Marisa Mell as “Alma Mahler-Werfel”
Alma Maria Mahler Gropius Werfel, born Alma Margaretha Maria Schindler; 31 August 1879 – 11 December 1964, was a Viennese-born composer, author, editor and socialite. At age fifteen, she was mentored by Max Burckhard. Musically active from her early years, she was the composer of at least 17 songs for voice and piano. In her early years, she fell in love with composer and conductor Alexander von Zemlinsky, but their relationship did not last long. She became the wife of composer Gustav Mahler, who did not approve of her continuing to compose music. Eventually she fell into depression from being artistically stifled. While her marriage was struggling, she had an affair with Walter Gropius. Gustav started to encourage Alma's composing and helped prepare some of her compositions for publication, but died soon after this attempted reconciliation in 1911. Alma married Gropius in 1915 and the couple had a daughter together, Manon Gropius. During her marriage to Gropius, Alma had an affair with Franz Werfel. Alma and Werfel were eventually married after Alma separated from Gropius. In 1938, after the Anschluss, Werfel and Alma were forced to flee Austria as it was unsafe for Jews. Eventually the couple settled in Los Angeles. In later years, her salon became part of the artistic scene, first in Vienna, then in Los Angeles and in New York.
Alma Mahler-Werfel died 11 December 1964 in New York City. She was buried on 8 February 1965 in the Grinzing Cemetery of Vienna, in the same cemetery as her daughter Manon Gropius and her first husband Gustav Mahler.
This was a theatre production in honor of poet Franz Werfel's 100th anniversary of his birthday on September 10th 1990. The production "Dort und Hier" started in Graz-Austria, Marisa Mell's home town, and did presumably go on tour in Austria. Sadly there is not much information known of this production, even André Schneider, author of the great Marisa Mell book "Die Feuerblume -Über Marisa Mell und ihre Filme, has not much information about this production. Sadly it was one of the last theatre productions of Marisa Mell because soon after she became very ill leading up to her untimely death!
A young Alma Mahler-Werfel
Thanks to André Schneider for providing this wonderful theatre broschure which is quite hard to find.