Musical and Luxembourg: a good match?

By Laura TomassiniLex Kleren Switch to German for original article

They share a common passion, but are at different stages of their careers: Fernand Delosch, Esther Conter and Anna Katharina Felke are all three professional musical theatre performers - a profession that is still in its infancy in Luxembourg. Three professionals, three perspectives on the same topic.

He played the lead role in The Phantom of the Opera in Essen, was Sweeney Todd at the Schlossfestspiele in Ettlingen, portrayed Wolfgang in Mozart! and played several roles in Dance of the Vampires: Fernand Delosch's heart has belonged to the stage for over 20 years, as it has been his home for most of his adult life. Today he is back in his true homeland, because "Ferdl from Luxembourg", as his Viennese colleagues call him, left Austria because of the many right-wing extremists, in order to feel more than "just welcome" somewhere again, to be with his family, but above all to pass on his passion to others, because Delosch's most ardent wish is to bring Luxembourg a little closer to the genre of musical.

"You have to build the market from the bottom up, by providing opportunities for young talents and the necessary training programmes, and I want to play my part in this, " explains the long-time musical performer. Delosch was one of the first in the country to dedicate himself to a professional musical theatre career, paving the way for other actors and actresses to come. In 1994, the former nurse decided to put aside his work in anaesthesia and intensive care to make way for his big dream. Despite smirks from those around him, the Luxembourger won a talent scholarship at the Stage School of Music, Dance and Drama in Hamburg and completed a three-year training programme to become a musical performer.

Ups and downs: part of the career

"If a passion literally creates suffering, then you have to pursue it, " says the artist, who was trained in the school's American-influenced system to become a "triple threat", i.e. a performer who is equally skilled in dance, singing and acting. When Delosch looks back on his career today, he only has highlights to point out and sees himself as the best example of how you can make a living from musicals – albeit not in the traditional Luxembourg way. "In show business, it's normal to be unemployed between jobs, " says the artist, who has never let bumpy moments get him down.

His first real show experience started with a flop, as the world premiere of Just One World only toured for just under a month before the production ran out of money and Delosch became unemployed: "I was kicked out of the hotel that had been booked by the production and became a social case." He kept his head above water with a job as an entertainer in hotels and gained a lot of practice at concerts and dance shows. Then, in 1999, he landed a role in the musical Jekyll&Hyde at the Saarbrücken State Theatre and the ice was broken.

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