Concordia-University in Montreal, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C., dem Museum of The Holocaust in Los Angeles and the Singapore Arts Festival.

In Dresden Gantschacher worked for the "Staatsschauspiel", the "kleine Szene" of the Semperoper, the "Dresdner Zentrum für zeitgenössische Musik" and the "Festspielhaus Hellerau".

Also in Stockholm he worked for some institutions as the Kulturhuset and the Royal Swedish Opera (Kungliga Operan).

Gantschacher worked also in cities Erfurt, Odessa, Sankt Petersburg, Helsinki and Bergen, there he worked as a lecturer at the University of Bergen in the section of theatre research[1] and at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory[2]

Now Gantschacher is the artistic director of VISUAL The European and International Visual Theatre Festival with deaf and hearing artists and deaf-blind[3] in Vienna and Austria.

He is also the artistic director of the theatre- and research-project "War is daDa". For that research work he created the two projects entitled "Witness and Victim of the Apocalypse"[4] (Exhibition and book about Viktor Ullmann in World War I and the influence of the experiences of war to his music especially to the opera The Emperor of Atlantis or The Disobedience of Death ARBOS, Vienna-Salzburg-Klagenfurt-Arnoldstein-Prora 2007/2008).[5] A Czech translation of the book has been published at Prague and a Czech version of the exhibition has been presented at the City Archives of Prague in the Clam-Gallas Palace in 2015.[6] A Russian translation of the book has been published at St. Petersburg and a Russian version of the exhibition has been presented at the Russian Museum of the city of Kingisepp and at the House of Composers in St. Perersburg.[7]

Other activities[edit]

1999 Gantschacher was a lecturer at the "Theatre-Institute" of the University in Bergen in Norway.

Gantschacher worked on a lot of conferences as lecturer and director in Vienna at the International Conference "The Unifying Aspects of Culture" (2003), in Villach "On the Eve of the Apocalypse" (2004), in Nötsch "Art and War" (2005), in Villach "The Great War - The Forgotten War" (2005), "The Great War - The Great Dying" (2006), "The Great War - The Last Victory" (2007), "The Great War - Long Live the Republic!" (2008) and in Nötsch and Arnoldstein "Art.War.Music" about music and The Great War. From 2014 to 2019 he is the curator of the international project "War=daDa" in Nötsch, Arnoldstein (Austria), Prague (Czech Republic), Kingisepp,[8] Saint Petersburg (Russia), Kobarid, Bovec, Lepena (Slovenia), Cividale, Redipuglia, Spilimbergo, Venice (Italia).[9] 1999, 2000 and 2016 Gantschacher was a lecturer at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in Russia.[2]

For the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ORF Gantschacher worked as a director for radio drama.

From 1994 to 1999 Gantschacher was a member of the Arts Council of the Government of Carinthia. Since September 2013 he is again a member of the Arts Council of Carinthia till 2018.[10] And from 2013 to 2014 he was the chairman of the Council for Performing Arts of the Government of Carinthia too.[11]

Since 2015 he works as a columnist for the Kleine Zeitung, one of the most important newspapers of Austria.


For his theatre works Gantschacher got some important awards:

  • Musictheatreperformance of the year 1993 in the Czech Republic for production of the opera "The Emperor of Atlantis or The Disobedience of Death" by Viktor Ullmann[12]
  • Maecenas-Price 1994 for the project "Kar", music theatre in the mountains in cooperation with the Verbund-Company[13]
  • Maecenas-Price 2002 für the project "Theatretraps in the Underground of Vienna"[14]
  • European Label 2002 for innovative language projects[15][16]
  • Maecenas-Price 2003 für the project "Dada in Tramline 1 & Tramline 2"[17]
  • Nomination for the Bank Austria Art Prize 2012[18]
  • Award of The UNESCO for the Visual Theatre Library for the "development of human rights for all" 2012[19]
  • Award by the Federal Minister Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek for the theatre project "Sense of Touch - Sense of Smell - Sense of Taste" about the culture and communication techniques of the deaf-blind with deaf-blind students and five sensed students in 2014[20]
  • Award by the Federal Minister Sonja Hammerschmid for the theatre project "Layers of History"[21]
  • Arteco-Price the project "Different Trains" (three operas on a moving train through Europe on stations in Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Austria dealing with the theme of deportation and death during the Holocaust)[22]
  • "Cerec-Award" of the Financial Times[23]



Essays about theatre
  • "Signer and Rossini - two brothers in spirit?" - 1992
  • "Crossing Boarders" - 1993
  • "The new music theatre project KAR – a cooperation between industry and art" - 1994
  • "Music Theatre at the concentration camp of Terezín by the example of the composer Viktor Ullmann and its significance for our time" - 1994
  • "The Emperor of Atlantis - Lecture for CINARS 1994 in Montreal" - 1994
  • "About the Open Form of Theatrical Art of Theatre - Lecture about the new opera house in Linz" - 1996
  • "Memories and present, music and language, original and draft" - 1996
  • "Music, Theatre, Dance in Austria - Lecture for CINARS 1996 in Montreal" - 1996
  • "Art crossing Boarders" 1997
  • "For years, the mirror is imposed! About the correspondences of cultural behavior" - 1998
  • "The Art of Dialogue" - 1998
  • "Memory as a mirror of ideology" - 2000
  • "WorldWideWeb - Reality - Tool - Interaction" - [24] in: TRANS - Internetmagazine for Cultural Studies Nr.9 - 2000
  • "That there is this attempt of political change in the world definitely" - 2004
  • "Victim myth Austria" - 2005
  • "The Rescue of to be forgotten! - The correspondence between the Austrian-Jewish philosopher Wilhelm Jerusalem and the American deafblind author Helen Keller" - 2009
  • "The Archivist" Laudation for Hubert Steiner 2017.[25]
  • "Promoting Cultural Education" essay about the new school-youth-theatre project as a contribution of the State of Carinthia to the memorial year of the Republic of Austria "Austria 1918-2018", gift 1/2018, Vienna 2018, ISSN 1992-2973[26]
  • "Crossing the Boarders" - Das Zeichen 22/1992 - ISSN 0932-4747
  • "Plurality instead of Uniformity (Klagenfurt on other tracks)" - Kärntner Druck und Verlagsgesellschaft 1996 - ISBN 3-85391-138-2
  • "Tracks to Victor Ullmann" with essays written by Viktor Ullmann, Herbert Thomas Mandl, Dževad Karahasan, Ingo Schultz and Herbert Gantschacher published by ARBOS - Company for Music and Theatre / (Vienna: edition selene 1998), ISBN 3-85266-093-9
  • "Forms of life" (a theatre book written by Herbert Gantschacher and Dževad Karahasan) – edition selene 1999 - ISBN 3-85266-041-6
  • "The Mirror of History - The Past as Ideology" (3rd Prora Conference) - Stiftung Neue Kultur Berlin 2000
  • Co-Editor of "The Unifying Aspects of Cultures" – LIT 2004 - ISBN 3-8258-7616-0
  • "I Carry the Flag or War = daDa" – Peter Lang Europäischer Verlag der Wissenschaften 2006 - ISSN 0941-1488, ISBN 3-631-55038-3
  • "Witness and Victim of the Apocalypse" (Book for the exhibition about the composer Viktor Ullmann in World War I and the influence of the experiences of war to his music especially to the opera "The Emperor of Atlantis or The Disobidience of Death") - ARBOS, Vienna-Salzburg-Klagenfurt-Arnoldstein-Prora 2007/2008
  • "From the Austrian-Hungarian Wehrmacht to the German Wehrmacht" - ARBOS, Vienna-Salzburg-Klagenfurt-Arnoldstein 2009
  • "Forward, Don`t Forget!" in "Dirty Bucket K..."[27] edited by FreiraumK, Drava Verlag-Založba Drava Klagenfurt/Celovec 2013, ISBN 978-3-85435-710-0[28]
  • "VIKTOR ULLMANN ZEUGE UND OPFER DER APOKALYPSE - WITNESS AND VICTIM OF THE APOCALYPSE - Testimone e vittima dell'Apocalisse - Prič in žrtev apokalipse - Svědek a oběť apokalypsy" - Complete original authorized edition in German and English language with summaries in Italian, Slovenian and Czech language, ARBOS-Edition ISBN 978-3-9503173-3-6, Arnoldstein-Klagenfurt-Salzburg-Vienna-Prora-Prague 2015.
  • Viktor Ullmann - Svědek a oběť apokalypsy 1914-1944, ISBN 978-80-86852-62-1 Archiv hlavního města Prahy 2015.
  • Герберт Ганчахер Виктор Ульман - Свидетель и жертва апокалипсиса, ISBN 978-5-8392-0625-0 «Культ-информ-пресс» Санкт-Петербург 2016.[7][29]
  • At the broadcasting house in the Argentinierstraße was a studio for radiodramas - IN: BROADCASTING HOUSE ANTHOLOGIE Commermorative edited by Gerhard Ruis and Ulrike Stecher, Edition Autorensolidarität, Vienna 2017.
  • VERBORGENE GESCHICHTE HIDDEN HISTORY Скрытая история , ARBOS-Edition, ISBN 978-3-9503173-4-3, Arnoldstein - Klagenfurt - Salzburg - Vienna 2018.[30]
  • KRIEGSGEFANGEN - KRIEGSINVALID / PRISONER OF WAR - WAR-DISABLED / военнопленные - инвалиды войны ARBOS-Edition, ISBN 978-3-9503173-7-4, Arnoldstein - Klagenfurt - Salzburg - Vienna 2018.
  • Viktor Ullmann - Priča in Žrtev Apokalipse (dodatno besedilo Aneja Rože, spremno besedilo Marko Klavora, prevod Angela Žugič) Goriški muzej Kromberk, ISBN 978-961-6201-74-2, Nova Gorica 2018
  • ВИКТОР УЛЬМАН СВИДЕТЕЛЬ И ЖЕРТВА АПОКАЛИПСИСА - Viktor Ullmann Zeuge und Opfer Apokalypse - Witness and Victim of th Apokalypse - Testimone e vittima dell´Apocalisse - Priča in žrtev apokalipse - Svědek a oběť apokalypsy ARBOS-Edition, ISBN 978-3-9503173-6-7, Arnoldstein - Klagenfurt - Salzburg - Wien 2018.
  • "Disconnected - Kein Anschluß" by Willy Conley. 2000
  • "On the edge of the desert" by Dževad Karahasan. 2003
  • "Banquet" by Dževad Karahasan. 2005
  • "The Universal Drum - Trommeln allerorts" by Willy Conley. 2011
  • "Strike Against The War!" by Helen Keller. 2013-2014[31]
  • "Agnus Dei" draft of a libretto based on a story by Francisco Tanzer, 1987 in: Austrian National Library - Austrian Literature Archive.[32]
  • "The Couple" (in cooperation with Francisco Tanzer) 1987/1988 in: Austrian National Library - Austrian Literature Archive. Tanzer[33]
  • "Late Afternoon in Paradise". Chamberopera (together with Walter Müller). Music: Stefan Signer - 1992
  • "The Language in Space" - 1994
  • "The Singing Of The Fools about Europe" together with Dževad Karahasan - 1994
  • "Rehearsals on Dialogues" - 1996
  • "19182338 - The number You have called is disconnected". Music theatre. Music: Werner Raditschnig - 1998
  • "I Can See Something You Cannot See" - 2000
  • "Chronicle 1933-1945". Dokumentary Theatre about the biographies of Robert Ley and Victor Klemperer (together with Katharina and Jürgen Rostock) - 2000
  • "Snow and Death". Dramatization of the novel "The Ring of Shahrijar" by Dževad Karahasan - 2002
  • "The Death of Empedocles". Dramatization of the Fragments written by Friedrich Hölderlin (in cooperation with Dževad Karahasan) - 2005
  • "Banquet". Transmission of the Librettos of Dževad Karahasan from the Bosnian Language. Music: Herbert Grassl, Bruno Strobl and Hossam Mahmoud - 2005
  • "A First Step" - 2008
  • "Wilhelm JerusalemHelen Keller – Letters" - 2008, published as Visual Theatre Library Volume 1; ISBN 978-3-9503173-0-5 ARBOS-Edition © & ® 2010-2012
  • "Heaven on Earth" - 2012
  • *Pig Alm" - 2013[34]
  • "Talking Gloves" a visual theatre play about the painter Albin Egger-Lienz and the poet Dichter August Stramm - 2014/2018[35][36]
  • "The Four Seasons" a theatre play about sensual understanding of the deafblind - 2018[37]


  • "Witness and Victim of the Apocalypse - The Austrian Composer Viktor Ullmann in World War I as an artillery observer witnessing the poison gas attack at the Isonzo front on 24 October 1917 in Bovec (Flitsch / Plezzo), and in World War II as victims of murder by poison gas on 18 October 1944 in Auschwitz" - Arnoldstein 2007, Prora 2008, Prague 2015, Kingisepp 2016, St. Petersburg 2016[5]
  • "From The Austro-Hungarian Wehrmacht in The German Wehrmacht" - Arnoldstein 2009, Prora 2010[38]
  • "About Images and Card Counterfeiters - The Paris Commune in the 19th century, Lenin 1917 and 1918, Austrian school atlas 2008" - Arnoldstein 2010[39]
  • ""Refuses Any Military Work!" - Arnoldstein 2011[40]
  • "The Servants of All Lords" Arnoldstein 2012[41]
  • "'... I receive a pension from the Wiener Philharmoniker subsidy whose amount shall be fixed by the General Assembly in accordance with the available resources ...' AS THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE VIENNA PHILHARMONIC DEVALUED THE PENSIONS OF THEIR JEWISH MUSICIANS BEFORE THE DEPORTATION IN THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS SHOWN WITH DOCUMENTS FOR ASSET RECOVERY AND QUESTIONS FOR RESTITUTION" - Arnoldstein 2013[42]
  • "Political Murder - the instrumentalization of politics in the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st century" Arnoldstein 2013[43]
  • Members of the Vienna Philharmonic in The Great War and The Salzburg Festival 1918 (Arnoldstein 2014).[45]
  • WAR CRIMES and WAR RESISTERS (Arnoldstein 2015).[46]
  • WOMEN AT WAR: 'La Soldate Femme' Women-Soldiers in The Great War - Helen Keller: 'Strike Against The War!' (Arnoldstein 2016).[47][48]
  • „DEAR FRIEND!“: Arnold Schönberg and his piece „Gurrelieder“ and the proposed performance in Switzerland by the "Kriegspressequartier" (Klagenfurt 2017)[49]
  • THE LAST BATTLE OPERATOR: Victorious Commander instead of peacebringing Emperor and King Charles (Arnoldstein 2017),[50]
  • The New Year's Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic, its cultural-political origins, its predecessors and forerunners in the context of the former combatants and war invalids in the First World War (Klagenfurt 2017/2018)[51]
  • Hidden History - Fate of War-Disabled in Austria - Deafness, Blindness and Deafblindness in The Great War 1914-1918[36]
  • Viktor Ullmann - Priča in Žrtev Apokalipse Goriški muzej Kromberk, Nova Gorica 2018-2019


  • "Viktor Ullmann - Way to the Front 1917" Documentary Film, Book and Director: Herbert Gantschacher, Editor: Erich Heyduck; ARBOS-DVD Vienna-Salzburg-Klagenfurt-Arnoldstein 2007.
  • "Spuren nach Theresiestadt - Tracks to Terezín" Documentary Film about the survivor of the Holocaust Herbert Thomas Mandl, Interview and Director: Herbert Gantschacher, Camera: Robert Schabus, Editor: Erich Heyduck/DVD in German and English; ARBOS, Wien-Salzburg-Klagenfurt, 2007.
  • "The Emperor of Atlantis or The Disobedience of Death" Documentary Music Theatre about the opera of Viktor Ullmann, Book and Director: Herbert Gantschacher, Sound-engineering: Roumen Dimitrov, Editor: Erich Heyduck, Montage: Dieter Werderitsch; ARBOS-DVD Vienna-Salzburg-Klagenfurt in German 2009, in English 2010, in Italian 2010, in Czech 2015.



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External links[edit]