THE CARAVAGGIO MYSTERY: An audio drama by Susanne Ayoub


Staircase in the Vienna Broadcasting Center

Broadcast premiere
Saturday October 12, 2019, Radio Ö1
“Hörbilder” (Audio Images) 9:05-10:00 a.m.
available for streaming 7 additional days

Bacchus by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

Saturday October 19, WDR 3 (West German Broadcasting 3)
“Kulturfeature“  (Cultural Feature) 3:04 – 4:00 p.m.
The production will be available for streaming and downloading on WDR 3 until October 18, 2020

with Michael Dangl, Markus Hering, Sarah Jung, Katharina Knap, Karl Menrad and Raphael Sas. Thanks go out to Maria Teresa Galluzzo and Giuseppe Ricciardo. Directed by Susanne Ayoub – Engineered by Robert Pavlecka und Anna Kuncio – Edited by Elisabeth Stratka

An ORF production in cooperation with WDR (West German Broadcasting) 2019

The stolen Caravaggio: La Natività

An angel falls from heaven. The baby is lying on the bare floor. His mother sits before him. She seems weak, weary, resigned to her fate. The men stand around her. All of them are looking at the child, and even the ox pushes forward. Only the man at her side does not look at the baby, he turns away, questioning? The woman is young. The man at her side seems much older. His hair is nearly white. Or is this an effect of the light falling on him from above? Caravaggio’s famous light. He introduced this radiance to the art of painting. La Luce del Vero, the light of truth. Mann an ihrer Seite sieht es nicht an, er wendet sich um, fragend?


Caravaggio´s portrait as decapitated Goliath

“The Caravaggio Mystery” begins on a stormy night in Palermo in October 1969. The altarpiece of the Oratorio di San Lorenzo depicting Christ’s birth, painted by Caravaggio, has disappeared. Like the famous chiaroscuro technique in his painting, Carravaggio’s life was marked by light and shadow, and so this brazen art theft fits the artist’s dramatic biography.

Ayoub’s drama combines the story of the theft and the subsequent intensive and often dramatic investigation in the crime with scenes from Caravaggio’s life, his years on the run as a murderer fleeing from the papal ban, until shortly before his death in Sicily, when he paints one of his most moving pictures: the Natività.

Fontana Pretoria

Is it hanging in the living room of a secret art lover? Was it buried with a Mafia boss? According to the Sicilian Mafia expert Maria Teresa Galluzzo, who guides us through the play, only one thing is certain: the Mafia organized the theft. No one else could have carried it out so boldly and flawlessly.


Fontana Pretoria



[Photos of cast and production]

Websites zum Caravggio-Krimi

Michelangelo Caravaggio – Der berühmteste Kunstraub der Welt
Kulturfeature – Caravaggio