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Peacock Island and Stories

Tropical and Miraculous matters, right outside Potsdam and Berlin
Open air
18. June
15 h
Meeting Point: Ferry Quay to Peacock Island, Berlin-Wannsee

King Frederic William II wanted to have an exotic dream island, basically right at his doorstep. So he made a quiet Havel island his fantasy setting, had a small palace built into its ancient Oaktree wilderness. Romantic ruins as well as foreign plants and exotic peacocks completed the transformation of what had been »Rabbit Eyot« into Peacock Island. Later inhabitants and designers turned this landscape into a landscaped park with palm house, rose garden, zoo and model farm. All these island dreams made and shaped the island’s current appearance: you are cordially invited to an extended stroll featuring small concerts, a short opera and many curious facts from past and present!

In front of the Palm House Shed
Henry Maitey, the man from Hawaii

The »Otaheitic Cabinet« Frederic William II had built inside the island’s small palace paid homage to the excitement for everything South Sea travelling explorers were causing. In 1824 one of them brought a 16-year-old youth from the Sandwich Islands back to Prussia. The young man became assistant to the engine master on Peacock Island and writer Thomas Höft has captured scenes from this unusual life.

Heiko Senst, narrator
Georg Kroneis, viola da gamba
Dimitris Psonis, percussion

At the lama fountain:
Island Songs

Songs about islands, water, the sea, their dangers and their temptations - they were very popular in the 19th century. People liked to sing such songs while wandering outdoors to the fashionable instrument of the time, the guitar, in convivial gatherings - as here.

Laura Orueta, mezzo-soprano
Dietrich Henschel, baritone
Jesse Flowers, guitar

At the rose garden:
Georg Anton Benda
Ariadne on Naxos 

Melodrama (1775) – excerpts

A statuette on Peacock Island pays tribute to a guest appearance by legendary tragedienne Rachel. Inspired by her art, Jurate Sirvyte, herself an expert in historical performance technique, accompanies Benda’s impressive melodrama with expressive gestures.

Thomas Höft, speaker
Jurate Sirvyte, actor
Lidewij van der Voort, violin
Michael Hell, harpsichord

Finale in front of the dairy farm:
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
Il Ciarlatano
Dramma giocoso per musica (1734)

Before the peacocks came to the island alchemist Johann Kunckel had a secret laboratory here and attempted the manufacture of glass! Having been wrongfully discredited as charlatan he had to leave Prussia. However, in Pergolesi’s amusing operatic intermezzo a real charlatan tries to win the heart of his beloved by means of astrology and magic potions.

Laura Orueta, Livietta
Dietrich Henschel, Tracollo
Adrian Schvarzstein, Faccenda (actor)
Thomas Höft, Fulvia (actor)
Didac Cano, Factotum (acrobat)

Art House 17
Lidewij van der Voort, violin I
Zohar Alon, violone II
Barbara Konrad, viola
Lúcia Krommer, violoncello
Georg Kroneis, violone & guitar
Dimitris Psonis, percussion

Michael Hell, harpsichord, recorders & musical direction
Adrian Schvarzstein, director
Lilli Hartmann, designer

Length: about 4 hours, lunch and coffee break included

The price for the ferry is included. The catering service at the lawn is looking forward to your visit. You may bring your own food and drinks.

There are very few parking spaces available on site, please prefer to use public transport.

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