Vienna 1900: In the Garden of Dreams

  • John Brancy

Music of Brahms and Schoenberg

Concept, scenario and direction: Sarah Rothenberg
Projection design: Sven Ortel
Ligting and set design: Marcus Doshi
Costume design: Marina Draghici


JOHN BRANCY, baritone as
The Artist

Fraulein E.

“For a long time a form had been in my mind which I believed to be the only one in which a musician might express himself in the theatre. I called it, in my own private language, making music with the media of the stage…” – Arnold Schoenberg

In this immersive Da Camera original production, spectacular dream-like visuals and powerful musical performances transport you to Vienna 1900. Klimt’s sensual paintings and Max Klinger’s erotic prints are a window into a world of new ideas. A fully-staged theatrical production, In the Garden of Dreams takes you inside an imagined Viennese music room where a solitary pianist playing Brahms’s last works gradually transforms into the symbol-rich garden of Schoenberg’s The Book of the Hanging Gardens. Drawing on Freud, Strindberg, and the art of Max Klinger and Gustav Klimt, In the Garden of Dreams moves from dawn to the dark of night, from a protected Viennese interior to a decaying landscape where Schoenberg’s haunting Book of the Hanging Gardens reaches its shattering conclusion as reality, dream, memory, and hallucination merge in the mind of an obsessed lover.

“Sarah Rothenberg Unravels Darkness of Human Psyche in Love-Obsessed Multimedia Spectacle” –

“No one word can sum up In the Garden of Dreams – the latest in a series of boundary-crossing performances devised by Sarah Rothenberg” – Houston Chronicle

“a vibrant, resonant presence” — The New York Times on John Brancy

“With her dramatic tumble of red hair and cello-mellow voice, Ms. Fischer sings with a passionate restraint that has no equal in her generation.” — The New York Times

Additional videos: Part 2  Part 3

Schoenberg’s Book of the Hanging Gardens, Charlotte Hellekant and Sarah Rothenberg perform from Da Camera of Houston on Vimeo.

Vienna 1900: In the Garden of Dreams is performed without intermission and lasts approximately 70 minutes.

This production is made possible by generous support from Louisa Stude Sarofim, Lillie Robertson, the Da Camera Artistic Development Fund and the National Endowment for the Arts.