my relatives on my mother’s side were from the weinviertel, from prinzendrof. i love the weinviertel with its gently rolling hills, vineyards, corn fields and cellar lanes. my aunty, who guided me during my confirmation, lived in zistersdorfstrasse. we visited her every year at the pentecost holidays. back then a path in front of her house led directly across the fields to prinzendorf castle. it was the hub of a farm estate that belonged to the klosterneuburg monastery. we walked to the castle. it was a beautiful pentecost morning. the sun shone, the larks were singing, everything was blooming. i had a profoundly deep – similar to a moment of illuminating insight – nature experience. a yes to the unfolding of nature seemed to overcome all the tendencies to negate. the castle appeared to be a holy theatre, one which the state, when i’m old, would make available to me to realise my work. after then being arrested three times because of my work, there remained only the remembrance of this pentecost epiphany at the wonderful castle. at my exhibitions overseas, including in the united states, I showed a photo of prinzendorf castle and described it as the o.m. theatre. my friends and i were always going back to prinzendorf, to visit the wine cellar of my relatives. during one of these cellar parties my wife beate asked my uncle if he knew of a cheap house for sale. he said we should buy the castle, it’s for sale at a base price. beate reached agreement with the vendors. she was a child psychologist and wanted to use the castle for her work and my theatre. and so my dream was to come true by way of a miracle. prinzendorf castle became my theatre. the castle and its grounds were the ideal place for the o.m. theatre. the courtyard and park were enclosed by a perimeter wall. actions could be performed in the stalls, in the spaces of the castle and its large and underground wine cellar. on the first floor of the castle was/is a chapel. there are underground passageways beneath the castle grounds which led to places up to 3 km away. the subterranean gangways i had drawn were to be found right here. scarcely believable how everything needed was there. surrounded by vineyards, fields and three cellar lanes, all of which could be integrated into the performance of an action. i was able to stage many pentecost festivals and perform many large actions. my wife beate was still with me in 1975 for the performance of the first day of the 6-day play. in 1977 she died in a traffic accident. this tragic incident was the most painful loss I’ve ever experienced, utter anguish and despair, helplessness. the following text was engraved on a marble plaque and mounted on the castle:
PRINZENDORF CASTLE WAS PURCHASED BY MY DECEASED WIFE BEATE NITSCH FOR THE O.M. THEATRE IN 1971. HER TIRELESS ENDEAVOUR, HER BELIEF IN MY WORK, WERE SOURCE AND INSPIRATION FOR MY COMMITMENT TO REALIZE IT. HERMANN NITSCH 1984
in 1998 the 6-day play could be performed with a large team of 500 participants. three orchestras, a mixed choir, a chamber music group, a choral school and ca. 50 actors took part. the music was conducted by clemens gadenstätter with two co-conductors. alfred gulden was director. the surrounds, the cellar lanes, various wine cellars were all included. processions led through fields and vineyards. a celebration affirming being, life and creation. at the final sunset of the play all the participants embraced in the castle’s orchard.
in 2021 we want to perform the new 6-day play in prinzendorf castle. joy will radiate throughout the surrounds of the castle. the pentecost miracle, the descent of the holy spirit is identical with the resurrection, with enlightenment, with the experience of pantheism and brahman. the ecstatic state of the mysticism of being is entered. the orgiastic dionysian enthusiasm is embedded in wine intoxication and the sensual squashing of overripe grapes, the sugar-sweet, sticky nectar runs down fingers. a sacrament is taken. above, the luminous canopy of the starry sky and the echo of cosmic sounds. (2019)