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A competition

and a meeting
dedicated to
worldwide exchange
in new opera
and music theatre.
A competition and a meeting
dedicated to worldwide exchange
in new opera and music theatre.

Meeting and presentations

of the selected works
Swedish Biennial for Performing Arts
Jönköping, May 22nd – 26th, 2013.

The second edition of the competition Music Theatre NOW

presented by the Music Theatre Committee of the International Theatre Institute
in cooperation with the German Centre of ITI took place in 2012.
08 Programme 52 76
Welcome Maschinenhalle Thanks to
28 #1 my Eyes
The Music Theatre
56 80
32 The Navigator 还 魂 三 叠
Table of Contents

Table of Contents
The Meeting 60 84
36 Red Shoes Three Mile 07
Geros dienos  ! Island
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

Jury Meeting
in Beijing
40 Samotność pól 88
18 El Gran Teatro bawełnianych Up-close
From the Jury de Oklahoma
68 92
44 Schlimmes War Sum Up
We proudly
Homework Ende

48 72
Josefine singt T.E.L.


The Gates to
Music Theatre NOW 2013
Are Wide Open! Welcome to Jönköping!

More than 400 new music theatre music theatre productions will present It is a great pleasure for us to be hosting and genres. The programme for the 2013
productions from every continent, their selected works in Jönköping / Music Theatre NOW, one of the most biennial includes sixteen productions
produced over the past four years, par- Sweden, and theatre-makers and their important events for radical and experi- from all over Sweden selected by a jury,
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ticipated in the second call for entries audiences will be able to focus on new mental music theatre in its infinite vari- international guest productions, student
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

to Music Theatre NOW; five superb music theatre’s diversity of forms. And ety at the Swedish Biennial for Perfor- productions, seminars, workshops, dis-
jurors examined the submitted works so Music Theatre NOW opens its doors ming Arts in 2013. In fact, for us it has cussions and meetings.
and selected 17 exceptional productions and gates to a sensual or factual, aes- been a long-cherished dream to bring
– leaving me overcome with tremend- thetic or borderline, fantastic or stream- this provocative and thought-provoking You are most welcome to join this celeb-
ous admiration for the music theatre lined, colourful or consciously colourless multinational showcase to Scandina- ration of the performing arts!
committee of the International Theatre but always inspiring and forward-looking via, after having had the privilege of
Institute, who initiated Music Theatre world of new music theatre. following it closely in places like Munich
NOW. This admiration is mixed with I welcome you into the world and Berlin. First and foremost, it is a Stefan Johansson
increasing amazement and leads to an of the 2013 edition of Music Theatre NOW. marvellous opportunity for composers,
overwhelming curiosity – a curiosity that And I hope that not only your curiosity dramatists, directors and performers Head of dramaturgy
was originally nourished by the presen- will be satisfied by the selection of music to meet in one place over a couple of Malmö Opera / Royal Swedish Opera
tation of the best projects of the year theatre projects, but also that the days and to see presentations of music Member of the
2008. presentations, discussions and encoun- theatre from all over the world, which Music Theatre Committee
What I experienced in Berlin in ters encourage you to open wide the would otherwise require more travelling
2008 was, and remains, a defining expe- gates to new music theatre, both today than most of us can manage. It is also the
rience for me. As for many other artists and in the future. place to be for networking amongst pre- Ann Mari Engel
then, my knowledge was limited to senters, publishers, curators and critics
what was conventional and frequently- interested in new music theatre. Secretary General
performed on stage. It amazed me how Tobias Biancone Music Theatre NOW will be part Teaterunionen / Swedish ITI
varied the forms and tones of new music of the first Swedish Biennial for Perfor- Director of the Biennial
theatre could be. It also amazed me that, Director General ming Arts, which will be held in 2013
since the creative approaches were so International Theatre in the beautiful new Spira building in
fundamentally different, none of these Institute / ITI Jönköping, home of both the Smålands
presentations were in direct competi- Musik & Teater and Jönköpings Sinfoni-
tion with each other. I left the occasion etta. After two decades and ten theatre
with a much greater appreciation for this and five dance biennials in Sweden, the
work, and since then I have experienced decision was made to create a joint
music theatre with fully-attuned senses. meeting place for theatre, dance, music
17 outstanding creators an teams of theatre, performance and related forms
Music Theatre – A platform for
Now! International Exchange

The oldest committee of the ITI, the Since its first edition in 2008 in Berlin, Communication between performers ver each other’s work. This optimistic feedback gave all those working on the project
Music Theatre Committee, demon- Music Theatre NOW has not only received and creators is necessary for growth in new energy to push forward.
strates with this project what a success- twice as many submissions but has also any art form. However, despite globali- For this second edition of Music Theatre NOW, with the help of Stefan
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ful international collaboration should become a project based on partnership. sation, this interaction between artists Johannsson, the Music Theatre Committee member who had stuck with the project
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

look like. Music Theatre NOW is both a It enjoys the support of both of its two remains extremely localized in opera and the longest, we were able to cooperate with the Swedish ITI. This enabled us to ex-
competition and an international get European organisers. The project’s music theatre. Since the emergence of pand the project as a whole and to ask a group of esteemed colleagues to participate
together: the Swedish Biennial for inspiration, however, comes from a jury music theatre as we know it today in the as jurors. We were unprepared, however, for the explosion of interest from all parts
Performing Arts has enabled both the assembled from around the world, an 70s and 80s, the work and interest in it of the world. The jury did an incredible job in grappling with the enormous application
Swedish and German ITI to reflect these international music theatre committee, has grown exponentially. However in the pool. I am very grateful not only for their hard work, but for their support for this
two fundamental aspects by presenting and countless theatres, festivals, organi- network of performing arts practitio- event as a whole. Particularly to Danny Yung, who hosted our jury meeting in Beijing
the winners set out in this book at their sers, ensembles and artists. ners committed to contemporary and and continues to assist us in many ways. Not only has the interest in participation in
festival in 2013. Over 400 productions experimental work, music theatre is the competition grown, the group of colleagues committed to this event has expan-
from 35 countries were submitted, We wish this important meeting the best still marginalized. Ten years ago when ded greatly since we started Music Theatre NOW. This is also the first edition at which
making this the second worldwide com- of luck in its endeavours! Roland Quitt and I started working on other colleagues will offer additional awards – opportunities for future performances
petition to date – previously it was co- developping a new concept for ITI’s Music of some of these works.
ordinated by ITI Germany under the Theatre Workshop, it seemed acutely Thirty years ago the Music Theatre Committee of the International Theatre
artistic guidance of Laura Berman. And Thomas Engel necessary to create an event that would Institute held the first Music Theatre Workshop. At the time this was an informal
because a large-sized festival is the best primarily serve as a platform for ex- meeting for insiders to find out what each other was doing in the field of contem-
framework in which to present the 17 Director change between creators, producers porary opera. Today the workshop has become an international meeting. A few days
prize-winners of such a competition, we ITI Germany and presenters of this genre. of presentations has become a three-day marathon of music theatre reflecting the
are especially pleased that the 2013 edi- Through the ongoing support enormous diversity and creativity in this genre.
tion of Music Theatre NOW has become of the German ITI centre and a small This book documents a project, which we hope will continue to grow and
a feature of the first multi-disciplinary group of idealistic colleagues, we were expand in the coming decades. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all who
Swedish Biennial for Performing Arts. able to establish Music Theatre NOW in contributed to Music Theatre NOW 2013 and to the creators of the works presented
2008. Back then we were a bit ashamed here, for making this all possible.
that we could only offer the ‘winners’
of our little competition the chance to Laura Berman
participate in a small meeting in Berlin.
However, at that first event we were Artistic Director
overwhelmed by the positive reaction of Music Theatre NOW
the participants, who were so grateful
simply to have the opportunity to meet
fellow artists from far away and to disco-
Music Theatre
Music Theatre
About the Committee
Music Theatre Committee Board History
Music Theatre Committee

Music Theatre Committee

The Music Theatre Committee (MTC) of and music theatre. The group includes Nico Schaafsma, In 1983 the committee initiated a trien-
ITI is committed to the artistic develop- directors, composers, dramaturgs and Netherlands, President nial event, the Music Theatre Workshop,
ment of music theatre worldwide. From producers from all over the world. New whose goal was to exchange ideas on
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experimental projects to productions in members can be asked to join but local Laura Berman, new works and developments in this
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

opera houses, the committee embraces organizations and individuals who work Germany genre. The artistic teams – composers /
all forms of music theatre, including in the field of music theatre can also and or librettists and directors were
hybrid theatrical forms, where music is take the initiative to become a member Guy Coolen, invited to give lectures presenting the
a crucial and indispensable aspect in the of the committee. Belgium productions with the use of video.
performance. The committee takes a
special interest in music theatre outside Roland Quitt, The list of works presented over
of the Western European tradition and in Germany the years includes the following
contemporary work which reflects these composers:
other traditions. Nick Rong jun Yu,
The MTC is a democratic body, PR China Louis Andriessen, Georges Aperghis,
which shares the UNESCO goals to ack- Giorgio Battistelli, Hans-Jürgen von Bose,
nowledge cultural diversity and further Axel Tangerding, Chaya Czernowin, Peter Eötvös, Jonas
the exchange of ideas and knowledge Germany Forssell, Roberto Gerhard, Philip Glass,
between peoples and nations. Heiner Goebbels, Detlev Glanert, Helmut
The committee’s main task is Lachenmann, Liza Lim, Luca Lombardi,
the dissemination of information and Jin Hi Kim, Giacomo Manzoni, Wolfgang
audience education. Its goal is to raise Mitterer, Per Nørgård, Jocy de Oliveira,
audience awareness of new opera and Aribert Reimann, Alfred Schnittke,
music theatre around the globe. Michael Tippett, Awet Terterjan, Rodion
Through its ever-expanding network, the Shchedrin, Judith Weir.
MTC seeks to facilitate the production
and presentation of contemporary music In 2008 the workshop was transformed
theatre, and to assist in the organization into a worldwide competition with a
of cooperation and exchange of produc- professional jury, reflecting a conscious
tions among producers. attempt to expand the scope of the
Committee members are ITI members project outside Europe and North
whose professional work is directly America.
related to the creation, production or
presentation of contemporary opera
The Meeting Schedule

The presentations
will take place in
Fokus / Stadsbiblioteket.

Thursday, Sunday,
May 23rd May 26th May 22nd May 23rd
welcome reception 09.30 – 12.30
Kulturhuset SPIRA, Jönköping,
presentations 1 – 3
Kulturhuset SPIRA

14.00 – 17.00
The meeting Music Theatre NOW will take place in Jönköping in the frame of
the Swedish Biennial for Performing Arts 2013. presentations 4 – 6
The Meeting

The Meeting
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The Swedish Biennial Music Theatre NOW

Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

for Performing Arts May 24th
2013 09.30 – 12.30
Within the meeting the artistic teams of
17 productions will present their work presentations 7 – 9
followed by questions and answers. The
After two decades with 10 theatre and 5 dance biennales in Sweden, it was decided detailed schedule will be provided in Lunch
to create a joint meeting place for theatre, dance, music theatre, performance and an updated programme of the Swedish
related forms and genres. The program of the 2013 biennale includes 16 productions Biennial for Perfoming Arts. 14.00 – 17.00
from all over Sweden, selected by a jury, international guest productions, student It is the marvellous opportunity
productions, seminars, workshops, discussions and meetings. for composers, dramatists, directors and presentations 10–12
performers to meet in one place over a
couple of days to see presentations of
music theatre from all over the world.
It is also the place to be for networking
amongst pre-senters, publishers, cura-

May 25th May 26th

tors and critics interested in new music

All the participants will have the oppor- 09.30 – 12.30 10.00 – 12.30
tunity to take part in a workshop.
presentations 13 – 15 workshop
14.00 – 17.00 presentations 16 – 18
Music Theatre Now Jury Meeting

Jury Meeting
December 10 – 11, 2012


Music Theatre Now Jury Meeting

Jury Martín
beard, it is much more a work of crea- After seeing more than 400 works, it is not easy to arrive at a unified whole More recently he has gravitated
tive genius exploding through new media was not easy for me to have a definite as opposed to presenting several good toward music theatre. These
than it is a performance. Works such as idea of what could be referred to as the ideas in parallel on stage, but fortunately works have been presented at: The
these two bring oxygen flooding into the current panorama of contemporary a number of the works managed to do so. Kitchen (New York), Dartington

genre and point the way to the future. music theatrical creativity, but after dis- Finally, following the extensive Summer Festival (UK), Podewil
My personal favourite works cussions with the other members of the discussions in Beijing, I feel that it is (Berlin), Singapore Arts Festival,

were In the Solitude of Cotton Fields jury, I gained a much clearer picture. wrong to put the emphasis on cultural Zurich Opera House, Edinburgh
and Have a Good Day! The former, with First of all, I must say that I was differences, either for juries or creators, Festival, Pfefferberg (Berlin), Villa
its gorgeous text, strong performan- pleasantly surprised by the huge number despite the fact that they may come Romana (Firenze) Oficina Musical
ces, hard music and razor edge, fuses of applications, which clearly shows that from the most distinctive places on (Oporto). As a stage director
Looking at about 400 DVDs of full- poignant theatre and 80s pop concert the world of music theatre and contem- earth. There is something that transcends he was responsible for the first
length music theatre productions – and in a work completely severed from the porary opera is very much alive. It is still this and allows us to observe the wide performance in Buenos Aires of
processing synopses and librettos – is pompous over-budgeted music theatre a field of activity or work that is very range of different artistic productions Salvatore Sciarrino’s Infinito Nero
not to be taken lightly. The multidimen- productions of the grand bourgeoisie. attractive and appealing to its creators through the same looking-glass, even if and Vanitas as well as works by
sional art form of performance is flat- The latter work is deceptively simple – a (composers, librettists, stage directors, they come from a cultural world which is Satie, Joyce and Cage. His work
tened by the screen, fragmented and long line of cashiers at supermarket videographers, etc.), and is obviously very different from our own. The Loser, based on the novel by
reinterpreted by the videographer, and tills, gently allowing us to peer into their much more than simply a challenging Thomas Bernhard, was voted the
From the Jury

From the Jury

robbed of its essential ‘live-ness’. inner worlds: a socially critical work of exploration of what is undoubtedly a most important piece of the year
Nevertheless it is clear that deep pathos. complex area. by the Music Critics Association
music theatre is thriving, evolving and So where, in the jury’s final se- It seems that there are certain in 2004.
fusing with other disciplines in pockets lection, are the works that reflect global Biography ideas which cannot be expressed with Biography Martín Bauer regularly
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all over the world. As an artist working music theatre in all its cultural diversity? music, dance or prose individually … gives lectures and seminars in his
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

in the field, I was inspired by many of the Well, there’s some way to go still in ope- Brett Bailey is a South African creators need something else. Martín Bauer, guitarist, composer country and abroad on topics such
DVDs I watched. ning this competition up to the world, playwright, designer, director In general, the works featured and professor, is currently Direc- as Samuel Beckett and music, sce-
Of course personal taste plays but given that networks in some regions and the Artistic Director of a huge variety of creative resources tor of the CEAMC Foundation nic music, Argentine experimental
a significant role in the amount of time are isolated and undeveloped, time must THIRD WORLD BUNFIGHT. He which were presented with a wide range (Center of Advanced Studies in music, and John Cage in Latin
one gives to any work: regardless of high be allowed; and this robust and pionee- has worked in several African of different materials and procedures. It Contemporary Music) and since America. He is currently Director
production values or creative virtuosity, ring competition, I believe, is the means countries, in Haiti, the UK and is also interesting to see how new media 1997, of the Ciclo de Conciertos of the Centro de Experimentación
there were those DVDs that I ejected to bring all the threads together. Europe. His acclaimed iconoclastic is gradually finding its place in this kalei- de Música Contemporánea del y Creación del Teatro Argentino
after a couple of minutes, and there There were indeed many more productions, which interrogate doscope. Teatro San Martin, which is consi- de La Plata, a centre specialising in
were those gems – rough or polished, submissions than before from non-Euro- the dynamics of the post-colonial On the other hand, what still dered one of the most important new opera and music theatre.
lucid or baffling – that gripped me from pean countries, but although I was the world, include Big Dada, Verdi’s seems to be difficult is establishing how festivals for new music in Latin
beginning to end, and even drew me back ‘African representative’ on the panel, macbEth, iMumbo Jumbo and to develop ‘an idea’ in the fullest sense America. In the past he was Direc-
for a second viewing. and there were three submissions from Orfeus. His performance installa- of the word: an idea which is absolutely tor of the Experimental Centre
My own shortlist of nominees Africa, I was not prepared to make pat- tions include EXHIBITs A & B. He clear, or better still, completely new. Of of the Colón Theatre in Buenos
was mediated by a desire to include ronising token nominations of works that directed the opening show at the course some of the works did manage to Aires, a space for new opera,
works from the sharp angles on the I felt did not stand up in the competition. World Summit on Arts and Culture achieve this. music theatre and performance.
edges of the mainstream – those that The difficulty in assessing works from in Johannesburg (2009), and It is also still difficult to envi- Over a five-year period more than
stretched the shape of the music theatre traditions that I was unfamiliar with lay the opening shows at the Harare sage the various different layers that forty works, several of them by
genre – and also to reflect the cultural in having no sense of the place of these International Festival of the Arts make up a work or a show (music, text, young Argentine composers, were
diversity of the submissions. works within those traditions: the very from 2006-2011. He was curator performance, lighting, video, sound) presented with great success.
Flyway took a tiny group of fact that some of these works were of South Africa’s only public arts without the various narrative hierarchies Martín Bauer has com-
spectators wearing headphones on a exotic to me could make them appear in- festival, Infecting the City, in that interconnect them. posed chamber music, as well as
walking tour of Sydney to look at images triguing and fresh; but then I was unable Cape Town from 2008-2011, and This is where we see how the music for ballet, theatre and film.
of birds – mediated and free – within an to detect the nuances that might distin- was chair of the jury of the 2011 weight of tradition is still playing a key His music has been presented in
urban context. There was no live music, guish a boundary-breaking work from Prague Quadrennial. His works are role, even in pieces which offer a clearly major concert halls in his country
no hallowed performance halls, and the one that was utterly conventional. As presented across Europe, Australia experimental approach. The influence of and abroad. The government of
birds could hardly be accused of being the reach of the competition expands, and Africa, and have won several academicism, with its excessive attach- Argentina has given him several
performers … Likewise, although there finding ways of giving such works fair awards, including a gold medal for ment to large cultural institutions and awards including the Premio a la
are shadowy walk-on parts in the beauti- representation is one of the challenges design at the Prague Quadrennial organisations, is still something of an Excelencia en la Cultura, and also
fully crafted and mesmerising Blue- to be grappled with by the organisers. (2007). impediment to the creative impulse. It from the National Arts Fund.
Beth Roland
Morrison Quitt
The most impressive element that this I was the only member of the 2012 jury under such conditions I still look for new paths. Submissions from England
competition represents is just how vast who was also a juror for the first edition a music theatre that fuses a radically were divided between the traditional
the interest is in the creation of new mu- of Music Theatre NOW. Compared to new theatre with radically new and, in and a fringe obligation towards humour.
sic theatre and opera theatre works in 2008, it was striking not only how much itself, discerning and complex music. As Sad to see that so little came from Italy.
the 21st century. Recognizing that over less opera there was amongst this year’s in 2008, works submitted that placed All the jurors found the off-theatre
400 works were submitted with the sti- submissions, but also how sharply the such high demands on music in theatre productions from Eastern Europe and
pulation that they could only have pre- Biography number of contributions in which singing came largely from the German-language Russia very intense. An aesthetic awak-
miered in the last four years signifies played a dominant role had declined. world, where complexity in music is still ening is palpable there.
that a staggering amount of work is be- Beth Morrison Projects is the Interestingly, this fundamental shift was a traditionally-sanctified value. But at I remain amazed at how many
ing created, and that music theatre and realisation of Beth Morrison’s  accompanied by another: a decisive the same time, the pool of composers different ways music theatre manages
opera works are vibrant and also have (Artistic and Executive Director) increase in productions whose work who work in the German-language arena to express itself. Amongst the winners,
the opportunity to be the most impor- deep commitment to supporting relied on film and video technology. remain more or less international. Flyway, Josefine singt and T.E.L. are
tant art form of the century. The other and empowering composers and Everywhere, the filmed image became An aesthetic gulf divides con- examples of extreme positions.
very interesting thing was how vastly artists as they create new work. a fundamentally existential metaphor tributions from the German-language Perhaps the most decisive
different these works are from continent The Wall Street Journal recently for living in a media-driven world. At the territories and those from neighbouring difference between 2008 and 2012
to continent and country to country, said about her extensive history same time, an up-and-coming generation Belgium and the Netherlands. For a is that – for the first time – MTN has
both musically and theatrically. Though in the development of new opera of music theatre creators are taking long time, both of these regions were an international jury. Not everything
From the Jury

From the Jury

we are a ‘global’ world, our performing and theatre, “Ms. Morrison may be what they need from the new mixed considered to be subsidy-paradises in could be agreed upon, and some of
arts vary significantly. immortalized one day as a 21st- media art form, as opposed to reflecting comparison with the rest of the world, the submissions I would have liked to
I am very happy to have had the century Diaghilev, known for her on the mature traditions of music thea- and together they accounted for see amongst those invited only drew
opportunity to review so many works ability to assemble memorable tre, whereby music becomes just one of almost half of the submissions. Flemish disconcerted stares from my colleagues. Biography
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from all over the world. As a producer collaborations among artists ... many ingredients to be freely mixed with submissions were more conceptual, There remains a residual incommensura-
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

and presenter of new music theatre and [she is] a vital link in the music-in- others. more ironic, more reduced, and at the bility between different theatre cultures Roland Quitt is a freelance dra-
opera theatre works, this experience dustry food chain.” She previously Yet, the opera submissions same a great deal more sensual than the that even dialogue will never clear. On maturg, author and curator from
was invaluable in seeing quickly what is served as administrative director were of a higher quality than in 2008. German-language ones. They remain the other hand, through such dialogue Germany working predominantly
happening NOW in our art form across at Boston University’s Tanglewood Have composers who continue to follow linked to an ideal being much proscribed we were able to achieve a consensus in in the field of new music theatre.
the globe. Institute, a programme that con- this path become more aware of the in Germany, namely, that art should many cases. This shows the possibility, He studied Music, Philosophy
nects young musicians with the genre’s problems, have they begun to provide intelligent entertainment. In the opportunity and the significance of and German at Berlin’s Freie
Boston Symphony Orchestra’s deal more cautiously with its pitfalls? the Flemish region, narrative discourse such talks, and it perfectly shows what Universität. After several years in
world renowned Tanglewood Fes- I was very surprised, not only by the and character, two elements that have Music Theatre NOW is all about. fringe theatre as a director, actor
tival. In addition to Beth Morrison  music and overall theatrical concept virtually been banished from progres- and head of an opera ensemble,
Projects, Ms. Morrison served as of The Navigator, but also by its staging sive theatre in Germany, find a new he began working as a drama-
producer for New York City Opera’s – the way it came up with elements of justification, as once did the tonality of turg for various theatres. Since
VOX: Contemporary American performance – and almost completely Milhaud’s and Stravinsky’s ironic art. 1996 the main focus of his work
Opera Lab for the 2010-2011 sea- freed itself from any ‘as if’ in opera. Viewed in comparison, German music has been the field of advanced
sons, as well as a three-year foun- Any place in the world where theatre appears almost expressionist contemporary music theatre. In
ding tenure with the Yale Institute music theatre has started picking up in its approach, it is less methodical, the German city of Bielefeld he
for Music Theatre. Ms. Morrison is traces of western avant-garde, music, as often goes for the highest risk, and, as a founded the ‘visible music’ series,
also currently the founding co- a result, can only be on an equal footing consequence, frequently fails; it spends which pioneered as an arena for
artistic director of Prototype, a with other aspects of theatre and can every moment deconstructing the experimentation in forms of music
contemporary opera-theatre / only aesthetically succeed as a genuine previous one, it launches into dialectic theatre outside opera, and which
music-theatre festival produced multi-media attempt to interpret reality. flights whose most important goal is to was later continued in Mannheim.
with HERE Arts Center in New Composers, therefore, have either to have audiences leave the theatre, if not He has been responsible for the
York City.  Ms. Morrison holds a learn to work in a team and stop clai- deeply shaken, then at the very least in a conception and commissioning
bachelor of music from Boston ming, in a totalitarian fashion, that they bad mood; anything, apart from feeling of several world premieres and
University School of Music, a alone are creating musical art within ‘entertained’. has collaborated with many of
master of music from Arizona theatre, or they have to become theatre I cannot generalise where I Europe’s leading composers for
State University School of Music, people themselves, capable of ‘compo- reviewed a smaller number of submis- new music theatre. For several
and a master of fine arts in theatre sing’ what is to be received by the ear in sions. The Canadian works that I watched years Roland Quitt has been an
management/producing from Yale direct relation to what is to be received were often tradition-oriented. All Scan- active member of the ITI Music
School of Drama. by the eye. However, for myself, even dinavian contributions were looking for Theatre Committee’s board.
Danny The Jury
The 400 plus entries this year comprise In 2009, Yung received the Merit
many different kinds of music theatre Cross of the Order of Merit
and provide a glimpse of what‘s going from the Federal Republic of
on in different continents at the mo- Germany in 2009 in recognition
ment. The entries go from traditional to of his contribution to the arts and
experimental, low budget productions cultural exchange between
to large-scale ones, café performance Germany and Hong Kong. In 2008,
to gallery installation, and of course, he was honoured with the Music
the use of conventional venues too. Theatre NOW award for his Tears
Amongst the works are operas, musi- of Barren Hill.
cals and music performances (concert), Danny is not only ac-
whilst the definition of music theatre is tive in the arts and cultural devel-
becoming more hybrid and/or multi- opment in Hong Kong and the
faceted.  As a genre, music theatre is Asia Pacific regions, he is also dedi-
evolving and defining itself. On the cated to promoting international
other hand, only a handful of the creati- cultural exchange and arts educa-
ve works seem to be aiming for or expe- tion. He is currently an internatio-
From the Jury

rimenting with challenging and crossing nal consultant of the UN Consul-

The Jury
these boundaries. In other words, most tant System (UNCS) of UNESCO,
of the pieces reviewed are conforming chairperson of the Asia Pacific
rather than self-challenging and can be Alliance of World Cultural Forums,
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placed securely within established Biography chairperson of the Hong Kong– Clockwise from left:
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

frameworks or institutions. From a Taipei–Shenzhen–Shanghai City- Beth Morrison, Martín Bauer, Danny Yung,
strategic point of view, Music Theatre Danny Yung is an experimental to-City Cultural Exchange Confe- Brett Bailey, Roland Quitt
NOW is an engine to push the concept art pioneer, the founder and co- rence, vice president of the Asia
and practice of music theatre to new artistic director of Zuni Icosahedron Pacific Performing Arts Network,
frontiers. On top of activities that exist and chairperson of the Hong and is on the board of the West
already, such as competitions, the pre- Kong Institute of Contemporary Kowloon Cultural District Autho-
sentation of awards, and invitations to Culture. Over the past 30 years, rity and the Lee Shau Kee Hong
performances, more opportunities for he has been deeply involved in Kong School of Creativity.
artistic exchange would be invaluable to various aspects of the arts, namely
the development of music theatre. Art- theatre, cartoon, film and video,
ist exchanges through topical research visual arts and installations, and
presentations, for instance, could be one is widely regarded as one of the
way of laying a solid foundation for crea- most influential artists in Hong
tive dialogues. These kinds of meetings Kong and its neighbouring regions.
would be beneficial to practitioners He is a keen advocate of experi-
of music theatre by keeping them infor- mental arts and new art forms,
med of the latest developments in the and has been involved in over 100
genre. The establishment of a database theatrical productions as director,
of the entered works would be an effec- scriptwriter, producer and stage
tive tool for information dissemination designer, and these works have
and help the system to be more organi- been staged in over 30 cities. He
sed and open to all.  has also contributed significantly
to the provision of a platform for
both acclaimed and emerging
artists to explore and practise
theatre art in Hong Kong, as well
as across Europe, Asia and the
United States, thereby winning
great acclaim.
We proudly present

The enormous diversity and innovative and more site-specific performances.

power of music theatre can be seen Many writers, composers, directors and

We proudly present
in the productions of this edition of performers, who are pioneers in their
Music Theatre NOW. By organising this profession and who seek to experiment
global competition and the meeting in in the performing arts, feel at home in
Jönköping, the Music Theatre Commit- this genre.
tee of ITI wants to facilitate an exchange It has been questioned lately
of ideas between creators, performers, whether music theatre is ‘the’ art form
24 25
producers and the public. of the 21st century. The committee’s
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

Founded in 1969, the Commit- answer is a resounding ‘yes’. We see a
tee has a long-standing history, amongst huge potential for music theatre today,
its members it had the privilege to also outside the European tradition.
count the directors Walter Felsenstein The Music Theatre Committee
and Harold Prince, who were leading would like to thank the jury for doing
figures in their respective fields: opera the enormous task of making a selection
and musical. Now music theatre has from the more than 400 productions.
developed into much more than opera We thank ITI Germany for its long-term
or musical. It has become a rich genre commitment to the project and their
in which elements of theatre, music, financial support, and we thank the Swe-
dance, film, performance and installation dish Biennial for Performing Arts and ITI
are combined to make new art forms. Sweden for their generous hospitality.
Boundaries between the disciplines in We hope you will enjoy the
the performing arts are crossed and event and that the meeting and network-
sometimes even disappear. Increasin- ing during Music Theatre NOW will inspire
gly, concerts incorporate scenography you, and that it will lead to future colla-
or some form of staging, and similarly, borations and to new developments in
music is playing a more important part in music theatre.
‘regular’ theatre productions. Communi-
ty projects are also emerging where the
distinction between professionals and Nico Schaafsma
amateurs is less obvious. The diversity
in music styles in music theatre is wider President of the Board of the
than ever before, from classical and Music Theatre Committee
contemporary compositions to pop, jazz
and world-music. In the presentation
of music theatre we see a significant
shift from the traditional venues such as
theatres and opera houses, to festivals
Music Theatre Now

The Selected


Music Theatre Now The Selected Works

33⅓ Collective

Jules van Hulst,

Douwe Dijkstra
Blauwbaard Coen Huisman

Is Bluebeard an opera – and if it is not

opera, then what is it? In fact, we too
find it difficult to determine what exactly
our Bluebeard is. All we know (and have
learned from our audiences and the
The classic tale of La Barbe bleue (Blue- various press reviews) is that we have
beard) tells the story of a violent noble- developed a kind of narrative which does
man in the habit of murdering his wives, not yet have a name.
and the attempts of one wife to avoid By nature we (the 33 ⅓ Collec-

the fate of her predecessors. At the be- tive) jump out of all boxes, even our own.
ginning of the 20th century, the period We do not fit within the template of
in which Sigmund Freud developed and ‘music theatre praxis’, i.e. the develop-
28 29
deployed his theories, it was said that ment phases: composer writes music,
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

the castle dwelling, which plays such an librettist constructs text, dramaturg
important role in the Bartók opera, applies drama, musicians rehearse, direc-
mirrors the workings of the duke’s (and tor directs etc. We aim to do things
therefore man’s) psyche, and that the differently, experiment, find new ways
drive of the female protagonist to enter of developing a combined musical and
its rooms (whatever the outcome) re- visual language.
presents women’s desire to understand The New York Times Magazine
(hopefully to her advantage) that psyche. even judged: “Video has infiltrated main-
In our Bluebeard, the fate of stream opera houses, too, but in Bluebe-
this female is depicted not by an actress, ard, three young artists with a white box
but by a virtual representation of an ac- have unstopped a stream of 3-D illusions
tress. Bluebeard’s male protagonist also that the Metropolitan Opera should
becomes a virtual entity. The spectator really be coveting.
witnesses the emotional quest of the … it’s left a message blinking
wretched female creature. She leads us on Big Opera’s screen: CAN YOU DO
through Bluebeard’s dwellings in such THIS?”
a manner that we feel as if we are part Van Hulst, Dijkstra
of the plot: experiencing her fear and and Huisman
disgust and undergoing her inescapable
destiny; an experience that is introduced
by an enigmatic prologue and enhanced
by a series of musical improvisations,
soundscapes and lyrics. Through this
approach, virtual, multilayered, mysteri-
ous and constantly-changing spaces are
visualised and projected onto the floor
as well as onto the geometrical environ-
ment of a large (sometimes pivoting)
About /

We are Jules van Hulst, Douwe Dijkstra and Coen Huisman, three individual artists wor-
king together to produce a 100% result. As 33 ⅓ Collective we create images, atmos-
pheres and theatrical scenes primarily using projections to tell a story to which impro-
vised and/or composed music is added. Our approach is to visualise virtual, multilayered
and mysterious spaces that change constantly. Through the use of projectors we create
disorientating differences in visual perspectives and distances.
During our time as students at ArtEZ we collaborated on a range of projects,
including The Falls, an experimental opera based on one of Peter Greenaway’s earliest
works. Greenaway himself was closely involved in this production, for which we created
the visual input.

Bluebeard –
Or how to perform

an opera without
the usual suspects 31
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

Michael de Roo invited us to create a had to solve. And we did solve it. It took
contemporary version of Duke Bluebeards us three days with the wonderful input
Castle, Bartok’s famous opera, based on of Rosa Ensemble to create a score,
La Barbe bleue, a French literary folktale, prologue and lyrics - and another two
the most famous extant version was days to synchronise the new material
written by Charles Perrault and first pub- with the existing imagery. Our Bluebeard
lished by Barbin in Paris, in January 1697. was ready to go!
Many a writer and composer has been The inspiration for the cube
inspired by this gruesome tale of the ugly came from our basic approach towards
Duke killing his many wives, not least Béla this project: instead of creating a clas-
Bartók and Béla Balázs, his librettist. sical setup, we wanted to upset the
It was our dearest wish to use understanding of classical opera, in
both the soundscapes created by Michael our case the understanding of Bartóks
de Roo and excerpts of the wonderful Bluebeard’s Castle with the seven rooms
1966 Decca recording of Bartóks that Judith has to enter, which had been
Bluebeard’s Castle, where Judith’s part our original inspiration. After trying out
is sung by Christa Ludwig and the Duke’s many options we decided to lock the
by her husband Walter Berry. We engaged opera (the singing protagonists) into a
an agent to inform the Bartók estate of cube and use the cube and the space
our intentions and obtain the copyright, around it to express (through our pro-
which, unfortunately, was not gran- jected images) Judith’s emotional quest.
ted. As the premiere was only a couple
of weeks away we found ourselves in
quite a predicament. How to premiere a
(video) opera without the usual suspects
or the music? That was the question we

Flyway is a site-specific, interdisciplinary work that investigates the enchanting nature

of migratory birds. Wearing headphones and binoculars, a small audience is enveloped
in a lush soundscape and guided on an intimate bird watching tour through urban
spaces to encounter special moments dotted along the path – birds framed by screens,
optical lenses and the city itself. Using music, video and performance, Flyway merges
foreground and background and points to our mediated experience of ‘nature’.
Video artworks and the live environment are made viewable through bino-
culars, which become channels to cinematically frame the field of view and momenta-
rily collapse the outside world. The Flyway guide, Elizabeth Dunn, is a silent presence
who gently leads the flock via a series of video installations, which utilise existing city
screens in businesses and public locations. Hypnotic imagery is infused with a conti-

nuous 80-minute soundscape of atmospheric music and bird calls crafted by sound
artist Lawrence English. This ethereal sonic cocoon, combined with the physical act of
32 33
walking and the environmental shifts as dusk settles, creates a meditative, moving and
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

strangely intimate journey. Familiar city spaces are slowly raised to a level of wonder
and subtly repositioned to invite an altered and deepened perspective on what and how
life coexists within.
Exploring our ecological connections, Flyway draws on the mesh of humans,
birds and intangible forces engaged in the phenomenal act of moving onwards. It is
created from research into the plight of migratory shorebirds, meetings with bird
watchers and conservationists, and site visits to collect the audiovisual field recordings
that form the richly layered sound and video artworks. Drawing further on ecological
philosophy and personal mythologies, a poetic flyway field guide accompanies the work
and serves as a reference point for its conceptual explorations.
Flyway is a response to the existence of migratory birds and the mystifying,
ancient, epic journeys fewer and fewer of them make each year. Flying thousands of
kilometres non-stop, their places to rest and feed are being consumed by the pressures
of ever-growing industry and population. Moving from place to place, between two
ends of the earth, the birds are invisible to many. But, there are the committed few
who illuminate their plight, protect their sites and hospitably welcome them as they
make their way.
In its simplicity and directness Flyway generates a space to consider different,
perhaps conflicting, ways of mapping a landscape. In its longing to consider the city
from a different perspective, it begins to dismantle the conventions and proscriptions
that make up our urban experience.
Biographies /
Background The Music

Flyway is an interdisciplinary project exploring the phenomena of migration, ecology The Flyway sound exists somewhere between
and coexistence. As a site-specific outdoor work it engages with local people, birds, the real and the dreamt. It is a composition
architecture and businesses to create an experience responsive to the time and place of suggestion and invitation, rather than
in which it occurs. direction and didacticism.
Flyway is conceived, directed and performed by Elizabeth Dunn. Created in Inspired by colossal migrations,
collaboration with sound artist Lawrence English, artistic consultant Lara Thoms and Flyway’s sonic character suggests thick clus-
co-producers Aphids and Next Wave, it was developed in partnership with leading ters of bird flocks, dense and rich clouds of
Australian ornithological organisation, Birdlife Australia. sound, shifting up and down along the coasts
of nations. Distant melodic phrases suggest a
longing, a desire for both journey and desti-
Elizabeth Dunn nation, but remain free-floating and ultimate-
ly adrift. There is no final place of rest, just
is a Melbourne-based interdisciplinary artist working across video, installation, perfor- repeated cycles as the birds move back and
mance and participation to consider social ecology, ‘nature’ and place. Her practice is forth in an elegant seasonal symphony.
informed by a background in spatial design, education, and regional arts and her solo Using field recordings sourced
and collaborative works have been presented across Australia. She is an artistic asso- along Australia’s Queensland coast and
ciate with Aphids. composed sound elements, Flyway’s sound-

track acts as an acoustic blanket creating an
auditory envelope around participants in the
34 35
Lawrence English piece. The disconnection of the self from
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

the outside sonic world creates an opening
is a composer, media artist and curator based in Brisbane, Australia. Working across an through which participants can venture into
eclectic array of aesthetic investigations, his work prompts questions of field, percep- an internal space. It’s an internal space that’s
tion and memory. Utilising a variety of approaches, including live performance and partly imagined, partly real – rooted in the
installation, he creates works that ponder subtle transformations of space, and asks field recordings – but wholly personal as it’s
audiences to become aware of that which exists at the edge of perception. the participants’ histories, experiences and
understandings that inject meaning into the
sonic materials and add colour to the journey.
Lara Thoms
is interested in socially engaged, site-specific and participatory possibilities in contem-
porary art. She is based in Australia between Sydney and Melbourne. Her inter-disci-
plinary projects have been presented nationally and internationally. She is an artistic
associate with Aphids.

is an artist-led interdisciplinary arts organisation creating collaborations across art-
forms and borders. Aphids’ projects sit at the nexus of contemporary music, perfor-
mance, technology and site-specific practice.
Operomanija Geros
Dienos  !
Have a Good Day!

The plot of this opera is set around the inner lives of cashiers in a shopping centre and
looks at everything that lies behind the mechanical “Good afternoon. Thank you. Have
Geros Dienos  !

Geros Dienos  !
a good day!”, followed by a smile. The faceless, robot-like shop workers to be found in
everyday life are transformed into striking opera characters; their secret thoughts and
biographies are revealed to the audience and turned into short, personal dramas. The
characters of the various saleswomen represent the social landscape of Lithuania and
36 37
reflect the topics of the day, such as emigration, unemployment and a patriarchate-
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

dominant mentality, or serve as stylistic figures created for musical and textual variation.
Inner monologues reflect each cashier’s personal characteristics, education,
the way they speak and their personal problems. The libretto of the opera combines
documentary and poetic layers. The text itself is a revealing mosaic of spoken langua-
ge, poetry and social issues. To avoid any moral or condemnatory suggestion, a critical
attitude towards capitalism is expressed through humour, paradox, irony and poetry.
The mosaic of different destinies is transformed into one ode suggesting the pleasure
of consumption. The audience is doing more than just snooping on the inner worlds
of the cashiers, they are also acknowledging that they too are part of the unavoidable
circle of earning and spending.
The atmosphere of a supermarket is established before the audience even
find their way into the hall: on the door, their tickets are checked by security guards – a
very familiar presence in shopping malls – one of whom will play the piano later on. A
glinting and buzzing installation of daylight lamps connects the audience space with the
ten cashiers on stage. The physical qualities of the performers are precisely tuned to
the musical and textual score, each face tells a separate story. The lighting design has
two layers: the first aims at creating a realistic, aesthetically cold atmosphere, whilst
the second has a theatrical effect, highlighting each cashier when she sings. Goods –
the obligatory decoration of a shopping centre – exist only in acoustic and verbal form:
monotonous melodies and an abundance of groceries attack the viewers’ ears and ima-
gination. The only actual props are transparent lists of bar-codes that are scanned by
the scanners, beeping and blinking their red lights throughout the entire performance.
All the cashiers in the opera are imprisoned in their workplace, only occasionally are
they able to leave it for a short period.
Biographies / Vaiva Grainytė,
Vaiva Grainytė (1984) is a Lithuanian
writer, poet and essayist. Using her texts
as media, she collaborates with various
Operomanija artists and participates in audio-poetry
projects. Her debut book Beijing Diaries
Independent creative group OPEROMANIJA was nominated for the Year of the Book
is a collective of artists of the younger 2012 and is acclaimed as a stylistic
generation from various spheres: poets phenomenon. Grainytė’s oeuvre com-
and composers, theatre directors and prises poetry, wit, surrealism and a
soloists, instrumentalists and conduc- critical attitude towards social issues.
tors, video artists and stage designers, She is currently working on a new book
whose goal is to create contemporary of short stories and is also an editor of
opera. Over a period of five years since an arts news website.
2008, OPEROMANIJA has organized five
contemporary opera festivals NOA
(New Opera Action) and created and
staged over 30 contemporary Lithua-
Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė,
nian operas. OPEROMANIJA is an active director
Geros Dienos  !

Geros Dienos  !
promoter of music theatre and contem-
porary art in Lithuania. Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė (1983) is a film and 
The opera Have a Good Day! theatre artist from Lithuania. She
is the result of a close collaboration received her bachelor of arts in Theatre
38 39
between composer, librettist and direc- Directing and Cinematography at LMTA
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

tor. All aspects of the opera – the text, (Vilnius) and her master of arts in Screen
music and visual aspect – were created  Documentary at Goldsmith’s (London).
simultaneously. None of these aesthetic Rugilė experiments with the boundaries
positions is considered more important between documentary and fiction, per-
than the other. forming and being, filming and seeing.
In her theatre works she uses elements
of environmental art and cinema, such

The Music
as unconventional solutions to the
Lina Lapelytė, scenic space, participatory position of
composer the audience, realistic acting, and true
Lina Lapelytė (1984) lives and works
in London and Vilnius. She is an artist, Have a Good Day! is an ode to capitalism that illustrates the inevitability of consump-
composer and performer currently tion. In the opera, the anonymous cashier one meets every day takes on the nuances
exploring the phenomena of song. Using of an individual character. Performers reject a classical vocalizing and instead the
song as an object, Lina examines the cashiers’ arias sound more like repetitive, trite melodies, reminiscent of the endless,
issues of displacement, otherness and monotonous movement of goods along a conveyor. The minimalistic score is com-
beauty. Re-enactment supports her posed of various sounds from an environment and reflects acoustic diversity of a
investigation into aesthetics, control and shopping centre.
reality. Lapelytė has been exhibiting and
performing at the DRAF, Royal Festival “The key sound throughout the opera is the monotonous beeping that happens every
Hall, ICA, BBC Proms, Tate Modern time an item is scanned. It might get louder or quieter, but it is always there. The songs
(London), CAC (Vilnius), CCA (Glasgow), that accompany the beeping are as monotonous as the process of shopping and selling.
Ikon (Birmingham), Skopje Biennale and Instead of becoming the main focus of the opera, the music underlines the thoughts of
the Holland Festival. the cashiers – it enables us to hear their voice.”
Lina Lapelytė, composer
Teatro Argentino de la Plata
and Marcos Franciosi

El Gran Teatro
de Oklahoma
El Gran Teatro de Oklahoma

El Gran Teatro de Oklahoma

The Great Theatre of Oklahoma

“Based on the final chapter of Franz Kafka’s and staging, with the aim of ​​strengthening
novel Amerika, the opera is set over five the link between what the audience sees
40 41
scenes during which a group of people, and what it hears. This connection is not
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

including the central character Karl necessarily depicted in an iconographic
Rossmann, try to overcome numerous or figurative sense, but through the con-
impediments to join The Great Theatre of struction of symbolic parallelisms in which
Oklahoma, a strange organisation willing one of the elements – literary, visual or
to recruit people who wish to ‘belong’ to audio – helps us to create the atmosphere
it. Kafka never finished the chapter, so we for certain specific parts or for the piece
offer our own interpretation of the story as a whole. Thus, we based this connection
based on the logic of Kafkaesque night- on a combination of text and sound to see
mares: the characters are torn between the repercussions it would have on the per-
reality and dreams in an atmosphere of formance. However, during the course of
constant uncertainty. the compositional process we reversed the
Although in our version of the order of the elements to suit the specific
story those who are taken on achieve needs of the performance.
their aim, the opera recreates the cyclical Both the characteristics of the
nature of nightmares in which something venue and those of the instrumental and
starts and ends with the same sense of vocal ensembles had a decisive influence
ambiguity. In this respect the opera uses on the compositional strategies adopted
the essential narrative character of the in terms of sound and space. They also
novel, albeit offering a more psychological affected the interpretation of the text,
account of the course of events. By em- as roles and characters were redefined
phasising certain passages of the text, we in accordance with the specific possibili-
expose the emotional profile of the cha- ties of the vocal ensemble. Thus, some of
racters using a mixed time frame, which the spaces featured in Kafka’s work were
combines the concept of the instant with adapted to the specific atmosphere of the
the intrinsically dynamic, inevitable and venue where the piece was staged.”
cyclical nature of dreams.
Using an analysis of the text, Marcos Franciosi,
we sought to establish a common language composer
between the literary ideas, audio concept

In Argentina there are two important composition completely based on a mu-

centres for experimentation: the CETC sical score, and could therefore also be
and the TACEC (in the Teatro Colón and staged in other venues.
Teatro Argentino de La Plata respec- As for the TACEC, it is an addi-
tively). Both were conceived as spaces tional space at the Teatro Argentino de
that could be used to produce, promote La Plata constructed from an area in
and increase awareness of experimental the basement of the Sala Mayor Alberto
contemporary art. Even though econo- Ginastera, where the goods lifts for the
mic subsidies for productions are never main venue are still situated. The TACEC
sufficient, the two spaces offer artists is now a proper venue, but in 2010 using
the kind of infrastructure which is to be it to stage a production implied the con-
found in proper theatres, such as a sta- cept of ‘intervention’ in an unconventi-
ge, sound, lighting, set design, etc. Most onal space. Its appearance, including its
composers, myself included, are more lighting and its smell, were more typical
than willing to participate because these of an engine room than a conventional
El Gran Teatro de Oklahoma

El Gran Teatro de Oklahoma

essentials are provided. Even so, not theatre, and these aspects were used to
all Argentinean composers opt to base maximum advantage in the staging of
their work on experimentation. the piece.
In the case of the The Great The Nonsense Ensemble Vocal
Theatre of Oklahoma, I decided to adopt de Solistas, which was established in
this approach because in terms of art 2009, is unique in Latin America and
theory, I have always been interested is dedicated to a modern vocal reper-
in a perspective rooted to some extent toire for solo artists. It comprises eight
42 43
in Duchamp’s principles. The choice of vocalists including its director, Valeria
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

objects used in the piece interacts with Martinelli, who directed The Great
writing techniques that are part of what Theatre of Oklahoma. This was the first
we understand as musical tradition. opera the ensemble ever performed.
Notwithstanding its experimental na- Seven of its members wrote the piece,
ture, and the fact that the piece is also basing it on the group’s specific charac-

The Music
inspired by certain characteristics of the teristics.
space itself, it is a traditionally-written

The first adaptation from the original was based on the dialogue and resulted in a dra-
matic, mainly theatrical structure. The translation of this text to music meant a reinter-
pretation of the original libretto which, in turn, became a new adaptation from the
original dialogues, emphasising the internal monologues of the characters and inducing
in them permanent changes in their physical, psychical and musical positions.
In terms of the musical composition, our work was based on four main elements:

— Vocal treatment of the literary text.

— Use of every day objects as instruments to produce sounds.
— Extensive and conventional use of normal musical instruments.
— Process of sound in real and delayed time.

The various formal and textural configurations are based on the association of sounds
with the specific sources which generate them. As such, objects such as car or bicycle
horns, glass goblets, corrugated hoses, and megaphones represent a specific sensory
material reality: the sound of air, glass, metal, water, and wood. Through the cognitive
identification of these elements, listening becomes a symbolic exercise in which the
sound itself describes a ‘specific state’ which is directly or indirectly associated with the
drama, thereby enhancing the various semantic elements of the text.
François Sarhan

“(…) the basic premise of Homework is the assumption that we all perform superficial, ob- In this work the activities in themselves are
vious activities in our lives – drinking coffee, hammering nails, etc. – as well as activities unimportant. I merely chose simple things
44 45
linked with our subconscious, and therefore not quite so obvious. Some theories suggest which we all know, which we have all done
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

that these subconscious activities have much to do with sexual urges. Whether this is true or at some point, and which could then be
not is not really the point here. In Homework, I wanted to try to find a way of showing how transformed into a kind of ritual. Which in
the transitions between these two kinds of activities flow. turn shows that people do these things to
I show people doing things that at first seem simple and obvious then become obtain gratification.”
very unusual, so that the viewers can see how what plays on the surface does not corres-
pond with the real desires of the characters. In Homework there are three characters, François Sarhan
completely independent of each other: the first constructs a toy, the second prepares for from an interview with
a rendezvous, and the third cooks. Three fundamental human pastimes – building, loving, Babette Karner
The first of the three characters reads the instruction manual for a mechani-
cal toy, but what he actually does is somehow unrelated to this activity. It is precisely this
discrepancy which shows us what he really wants. As viewers, we see that we are in the
realms of the mechanical and the building of something, yet everything we see somehow
fails to fit together. It is in these gaps that we can read a great deal about the moments
in question: about the subconscious, the ritualistic and the musical. Because music means
more than plucking a string: music is everything that lies between gestures.
My idea was to utilise elements of music and video to show that something else is
also present, so that the viewers experience much more about the people on stage than they
are aware of. Of course this is also amusing, since this form of discrepancy makes people
laugh. Homework operates on many different levels of this kind, all basically addressing
the same thing though in different ways: viewers find themselves either laughing or suddenly
recognising something they find alarming.
About The Music

Homework was initially a concert piece writing and photography. This method was “The music alludes to the ritualistic aspects

commissioned by the Wittener Tage für completely normal and natural for him. He of the piece and gives it its dramatic direc-
neue Kammermusik festival. In 2011, it just did it, and it meant nothing to him if tion. It also shows the destruction of the
was reworked for the stage and com- someone said “But you aren’t a profes- individual through a paroxysm of physical
46 47
missioned by Kunst aus der Zeit for the sional writer!” That’s what makes him able activity.
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

Bregenzer Festspiele. The original idea to create so many things. I thought to I must say, however, that the nar-
comes from studying the relationship myself, “If something like this is possible, rative is quite elusive and doesn‘t establish
between musical activity and maniacal why do I think so much about what I make? a distinct plot. My difficult task was to be
activity and asking what kind of gestures From now on I’m going to allow myself the both precise and elusive …
and sounds this produces. freedom to experiment with things I’m not The idea of body percussion
an expert in!” It’s a much more interesting creating short, percussive sounds is linked
“(…) as a child I was used to doing all sorts and relaxed way to work. I always felt a lot to the idea of building a mechanical / elec-
of things. I wrote, I painted and I made of inner pressure when I composed: that tronic device, both through the types of
music. Later I studied literature. my works never fitted into the established sounds and the DIY concept (the person in
order of things, that they weren’t good his garage building something produces all
There were two turning points in my life: enough, things like that. the sounds himself). This contrast between
I met two artists who showed me how it is the mechanical and the absence of any
possible to work simply and comfortably […] instrument is the central point of the piece,
when you stop worrying about technique. questioning the existence and the nature
The first was the Czech artist Jan Svank- On the other hand, though, to make a film of the thing, the tool, the object. Each of
majer, who at one time belonged to the is a lot more exciting because it speaks the three characters brings a different
old school of Surrealists in the former directly to a childlike way of working: perspective: the guitar player integrates the
Czechoslovakia. He spoke bluntly about you can play with different elements. And instrument into his actions whilst the man
being totally indifferent to technique and when you play, you come closer to yourself going on a date is more of an actor. The
just making what he liked. The other, with and you discover many things that would music is the hidden link between the three
whom I’ve since collaborated, is the South otherwise remain hidden in your subcon- characters. It is what provokes the major
African artist and director William scious.” crisis point and change in their behaviour.”
Kentridge. We created a piece together François Sarhan
and I spent a lot of time with him in his from an interview with François Sarhan
house in South Africa. It was like an Babette Karner
enlightenment for me: in a single morning,
in his studio, he moved back and forth
with great ease between making charco-
al drawings and computer animations,
Josefine sings. opera silens
(Not) a Recital after
Franz Kafka
Josefine singt.
(K)ein Liederabend
nach Franz Kafka
Josefine singt.

Josefine singt.
48 49
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

Josephine, die Sängerin oder Das Volk der that what is held so dear by the mouse
Mäuse (Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse people is not Josephine’s ‘ability‘ but the
Folk) is the last short story written by silence that falls over the people and
Franz Kafka. It primarily details a their settlement when she is singing.
community and its relationship with a While he never ostensibly decries or cri-
renowned singer named Josephine. The ticises the beloved singer, he gradually
story was included in the collection Ein whittles away at her character, finally
Hungerkünstler (A Hunger Artist) pub- describing her as someone of little
lished soon after Kafka’s death. talent who dislikes and often shirks her
The novel tells the story of work, and who sometimes brings danger
Josephine the Singer, a rarity amongst to her people (for her singing can act
the mouse people for having an innate as a beacon to the many enemies of the
ability to sing, which no one else in the mouse people). Still she is considered a
community possesses. She can not only gift and adored by the community; yet,
sing, but can sing beautifully, helping when she ‘disappears‘, allegedly because
all the mouse people to tolerate their she did not feel her music was apprecia-
unusually hard lives. Some of the mouse ted, little sleep is lost over the matter
people claim to dislike her and do not - the lives of the mouse people continue
believe she is truly singing, while others as normal.
adore her and consider her a communal It is uncertain if the mouse
treasure: Nevertheless, all the mouse people actually are mice. Although
people gather round to listen to her, and one of their number – who is also the
once she is singing, forget their reserva- narrator – describes them falling ‘quiet
tions. as mice’ when Josephine begins to sing.
Throughout the story, the nar- Aside from the title, this is the only time
rator, who at first purports that whoever that mice are referenced.
has not heard Josephine sing does not
know the true power of music, begins to
doubt his own judgement. He suggests

About The Music

opera silens In his final piece of prose, Josefine, die

Sängerin oder Das Volk der Mäuse, Franz
opera silens was founded in Hamburg in 1997 by director Hans-Jörg Kapp, composer Kafka does not tell us the wording of
Jochen Neurath, singer Ulrike Bartusch, dancer Wobine Bosch, dramaturg Thorsten the arias sung by the mouse Josephi-
Beyer, stage designer Christian Wiehle and costume designer Irène Favre de Lucascaz. ne in front of an enchanted audience,
As opposed to making use of traditional methods of storytelling by staging a conflict who are caught up in the extraordinary
and offering modes of identification to the spectator, opera silens basically separates beauty of her voice. When I was asked to
Josefine singt.

Josefine singt.
text, music, image and acting and recombines these elements. The first two opera provide some music for the opera silens
silens productions Satie/Amnesie in 1997 and the asynchronous opera Amnesie Interna- production Josefine singt, I imagined
tional (1999) – both of which premiered at Hamburg’s opera stabile – recombined text these to have been the sibylline words
and music by composer Erik Satie. Satie/Amnesie was also shown at ArtGenda Festival in of the fragmented song Viel hab ich
50 51
Stockholm in 1998. dein, which Friedrich Hölderlin notated
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

In 2001, opera silens created two baroque opera productions at Kampnagel in the Homburger Folioheft, the sketch
Hamburg. The first production, acqua acqua acqua acqua was based on the idea of book that accompanied him through a
building a baroque Wunderkammer on the basis of Monteverdi’s Madrigal book VIII Libri catastrophic watershed in his life. In my
amorosi e guerrieri. Then, In Earth combined a new approach to baroque gestures with music, Josephine’s voice is represented
music by Purcell and Bach. In both productions opera silens recombined the musical by the sounds of a cello playing natural
pieces and rearranged them with contemporary instruments and electronics. harmonics in the highest register. Thus
In 2005, opera silens cooperated with composer Johannes Harneit by staging we do not hear the words of the song,
Robert Walser’s novel Der Raeuber at opera stabile. In 2006, opera silens commissioned even though they are precisely encoded
Russian composer Vadim Karassikov to contribute music to the installation-based music in the virtuoso performance of Agnies-
theatre production see my songs at Altonaer Museum. This piece explored the visual zka Dziubak’s left fingertips and in the
and acoustic borders of perception. The piece was shown at the festival Rainy Days in emphatic movements of the cellist’s right
Luxembourg in 2008. arm controlling the bow and her hand ar-
In 2008, opera silens premiered gehen gehen gehen. Kein Theater nach Thomas ticulating the melody. I asked the produc-
Bernhard in co-operation with the Hamburg Theatre Academy and composer Fredrik tion team to use my score freely, cutting
Schwenk. At this time music producer Thomas Schmoelz joined opera silens. Focusing it up into 42 phrases that are distributed
on contemporary music, he complements the work of Hans-Jörg Kapp by developping throughout the entire play.
musical concepts.
For the last but one production Neurovisions – eine gesamteuropäische Wolfgang von Schweinitz
Touretterie (Kampnagel Hamburg, 2010) opera silens collaborated with neurologist
Prof. Alexander Münchau and three Tourette’s patients. Neurovisions combined songs
from the Eurovision Song Contest with music by composer Charlotte Seither.
opera silens is currently developping a new music theatre piece in co-operation
with Kampnagel Hamburg,
Harnoncourt Machine
and Shop #1
Maschinenhalle #1

Maschinenhalle #1
A confined space in which machines with each other, sometimes in solos or
shape their own world, and where we chorally, sometimes synchronised or
can observe and analyse but cannot in- contrapuntally – but always unpredicta-
52 53
fluence them. We can hear, see, and feel bly with respect to their sequencing and
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

their systems but never figure them out. spatial distribution.
We are at their mercy. With Maschinen- The automated machine-piano
halle #1, choreographer Christine Gaigg, has a singular, technical virtuosity im-
composer Bernhard Lang, computer- possible for a human player. The dan-
musician and artist Winfried Ritsch, and cers, however – equally virtuoso but
light and set designer Philipp Harno- yet individual – convert its machine-
court, created a choreographed musical generated rhythms into complex, wildly-
piece far removed from the conventions drawn or gently-suggested movement-
of music theatre, in which individual adventures. They provide an expressive
elements are joined by invisible threads: contrast to the totally identical appara-
performance venue (hall), machines, tus. An alongside-and-with-each-other
and people become the meta-machine of man and machine, smoothly-running
whose rules specify the sequences. and progressive.
Twelve dancers in a feedback Of course the incorporated
situation of movement and self-genera- subtext is also political. It tells of the
ting sounds perform on twelve serially- power of the collective, the power of
ordered stations, each consisting of a machines. It tells of the dialectics of
resonating platform and an automated passion and terror, of coordinated
piano. The music is created indirectly rhythms produced by large masses, of
like this: the dance steps on the reso- the machine-like quality of repetition,
nating platform are translated by the and the obsessive nature we observe
computer, transferred to the keys of the as much in addicts and the psychically
automated piano, and then played back ill as we do in many of today’s working
again and reinterpreted with human practices.
possibilities. The movements sculp-
ted by sound material change in their
repetition: newer rhythms are produced
and demand the dancers’ creativity and
precision. The twelve units communicate

For some years now, Christine Gaigg, Dorner and Christine Gaigg in particular.
Bernhard Lang, Philipp Harnoncourt and For the 2nd Nature label, Gaigg produ-
Winfried Ritsch have been working – ces contemporary dance projects, often
sometimes in different combinations – in collaboration with lighting and set
on a loop grammar, which structurally designer Philipp Harnoncourt. Winfried
connects music and dance (or move- Ritsch is associate professor at the Insti-
ment) in space. Several of these works tute for Electronic Music (IEM) and also
from the so-called TRIKE series, develo- heads the Atelier Algorythmics studio.
ped since 2004, depict electronic music
and movements on top of one another;
others work perfectly without tech-

The Music
nology, with the performers creating a
moving landscape consisting of visual
Maschinenhalle #1

Maschinenhalle #1
and acoustic rhythms produced without
sound feeds. Metal-resonating platforms
were first used early in the TRIKE series,
in which the electronically-amplified “The starting point for the composi-
steps of the dancers on the raised plat- tion was the instrument Winfried Ritsch
54 55
forms become sound material. Other developed as part of a long-time artistic
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

pieces from the series explicitly deal collaboration with me and choreographer
with a technology based on the process Christine Gaigg. It consists of 12 resona-
of cutting and repeating short sequen- ting platforms, 12 automated pianos, 12
ces, a computer-generated video repe- computers, and 12 performers. Their
tition – the visual loop generator. At the movements generate sounds and rhythms,
same time, attention was focused on the which – through the feedback processes
dialogue between the visual projections of sampling and looping – in turn serve as
of dance movements and a real, moving the impulse for new dance-related move-
body. The latest production of this ments. This is therefore a self-generating
series – like Maschinenhalle #1 (2010) – composition which more or less invites the
places the sound projection on a musical composer, as its creator, to retreat into
instrument in the foreground, with the the background. The piece is a borderline
instrument or the idea of the instrument experience between the perpetual tipping
extended by the trias resonating plat- of ultra-precise directions and sensual
form, piano, and loop generator. blurring, which it also consciously plays
with. The interesting thing about all this –
precisely from the perspective of compo-
sition – is that there is no telling whether
Bernhard Lang, the movement produces the sound or
composer the sound the movement. Essentially this
makes the composition not only a work of
Bernhard Lang began exploring electro- musical theatre but also a piece of aesthe- nic music and computer technology at tic, philo-sophical and artistic research.”
the Institute for Electronic Music (IEM)
at the University of Music and Perfor- Bernhard Lang
ming Arts in Graz / Austria. Since 2003,
he has been focussing on dance and
developing projects with Xavier Le Roy
(The Theatre of Repetitions, 2003), Willi
“The Navigator is an opera about extreme passion, about Eros and Thanatos, Desire some of the disorientations of ecstasy –
and Death, the hazard of lovers, and of war and choices made between annihilation and the special kind of mad aliveness when
creation. all the senses are sharpened and one can
The subject of The Navigator is an erotic paradox – or perhaps more precisely, access states of transformation. The opera
the structure of the paradox that is theatricalised in Eros – the name the Ancient Greeks is not about narrative form or psychological
gave to the divinity of desire. The Greeks described Eros as the ‘weaver of fictions’, ‘the development – instead it describes a series of
bittersweet’, pointing to the ambivalence, the dilemma of sensation and the illusory states of being.
conditions that underpin the erotic. The journey then is not so much a linear journey from Aspects of two great epics, The
one place to another, but more a to-and-fro, a place of deferral. What is desire but a Mahabharata and Wagner’s Tristan und
The Navigator

The Navigator
longing for that which is out of reach – a trajectory of longing that moves endlessly to an Isolde, are symbolically pivotal to the ope-
impossible vanishing point? A triangular geometry is created in which the lover yearns to ra. It is not the stories themselves that are
be one with the beloved, yet also strives to maintain the distance that is the condition of important, rather certain energy patterns
the erotic (think of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Stendhal’s On of risk and transformation. The idea of the
56 57
Love, Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse, Sappho’s poetry). gamble comes from the dice game scene in
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

The opera’s journey plots the co-ordinates of desire – a staging of shifting posi- the great Indian epic The Mahabharata.
tions: of distance and nearness in musical space; convergence and divergence of different Briefly, King Yudishtira is drawn into a dice
temporal forms. The figures in my opera, the characters of the Navigator, the Beloved, game where he stakes all that he owns, in-
the Fool, the Crone and the Angel of History, move in shifting constellations to describe cluding his kingdom, his brothers, himself
and his wife. Because of his unstoppable
addiction, he gambles and loses every-
thing, including that which is most loved.
The opera begins at this catastrophic
moment of total loss. So the gamble is
about an extremity of desire which might
lead towards ecstasy (lovers) or perhaps
towards disaster or annihilation (war).”

Liza Lim
from an interview with
Jérémie Szpirglas
The Music

The prelude to this ‘alchemical dream ”Cicadas were an image of desire for the
opera’ is played by a Ganassi recorder, Greeks – they had a story that once upon
an instrument long associated with a time, the cicadas were human. When
lamentation, the erotic, and pastoral and the Muses arose, they were so enamoured
supernatural realms. A counterpoint of music that all they wanted to do was
is provided by the sound of cicadas, a sing and forgot all else, perishing in this
high pitch of desire, and the rustle of suffused state of desire.
the quivering feathers of an entrapped The recorder is another image
Angel of History. of this trope of desire. The Ganassi flouris-
hed in 15th century Venice in a school of
recorder playing that was highly virtuosic
and full of extravagant ornamentations.
As an instrument, it was associated with
the supernatural, the melancholic, the
pastoral and the erotic. That particular

tradition died out when Baroque recorders
came to supremacy but strangely, it was
an Australian instrument builder, Fred
Morgan, who spearheaded the revival of
The Navigator

The Navigator
the instrument about forty years ago. So
”In late 2004, I sat alone in the darkened But I think you can see that I am working its use for me is also tied up with strange
concert hall of the Sydney Opera House more with certain abstract patterns that pathways in recapturing and remaking the
listening to the Sydney Symphony under are expressed in these great classic stories past - it is both authentic and recreated –
58 59
Gianluigi Gelmetti play the rapturous without necessarily ‘setting’ the story. a product of research and imagination. I
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

music of the Prelude to Tristan und Isolde. Myths are incredible storehouses of deep love the expressivity of the Ganassi recor-
From that moment, I wanted to write an cultural knowledge so I find them endlessly der – the immediacy that the sound has,
opera about ecstatic engulfment and the fascinating, relevant and alive.“ with its closeness to breath – it registers
ambiguous space of desire. I avidly followed every subtle shift and nuance in the body.
performances of Wagner’s opera – in Liza Lim These various kinds of instru-
Brisbane, in Paris and in Essen. From there from an interview with ments emerging from different historical
The Navigator began to evolve.“ Jérémie Szpirglas periods, for me, create different musical
spaces – sometimes very congruent, some-
„One of the themes that I was really drawn times clashing. Each instrument comes out
to in the Tristan und Isolde story – which of particular sound worlds – each with its
is perhaps not the first theme one usually Liza Lim own performance histories, different phy-
thinks of – is the theme of the chaos of fal- sicalities and aesthetics of listening and
se signs: in an early Breton version of the Liza Lim‘s work as a composer is focused expression, and somehow the mix provides
story, Tristan is waiting: does Isolde’s ship on intercultural exchange, looking par- me with access to a highly textured mix of
fly the white flag of good news or the black ticularly at Chinese and Australian Indi- gestural languages and ‘affects’ (to draw
flag of disaster? Tristan hears the report of genous art, aesthetics and ritual culture. upon a very Baroque understanding of
a black flag and dies just as Isolde arrives. Her projects encompass opera, chamber music). Instead of a smooth and histori-
Are we actually that reliable witnesses to & symphonic music and site-specific cally coherent ensemble, you end up with
our own desires or do our projections cast installation. Recent commissions include a lot of ‘boundary situations’ – the electric
a veil on whatever we experience? Ouch! Ensemble musikFabrik & Holland Festival, guitar against the recorder is one extreme
Los Angeles Philharmonic, Ensemble example. I like to work with these polari-
[…] InterContemporain, Salzburg & Lucerne ties, finding ways of weaving connections
Festivals, Bavarian Radio & SWR Or- across boundaries or intensifying the diffe-
I wasn’t thinking of Aboriginal myths but chestras, Sydney Symphony and Festival rences and the friction between elements
the librettist Patricia Sykes, interestingly, d’Automne à Paris. She has been closely which then forms part of the expressivity
read very widely on myths surrounding the associated with the ELISION Ensemble of my musical language.“
Greek Pleiades, the constellation which with whom she collaborated on three Liza Lim
also figures very prominently in Australian operas. She is Professor of Composition from an interview with Aboriginal stories about the Seven Sisters, at the University of Huddersfield, UK. Jérémie Szpirglas
Degenerate Art

Red Shoes

Red Shoes
60 61
Degenerate Art Ensemble’s Red Shoes
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

is a re-imagining of Hans Christian
Andersen’s tale of a girl who is cursed to
dance herself to death for following her
creative desires. DAE’s interpretation of
this beloved fairy tale / horror story is a
rich drama of dreams, passion, discipli-
ne, desire, trauma, transformation and
reinvention. DAE‘s work shows parallels
between this story and the struggle to
follow one’s creative path in contem-
porary society. In the 2011 premiere, the
performance began in Seattle’s Frye Art
Museum galleries and spilled out onto
the streets. The group created a thea-
tre inside an abandoned supermarket,
performed in a cathedral courtyard, in a
fountain and around a bonfire in the
back streets of Seattle’s first hill neigh-
bourhood. Red Shoes brings together
non-verbal theatre, dance, song, live
music and visual art sensibilities to
create a performance environment that
is both immersive and abstract, poetic
yet narrative.
The Music

Degenerate Art Ensemble has a highly collaborative approach to music making. Up-
Degenerate Art wards of 8 composers have joined minds for the creation of past DAE performance
Ensemble scores. Swapping themes, stealing ideas from each other and remixing each others‘
sounds are common practices in the group‘s work. The score for Red Shoes was co-
Joshua Kohl and Haruko Nishimura are created by composers Joshua Kohl and Jherek Bischoff in collaboration with the cast
co-founders and co-artistic directors of Haruko Nishimura and Dohee Lee. The lines of composer and performer are
of the Seattle-based multi-art group blurred as the performers are asked at times to create their own melodies, which are
Degenerate Art Ensemble (DAE). DAE’s then in turn reinterpreted in new scores. While much of the music is notated, musi-
work has been presented by major dance cians are also asked to improvise within the compositions, aiming to create a more
and music venues, has been shown in razor-edge connection between music and theatrical performance. In line with the
galleries, and was featured as the subject community-collaborative nature of Red Shoes, the group has been working with local
of a large scale exhibition at Seattle’s musicians for the performances, adding a greater dimension of community involve-
Frye Art Museum in 2011. Nishimura’s ment. This not only builds closer relationships with the cities in which they perform,
passion as a director and performer is Red Shoes emerged from DAE’s deep but also brings new influences and energies to the work itself.
Red Shoes

Red Shoes
to question the relationship between relationship with Seattle, as residents,
audience and performer – to put them in creators, and influencers of its cultural
each other’s way, to cause collision and landscape. Red Shoes emerged in a year-
62 63
conflict – with the goal of awakening and long series of impromptu solo perfor-
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

transformation. Kohl’s approach to mu- mances by Haruko Nishimura in Seattle’s
sic is similarly combustive: it is dedicated streets, city parks and neighbourhoods.
to the exploration and proliferation of Incubated by the full DAE company
genre-free music that utilises all the in a Frye Art Museum residency and a
available tools of music-making, from residency at director Robert Wilson‘s
classical instruments to electronics and Watermill Laboratory of Performance in
new inventions. In addition to his work New York, Red Shoes was nurtured and
with DAE, Kohl is also an avid conductor produced in the embrace of an unpre-
of indie classical music.  cedented neighbourhood partnership
that included Seattle’s Frye Art Museum
and St. James Cathedral. The work has
since been developped into a touring
project that works to engage with the
community, architecture and culture of
the venues at which it takes place. Red
Shoes was directed by DAE’s Haruko
Nishimura with original music by Joshua
Kohl and Jherek Bischoff and video by
Leo Mayberry.
Stefan Żeromski

Samotność pól
Samotność pól bawełnianych

Samotność pól bawełnianych

In the Solitude of Cotton Fields

“I was looking for young directors interes- tional festivals, as well as gaining fans and
ted in challenges and new means of expres- highly-favourable reviews. The director’s
sion in theatre; directors who would blow subsequent collaboration with the Natural
64 65
fresh air into the theatre repertoire. Born Chillers resulted in further projects,
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

Radosław Rychcik, who had previously both in the Stefan Żeromski Theatre in Kiel-
directed a performance entitled Versus ce and elsewhere. Thanks to the use of live
in the New Theatre in Kraków, was one music, In the Solitude of Cotton Fields
of them. I invited him to collaborate on has an unusual rhythm and expression. The
something and he proposed In the Solitude musicians help the actors to play as if in a
of Cotton Fields by Bernard-Marie Koltès trance, which is a great advantage to the
in an interesting arrangement. Around performance, and full houses show that the
that time he had came across the group audience also appreciate the collaboration.”
Natural Born Chillers (whose members
are Bartosz Ignor, Michał Lis, Piotr Lis and Piotr Szczerski,
Maciej Matysiak), and he was so fascinated Managing and Artistic Director
by their music that he came up with the of the Stefan Żeromski Theatre
idea of a performance-concert. Although in Kielce
the idea of staging musicians playing live
alongside actors delivering Koltès’s texts
seemed risky, I decided to take the risk. The
combination of the group’s music with the
actors’ performance and video projections
by Marta Stoces turned out to be very
successful, as proved by the fact that the
performance was invited to participate in
more than a dozen national and interna-
Biographies /

Radosław Rychcik
Radosław Rychcik graduated in Polish philology from the University of Warsaw and
studied theatre direction at the Ludwik Solski State Drama School in Cracow. He
started out working as Krystian Lupa’s assistant on Factory 2, a performance inspired
by Andy Warhol’s work. In developing his performances Rychcik tries to act on
emotions as strongly as possible: not only does he place extreme expectations on his
actors, he also tests the endurance of the audience.
“It is my dream to arouse emotion in the audience, to touch them and unleash
feelings. I wouldn’t desire any situation in which an audience considered my performances
well-designed theatre. And only that. I choose theatrical means so that the actor, who co-
Samotność pól bawełnianych

Samotność pól bawełnianych

mes out on stage and has to act very strong emotions, has to show his own distance from
the emotions that he will present in the next few moments. He does not pay any attention
to himself but to the fact that he serves. Only then is there a chance that the viewer will
feel something.”

Wojciech Niemczyk
66 67
Wojciech Niemczyk graduated from the Ludwik Solski State Drama School in Cracow,
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

having previously studied archaeology at Jagiellonian University. He participated in
many theatre projects whilst studying at drama school, and also has roles in television
productions. He sings, plays the guitar (electric, bass and classical) and dances.

The Music
Tomasz Nosinski
Tomasz Nosinski graduated from the Ludwik Solski State Drama School in Cracow
in 2008. He frequently works with director Radosław Rychcik. In fact, Rychcik’s “The music to the show In the Solitude of
production In the Solitude of Cotton Fields determined his professional future as Cotton Fields was created very fast – in
Nosinski has been a resident actor at the Stefan Żeromski Theatre in Kielce since only one week. It was the first time the band
the 2010/2011 season. He had also participated in Krystian Lupa’s workshops. In the had ever worked with director Radosław
Solitude of Cotton Fields turned out to be a tremendous success, and at the end of the Rychcik to create music. Our plan was
2009/2010 season Tomasz Nosinski was honoured by the Kielce press for his role as simple – to write music that perfectly
the Client. matched a particular scene. For example,
when Rychcik said: “Here we need winter”,
we played only dominant minor chords
with a lot of reverb plus icy electronic
drums in order to get a result that we
could work with. The music throughout
the show is different and varied, going
from rock & roll to techno, where we used
elements from the band Kraftwerk. I don’t
think I have ever heard of a performance
before that links so many different music
styles, and what’s more, the music is
played live and fitted to the actors.”

Michał Lis, composer


Schlimmes Philip Ardagh turns the world of children

upside down: nothing is the way the
children imagined it would be according
to their parents and teachers. To enjoy a

book, a reader must be able to free him
or herself from well-rehearsed thought
structures and have a passion for devel-
opping creative thinking. In this way,
taking in the novel becomes a school for
creativity and free thought, the precon-
dition to discovering new worlds.
In The Awful End we have to

The Awful End

distance ourselves from the idea of
transposing everything identically. Yet
how do you portray the surreal? Ideally,
Schlimmes Ende

Schlimmes Ende
we should be confronted with a staging
using puppets that combine human with
superhuman abilities. Amongst the adults’
insanity, Eddie Dickens is the only one
who is apparently normal, and he is a one-
68 69
What’s it all about? Eddie Dickens’ pa- meter-tall puppet.
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

rents suddenly look strangely ‘yellow The Awful End defies catego-
and crinkly around the edges’. That’s risation. In Frank Schulz’s production
why he’s been fetched by his mad Uncle everything can turn into anything:
Jack and even madder Aunt Maud, who musicians become actors, puppeteers
drive him in a large carriage to their become singers, the harpsichordist a
house called Awful End, of all things. horse. And this production cannot be
Philip Ardagh’s education theory is pitch assigned a customary, generic name:
black, the adult world is a nightmare, the even though the music is the defining
director of the orphanage is a horrid and entity, The Awful End is not a children’s
unspeakable woman, and Malcolm, the opera, nor is it a drama with musical
stuffed weasel, is actually called Sally, or inserts, it is certainly not a musical, nor
is it the other way round? Eddie doesn’t does the term musical comedy quite fit.
let anything intimidate him; he conquers
the bearded man with his unpredictable
aunt and, in the role of an impoverished
orphan boy, becomes the glamorous
hero of St. Horrid’s House for Grateful
For Eddie Dickens, the world
of adults is totally unpredictable, latent-
ly cruel and always good for unexpected
turnarounds. But he never gives up and
each time tries to fight his way through
every adventure according to the new
rules of the game.
The Music

The world is insane. Its rules constantly

change and neither human relationships
nor the laws of nature can be depended
on. What used to be right is now wrong –
and the reverse. And we, that is through
the character Eddie Dickens, have no
resources to oppose the unpredictable
chaos of reality. Or almost nothing.
Except our fantasy. We find the figures
of musical characterisations in everyday
objects separated from their original
purpose – tin cans, air pumps, styrofoam
plates and small percussion objects; a

harpsichord, accordion and brass instru-
ments - Eddie Dickens listens to them,
trying to get a general view of his world.
He alone is the ‘sensible’ one, the one
Schlimmes Ende

Schlimmes Ende
who seems to speak normally. All the
Since its founding in 1984, Theater Kontra- The production partners come from all others sound strange and are dressed in
Punkt has considered itself to be, in the over the German-language region. In musical tones: the orphanage director is
broadest sense, a music theatre for 2011, the successful Orchestra Olympics a euphonium coupled with a vocal
adults, children and young people. In our project was invited to Taiwan and enjoyed ensemble, the circus director sings oper-
70 71
productions we work with both classical its first staging in Mandarin Chinese. atically to harpsichord accompaniment,
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

and early music, but the emphasis is on The last two young people’s the police officer rattles like a tin man
contemporary music. projects with contemporary music, Die with every step he takes, and the horse
We initiate music theatre Odyssee – akustische Turbulenzen für is a harpsichord, a clock … song-like pas-
experiments, searching for unusual com- Stimmbänder und Instrumente (The Odys- sages change places with slapstick-like
binations of arts and multi-disciplinary sey – acoustic turbulence for vocal chords recitatives and purely instrumental mu-
theatre experiences. Our pieces are and instruments) as well as Tanz der Ma- sic. The music wins by reduced means,
created in collaboration with musicians, schinen (Dance of the Machines), received and with it, for Eddie Dickens, a reality
singers, actors, and dancers. Our main the NRW’s broadcasting network’s “Kul- in which he orients himself in the awful
focus lies in the realisation of world tur prägt!” prize. In addition, a subse- end. Eddie’s world is made of tones. And
premieres. quent production received the cultural these tones have the exact meaning that
We deal intensively with the prize of the federally-funded MIXED UP Eddie, as we, can win by playing them.
possibilities of production location: Awards.
theatre as installation (as, for example,
the Rhine Bank Tunnel in Düsseldorf,
Ulrich Rückriem’s sculpture exhibition,
warehouses, etc.) and space as a resona-
ting instrument.
Another speciality is deve-
loping new concepts for family con-
certs. Together with large, national and
international orchestras we develop
programmes that aim to acquaint child-
ren and families with orchestra music
in playfully intelligent ways. We think
of family concerts as an independent
art form, which aspires to make music
more theatrical, to bring professionals
and amateurs (children) together, and to
forge a path to contemporary music.
Fanny & Alexander

T.  E .  L .
T.E. Lawrence’s utopian obstinacy, his
failure, and the utopian obstinacy of dra-
ma in today’s society.

We identified a set of guiding themes

and images which drove the project:

“All men dream, but not equally. Those who —  The utopian search for independence
dream in the dusty recesses of their minds of the Arab people/the utopian search
wake in the day to find it was vanity; but for independence from any form of
the dreamers of the day are dangerous power as a spur for artists;
men, for they may act their dreams with — The failure of the utopia of the Arab
open eyes, to make it possible.” revolt / failure as a daily horizon of
utopia for actors on stage and for
Seven Pillars of Wisdom, artists in society;
T. E. L.

T. E. L.
Thomas Edward Lawrence — Loneliness in facing the utopia of the
revolt / the loneliness of actors on
72 73
stage and of artists in society;
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Music Theatre Now

T.E.L. is a device for utopian communi- — Glory / success
cations. Two actors are in two different — Shame after failure, the shame of
places, distant in space and perhaps in the body/shame, the modesty of the
time. However, they are always connec- bodies of actors on stage;
ted through satellite internet and esta- — The sacrifice of the body in the
blish a remote dialogue. Two different revolt /the sacrifice of the bodies of
audiences simultaneously witness their actors on stage;
impossible-possible exchange. — The desert where images come from /
an empty scene to be filled with
[…] images;
— L awrence’s multiple identities/the
Then the two actors swap places. So multiple identities of actors
those who wish to can see the whole — The impossibility of total empathy,
picture, the other side of the coin, the difference as a feeling of betrayal / the
complete dialogue between the two. impossibility of total empathy with
An actress and an actor are on the work and with the audience.
stage in two different places. The two
places are always linked and this gives
life to a radio correspondence, a remote
dialogue between the two. This type of
performance needs the presence of a
live audience, but it could also be follow-
ed by a remote audience (radio drama).
The themes of radio transmiss-
ion and of being remote are closely linked
to the rise and fall of T.E. Lawrence, as
they are set against a backdrop of war.
The essential themes of the
project emerge from a key parallelism:

Fanny & Alexander

Fanny & Alexander is an artists’ workshop founded in Ravenna in 1992 by Luigi
de Angelis and Chiara Lagani. Fanny & Alexander produces theatrical performances,
video and cinema projects, installations, performative actions, photo shows, publica-
tions, conferences and seminars, festivals and exhibitions. Since 2001 it has run Ardis
Hall, a space for productions, rehearsals and drama workshops, and since 2009 it has
run Artificerie Almagià, a cultural facility, under an agreement with the Municipality
of Ravenna and in collaboration with Associazione Almagià.
In 2012, Fanny & Alexander members set up Cooperativa E with the artistic
groups of the Menoventi Company, gruppo nanou, and ErosAntEros.

Luigi de Angelis
Luigi de Angelis is a director, set designer, graphic designer, light and sound designer,
music editor and performer. He studied Gregorian chant and piano. His productions
always stem from an interplay between music, sound and stage, and are inspired by
figurative arts and contemporary music.
T. E. L.

T. E. L.
Chiara Lagani 75
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Music Theatre Now

Chiara Lagani is a playwright, writer, linguist, costume designer and actress. For many
years she has pursued complex projects in cultural interweaving and thematic inves-
tigation, leading training workshops in Italy and Europe. She has also participated in
conferences in universities, theatres and cultural centres.

The Music

„The ethno-folk soul of this work stems from a choice to compose mostly with pre-exist-
ing recordings, without making new ones. I set off on a musical research trip to North
Africa and the Middle East with Luigi de Angelis. These areas were all touched in some
way by the stories and the figure of Thomas Edward Lawrence, better known as Lawrence
of Arabia. Over the course of some months I was able to collect a great deal of old recor-
dings. The materials I chose mostly date back to the 1950s and 1960s. They are therefore
of great interest for my research because they bring back rites and ceremonies belonging
to villages and tribes from a distant past. I let myself be guided by the musical structures
typical to these places on the shores of the Mediterranean. They are simple in terms of
composition, and for this reason powerful and hypnotic. I was particularly interested in
the insistent rhythm and obstinate repetition of chants and litanies.
The electronic aspects of the work originated from my need to break the origi-
nal structures and replace those rhythmic structures with a more obsessive and sequential
pace. It is therefore also a work of electronic manipulation, but the aim was to hide rather
than to reveal the electronic sound. I wanted to create an all-embracing electronic web, a
structure or cage within which the echoes of that distant world could be present.”

Mirto Baliani
and Joël

Thanks to “I had told myself that I would not write

a classical opera. A priori, it is something
that does not appeal to me. Nor in theatre,

my Eyes
Thanks to my Eyes

Thanks to my Eyes
for that matter. I would never put on so-
called ‘repertoire’. It is not my way into
theatre, which is truly linked to the notions
of creation, imagination and the search for
form. It was evident I would not become an
76 77
‘opera director’ in the same way I am not
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Music Theatre Now

interested in becoming a ‘theatre director’.
Antoine Gindt approached me with a crea-
tive project. Above all, with a project that
could include theatre. The first discussions
with Antoine were about the possibility of a
theatricality similar to the one I practice.


Aymar’s parents are a very old woman, who feels useless, and the greatest comedi- And then the idea came quite quickly that
an in the world. His father would like to pass on his artistry, and Aymar really would I would work on my own writing. I had told
love his parents to be proud of him. But, well, Aymar is not made for laughter and myself that if one day I were to approach
captivates on the contrary by its sick sensibility. Every night he meets a strangely shy opera, it would be because I could approach
young woman who attracts him. What guilt when he should be himself completely in it as I do theatre: as an author. Although of
the service of the paternal dream! course, there is also the vital collaboration
of a partner, the composer, who doesn’t
“It seems to me that Joël Pommerat’s text – perfectly suited to his kind of theatre, which exist in theatre.”
is intentionally more prosaic than poetic – would find a musical expression more suited to Joël Pommerat
opera though the sounds of the English language. By which I don’t mean a refined British
English, but an English of the ‘middle ground’, a neutral international interaction. I also
wanted to create a real break between the original work and the opera, yet not change
the story in any way. By using English words (bearing in mind their specific sonic compo-
nent, which is very different to the French one) I could keep a sense of the text, yet at the
same time radically transform its sound. And lastly – and to my mind, most importantly
– I was keen for the poetic experience of the theatrical performance, as conceived by
Joël Pommerat, (the text as pretext) to be supported by the music. Make the spectator/
listener live an ‘other’ kind of experience, deeper, more personal, that is what I wish for as
a composer.”
Oscar Bianchi
Biographies / Joël Pommerat,
Background libretto and stage director
Joël Pommerat (1963) is one of the most important French playwrights and stage
directors of the present day. He founded the Louis Brouillard company in 1990, who-
se activity and reputation has grown considerably since the success of Au monde in
Oscar Bianchi, 2004. From March 2007 to the spring 2010 Pommerat was artist-in-residence at the
music Bouffes du Nord theatre in Paris, associate to Peter Brook. Since 2012, he is asso-
ciate artist at the Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe in Paris. Joël Pommerat has received
Oscar Bianchi studied music at the Milan the Molière Award for French playwright and companies several times. Most notable
Conservatory, in Paris at IRCAM, and in amongst his upcoming projects is an opera with Philippe Boesmans as librettist and
New York he pursued his doctorate in stage director at Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, based on his play Au Monde.
composition at Columbia University. He
is the recipient of awards such as the
Gaudeamus Prize (2005) and he‘s been
a featured composer in festivals such as
Eric Soyer,
MUSICA Strasbourg, Ultraschall Berlin, scenography and lighting
Archipel Geneva, Lincoln Center New
York. Notable compositions are his can- After studying interior architecture at the École Boulle, Éric Soyer came to theatre
tata MATRA (2007) for Ictus, Anahata via the English-speaking company ACT, who introduced him to the technicalities of
Thanks to my Eyes

Thanks to my Eyes
Concerto (2009) for Klangforum Wien, staging. Among others, he has done the lighting design for the Partage de Midi by
Anja Concerto (2010) for the Orchestre Paul Claudel (2007, Comédie Française), for The Scream (Le Cri, 2008, for the cho-
Philharmonique de Radio France, Adesso reographer Nacera Belaza) and for Les Sentinelles (2009, Nacera Belaza). Eric Soyer
(2011) for Quatuor Diotima. Upcoming has been in charge of scenography and lighting for Joël Pommerat for the past 12
projects include works for the Gewand- years. In 2007 he received the prize of best set design from the trade association of
78 79
haus Orchestra in Leipzig under con- Theatre, Dance and Music critics for his set designs and lighting of the Marchands. He
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Music Theatre Now

ductor Riccardo Chailly, the Bavarian was nominated for the Molières for his lighting design in 2008 for Je tremble, in 2009
Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble for Canard sauvage, in 2010 for Cercles/Fictions and in 2011 for Ma chambre froide.
Modern, Ensemble Remix, Neue Vocal-
solisten Stuttgart.

Isabelle Deffin,
Franck Ollu, The Music
musical direction After studying fashion design in Rennes, Isabelle Deffin trained as a costumier at
the school of the Théâtre National de Bretagne. Isabelle Deffin works as creator and
In 1990 Franck Ollu became the lead designer for theatre as well as for dance. She worked as a wardrobe designer for
horn player in the Ensemble Modern cinema, among others on the medium-length films of Jean-Claude Monod and Jean- How do you deal with the vocal strength of each individual character?
(Frankfurt), of which he is now one of Christophe Valtat, which were awarded prizes at the Clermont-Ferrand festival in
the regular conductors. Since 2003 he 2003. Furthermore she works as assistant on many of the performances written and “By respecting the rules of operatic conventions: these force one to consider the clarity
is artistic director of the Kammaren- staged by Joël Pommerat. of the text whilst writing, and to give each character the most appropriate vocal colour
sembleN of Stockholm. Over the course for the role. The role of Aymar, who is not yet a man psychologically, is sung by a coun-
of his career he has directed amongst tertenor. This is such a special voice, and the ambiguity of its vocal range seemed to me
others the Ensemble Recherche and to fit the character’s profile perfectly. In Aymar there is a beauty in his naivety that a
Musikfabrik (Germany), the Asko Ensem-
Dominique Bataille, countertenor voice is particularly able to reveal. The role of the Father, whose career as
ble (Netherlands), as well as numerous sound engineer the greatest comedy artist in the world is very dubious, naturally goes to a baritone - the
symphonic orchestra at an international clichéd voice of the impostor in opera. The two Young Ladies are sopranos, one lighter
level. He conducts works of various In the 1990s, Dominique Bataille was sound engineer at the Grande Halle de la and clearer than the other. On the other hand, the exhaustion and the weakness of the
composers, including, with the Ensem- Villette in Paris. He worked with theatre and stage directors such as Jean-Pierre Mother facing the end of her life, made me decide to give that role to an actress rather
ble Modern, Landschaft mit entfernten Vincent, Patrice Chéreau and Jean-Louis Martinelli. He also collaborated with several than a singer. The physical energy necessary to sing seems actually incompatible with the
Verwandten (Heiner Goebbels), ... Ce qui composers: Pascal Dusapin for the operas To be Sung and Medea Material, François expression of this weakness – despite the numerous romantic heroines who die with the
arrive ... (Olga Neuwirth), Passion (Pascal Sarhan for Kyrielle du sentiment des choses, James Dillon for Philomela, and finally full strength of their vocal resources at their disposal … .”
Dusapin). Furthermore he regularly Wolfgang Mitterer for Massacre in 2010. In 2010, Dominique Bataille’s recording of Oscar Bianchi
performs at national and international Philomela received the Orphée d’Or Award for best recording of 21st century lyrical from an interview with
festivals. music from the Académie du Disque Lyrique. Christine Prost
Zhou Long

Three Haunted Soul

Three Haunted Souls is an experimental drama conceived for a small theatre which
employs elements of Chinese traditional xiqu (Chinese traditional theatre /opera)
and treats them with a modern touch. Unlike in a traditional dramatic style, the linear
plot structure is broken and the narrative is acted out, without attempting to tell a
complete story, in an extremely minimalized, abstracted and unrestrained fashion.
Thus the traditional xiqu is performed with a contemporary and innovative spirit – a
concept free from the limitations of space and time. The traditional roles are concep-
tualised and abstracted, they become more individualized, giving them a relevance
还 魂 三 叠

还 魂 三 叠
to today’s society. The ancient ideas, way of speaking, singing, the physical postures
are all constructed and deconstructed, then brought together in a modern form. This
allows a contemporary concept of love, life and moral values to be reflected, as well
80 81
as addressing the eternal notion of love. This work is about an eternal philosophical
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Music Theatre Now

idea of love that combines modern and ancient understanding.

The Ghost on the Chinese classical xiqu stage.

Man is mortal and love is immortal.

The combination of the traditional xiqu performance with a modern approach.

Connection to the classical style with a modern concept.

The collision of kindness and evil, beauty and ugliness between the past and the

A dialogue of love and hatred, affection and resentment between the ancient and
the modern.

On an empty stage, water sleeves, a folding fan, a handkerchief, transcend time.

The three women’s singing, reciting and physical gestures, allow the past and
present to unfold, oscillating between life and death.
Director’s words The Music

Three scripts annotate three kinds of spirit. The classical style serves as a founda-
Three souls achieve three types of life. tion for the music. Elements of ancient
Three kinds of Chinese traditional opera present three styles. music are interwoven in a contemporary
Three actresses tell three stories. musical structure. Kunqu (Kun opera),
Three skills stand for three focuses. Jingju (Peking opera) and Shanghai Yueju
Three intonations depict three states of mind. (Yue opera), the three major traditional
Three musical instruments suggest three forms of emotion. genres among the many in China, are
Three shades of colour set off three artistic conceptions. treated in an abstract manner: the resul-
ting minimalism preserves the unique
character of the traditional melodies.

The choice
The inner tension of each of the three
female characters is embodied by the

of the subject
clear and pure sounds of the strings,
recitation and singing. The distinct sono-

rity of the different musical instruments
xun, xiao, zheng, pipa and drum serve to
represent the different characters: the

The Characters
music supports the acting, as well crea-
ting a background which determines the
还 魂 三 叠

还 魂 三 叠
Three Haunted Souls has been adapted mood of the entire performance. During
from familiar sections of xiqu (Chinese the rehearsal process, the songs, the
traditional theatre /opera) works, The melodic lines and interpretation were
82 83

Peony Pavilion ‘Love-making in a Dream’, In each of these excerpts of classical formed through improvisation, playing
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Music Theatre Now

The Red Plum Pavilion ‘Setting Pei Free’ works the main female character dies music without melody and singing songs
and The Wulong House ‘Holding Captive’. and comes back to life. Each character without rhythm – sometimes referenci-
The vigour and fervour of Setting Pei is reinterpreted by actresses of today, ng the classical system and sometimes
Free, the delicate and subtle character revealing the inner world of the women without adhering to these limitations.
of Lovemaking in a Dream and the sad, of the past. Li Huiniang in The Red Plum Using the improvisational system of clas-
sentimentality and ambiguity of Holding Pavilion comes back to this world in sical music as a starting point, modern
Captive dissolve in a minimalistic context order to carry out a dangerous rescue. A thought is interwoven with classical song
on the simple, and vacant stage. When pair of long fluttering sleeves creates an and gesture and movement, resulting in
the old stories are paraphrased in a atmos-phere of tension and portrays her a new free form or style.
modern presentation, we are able to brave and decent character. Du Liniang
capture the traditional cultural quintess- in The Peony Pavilion is reborn in order to
ence in a brand new theatrical form. The find her beloved. She uses a folding fan
adaptation of these three excerpts is to represent the character’s elegant and
performed as a kind of montage, jum- pure personality as well as her narcissism.
ping back and forth between the stories, Yan Xijiao in The Wulong House wants
the fragments are sometimes related, to take her beloved with her to the
sometimes not, resulting in a unique netherworld so he can remain her hus-
staged vision. band eternally. A pretty and coquettish
handkerchief and sensitive movements
of her hands and feet reveal the extreme
selfishness of her quest. The actresses
shape the characters with their body
language as well as the soft and delicate
lines of their singing. They perform their
roles, and yet at the same time they
stand outside their characters as onlook-
ers. They show us three tempers, three
types and three symbols. They represent
their ‘love’ in three different ways.
Three Mile Island is not the reconstruction of a forgotten catastrophe, nor is it an
account of the nightmare that for the first time in recent history shook confidence in
the progressive propagation of nuclear energy. It is, or at least aims to be, purely the
story of a scientist and his human, ethical and scientific experiences.
The case of Ignaz Vergeiner, the true heart of our work, represents in our
view a general paradigm that does not exclusively concern those events in Pennsyl-
vania. In our eyes, the parable of Ignaz is the story of a conflict with science on one
side and power on the other. On one side a solitary man, a scientist who collects safe,
reliable, unmistakable data, on the other a lobby, or several lobbies, defending their
own economic, political and legal interests and questioning the value of scientific
research. Ignaz unmistakably proves that the radiation levels to which men, women,
children, animals, meadows, woods and plantations were exposed between 28 and 31
March 1979 were much higher than the authorities admitted. The principal element of

Andrea Molino
our representation (it could not have been otherwise) is therefore authentic testimony
from those who experienced the tragedy first hand. Together with this, we show some

Three Mile Island –

Three Mile Island

Three Mile Island

The Parable 85

of a Scientist
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

of the faces of the accident victims whom we met in Pennsylvania last autumn. The
only element of ‘fiction’ is a narrating voice entrusted to the figure of Sky Woman, a
myth closely connected to the culture of the Iroquois Indians, the legitimate inhabi-
tants of Pennsylvania before they were exterminated by English settlers.
Despite appearances, Three Mile Island is neither an indictment against the
use of nuclear power plants, nor a warning about the hidden risks of using nuclear
energy for civilian purposes. What we are recounting is the parable of a scientist who, music, song, projection and narration. It
thanks to his perseverance, his rigour and his research methodology, manages to is not our duty to judge the final result.
establish a simple and incontestable truth. He fights to ensure that truth is acknow- We do not even know what name we will
ledged, but death keeps him from pursuing his battle. We wanted simply to document give to this creature we have brought to
his heritage and transform it into a performance. We could have chosen to write a life. What is Three Mile Island? An opera,
biography or a scientific paper, or made a film or documentary. Instead we chose the a concert, a story in sound and image, a
most complex route, the only one we know: we have put Ignaz’ existential and ethical multimedia project (to use horrible mod-
parable on stage using the apparently classical instruments of music theatre, namely ern terminology)? This uncertainty, this
doubt, forms part of the same material
of which our ‘show’ is made: a question
mark, that which must necessarily end
any authentic, honest and free testimony.

Guido Barbieri
The Music

About The source material for Three Mile Island

was a long in-depth video interview that
Karl Hoffmann did with Ignaz Vergeiner
before he died. First and foremost, this
Almost three years ago Guido Barbieri wind, lightness, delicacy – convinced meant for me that the core of the work
came to my dressing room after a con- me that the challenge of giving an had to be his voice.
cert to greet me. We had already met artistic shape to this story rather than a
before and initiated a promising dialogue. traditionally journalistic one really had […]
Before taking his leave Guido said to a chance of success. After two years
me: “I leave you with three words: three, of study, of analysis and of preparation The sound of his voice, his inflections,
mile, island. Try to put them together (my correspondence with Guido and accents, pauses, even the smallest
and let me know what you think.” At Karl now exceeds one thousand emails!) details that had no semantic meaning
that time I had only a vague idea of what I once again met my companions. but great emotional value, become the
these three words meant. I remembered Together we set out for Pennsylvania, core around which the musical dis-
an accident at a US nuclear plant some to Harrisburg, to that Three Mile Island course revolves. The voices of the Neue
years ago, yet – like so many others – in the middle of the Susquehanna River. Vocalsolisten and the instruments of the
I knew neither the details nor the con- And together we met Marjorie, Paula, Klangforum accompany it, in the most
Three Mile Island

Three Mile Island

sequences or implications of that event. Ann, Mary, James, Joyce, Kay and Robert: humane sense of the word, delicately
A couple of weeks later Guido called victims and witnesses of the accident. and respectfully. As I have done previ-
me and asked: “So, did you put those After thirty years, their memory is still ously in other works, I gave Ignaz’ voice
three words together?” We met again in alive, their willingness to tell the truth is an instrumental alter ego, the double
Venice and Guido told me about Ignaz still intact. bass in this case. Then I did the same
86 87
Vergeiner, about Karl Hoffmann (“a very Andrea Molino with the saxophone for the voice of US
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Music Theatre Now

talented journalist friend of mine”), scientist Arnie Gundersen. We intervie-
about a car journey at night from Pa- wed him during our research trip to the
lermo to Catania whilst he was working US and he appears extensively in the
on another project. Even before the narration.
encounter, I knew that I would accept The other key element is air,
Guido’s proposal. the medium used by Ignaz to develop
A few weeks later, Karl sent his contribution to truth. Of course I did
me a first section of the long and not imitate the sound of air with vocal
complex filmed interview with Ignaz or instrumental writing, even though
Vergeiner that would form the basis of some onomatopoeias may surface in the
the project. Examining the footage, I musical discourse from time to time.
was overwhelmed by the lightness of
Ignaz’ personality, by his delicacy, his Andrea Molino
vivacity. Ignaz did not just use air and
wind to read the truth; it was as if he
himself was made out of air. What
convinced me above all else to accept
the challenge of Three Mile Island was
the feeling that it would be possible to
create an indispensable, strong and vital
relation between the libretto of the ope-
ra – that was still to come into existence
– and the context that had generated it.
We would take Ignaz’ heritage and trans-
form it into music, into words and into
images, ensuring that it reached ears
that would otherwise never have heard
it. The aesthetic and artistic qualities of
what we possessed – Ignaz, the air, the
van der Aa

In Michel van der Aa’s cello concerto never ‘narrates’ the film, but somehow
Up-close, the traditional interaction of the two layers seem extentions of each
soloist and ensemble is reflected by a other moving around a common subject.
mysterious, mirror reality seen on film. Furthermore, the live instruments are
When the piece begins, a solo cellist and augmented with an electronic sound-
a string ensemble sit on the right of the track, which at times seems closely
stage; on the left stands a large video related to their music and at other times
screen. On the screen we see an elderly appear to derive from the ‘concrete’
lady sitting among an arrangement of sounds of the action on screen. Are

chairs and music stands which parallels these plural realities or versions of a
the real-life version on the other side single experience?
of the stage. It soon becomes clear that Much is left unexplained
88 89
this is only one of a variety of interac- and the course of the piece, including
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Music Theatre Now

tions across a hall of mirrors created by a striking coup de théâtre towards the
the soloist, ensemble and film. end, provides no easy answers. One
Up-close, commissioned by theme that does emerge, however,
the European Concert Hall Organization concerns loneliness. As in other van der
and featuring the Argentinean cellist Sol Aa pieces – such as the video opera One
Gabetta and the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, or the ensemble piece Mask – elements
is thus a cello concerto duplicated and of an uncanny, inscrutable ceremony are
magnified until it reaches the boundary never far away and in Up-close these be-
of video opera. Are the elderly woman come part of the difficult ritual of human
and the cellist playing out the same role? to human contact.
The film is seen in excerpts ‘inserted’ Visual references recall the
into the music, so is the music driving methods of the Dutch Resistance of
the film, or the film the music? The music World War II, but it is the spirit of secre-
cy, protocol and adversity that perva-
des, rather than any specific historical
setting. The woman is apparently trying
to transmit coded messages of some
sort and, at one of the work’s climaxes,
she employs a large mechanical decod-
ing device built especially for this piece
by the composer. As it decodes the
woman’s messages, the machine creates
music of its own. This intertwines with
the sounds of the ensemble, a singular
moment when film and music cross over
into each other’s realms. If anything, we
are left with more mystery, not less.

Tim Rutherford-Johnson

Biographies /

study with David Geringas, she took her

Michel van der Aa,
The Music
concert exam in 2006 at the Hochschule
composer für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin. Over the
past few years, Sol Gabetta has made
Michel van der Aa (Netherlands) is a guest appearances with the Munich ensemble repertoire, including chamber
composer, film and stage director as well Philharmonic and the Vienna Symphony music performed in string orchestra
as a script writer. Before studying com- Orchestra, amongst others. Ms. Gabetta format. On occasion, Amsterdam As a cello concerto it gives me the op-
position (with Diderik Wagenaar, Gilius regularly appears at major festivals such Sinfonietta perform as a chamber or- portunity to display a whole spectrum of

van Bergeijk and Louis Andriessen), van as the Rheingau Musik Festival in Verbier chestra with additional instrumentalists. technical virtuosity and expressiveness.
der Aa trained first as a recording engi- or at the Menuhin Festival Gstaad. She The ensemble is characterised by an But even at a purely musical level there
neer at the Royal Conservatory in The has also founded her own chamber innovative approach to repertoire, often is a technical aspect – the playback –
90 91
Hague. Many of his works are as visual music festival in Switzerland entitled presenting unexpected and exciting that, based on conventionally produced
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Music Theatre Now

as they are aural. An important aspect ‘Solsberg’. programming combinations. Alongside sounds, introduces a new level that is
of van der Aa’s work is collaboration and performances of mainstream repertoire, not an accessory, but rather a dialogue
interdisciplinarity. He has worked with Sinfonietta frequently draw attention to partner.
leading classical performers such as Sol unjustly neglected or new works. The principle of the dialogue
Gabetta, Barbara Hannigan as well as the
Candida Thompson, is then further developed by means of
Portuguese fado singer Ana Moura and conductor the film level in which I, as the soloist,
well-known European actors like Klaus suddenly become part of the drama
Maria Brandauer and João Reis. He has Candida Thompson studied with David that, without a concrete plot, leaves
directed both the filmed and staged Takeno at the Guildhall School of Music room for reflections in the most varied
elements of all of his works. His operas and Drama. She developed her studies directions. Just as the musical playback
have been staged in more than a dozen further at the Banff Centre for the already reflects the sounds and places
countries. Arts in Canada and played with several them in new contexts, the images of
international orchestras such as Moscow the film also open up an entirely new
Chamber Orchestra, The English String perspective of the performance in which
Orchestra and Amsterdam Sinfonietta. the orchestra and I, as a musician, do not
Sol Gabetta, Since the summer of 2003, Candida merely bring to life the notes of a score,
cellist Thompson is Amsterdam Sinfonietta‘s but rather we all become a part of a
artistic director and leader. mystical action. And thus I am no longer
The cellist Sol Gabetta was born in just a cellist, but also perform very much
Cordoba, Argentina, in 1981. She was as an actress in the room, whereby my
only ten when she won her first com- actions are mirrored by the elder woman
petition in Argentina, and has received
Amsterdam in the film. Or is it actually I, who mirrors
many more awards since then. From Sinfonietta the woman in the film? In any case, I am
1992–94 Sol Gabetta studied at the no longer just the musical soloist here,
Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia The ensemble consists of 23 chamber but simultaneously also the protagonist
in Madrid, after which she moved to musicians and its repertoire covers a on the stage, an experience that was an
Switzerland to pursue further studies variety of styles, extending from the absolutely new and awe-inspiring one.
with Ivan Monighetti at the Basel Aca- Baroque repertoire to contemporary
demy of Music. After further years of works. The main focus lies on string Sol Gabetta
Hotel Pro Forma

Sum Up
War Sum Up

War Sum Up
92 93
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Music Theatre Now

War is as simple and as complicated as the Woman in Yellow. She is the game
man itself. The nature of war is ever- master who starts the war. But she is
changing, adapting to the era’s usable also the person who goes on working,
weapons and to the culture within which for everyday life must continue even
it takes place. War develops new techno- though there is a war. She is part of the
logy, new strategies, and new opinions. Civilians’ choir that intensify and expand
War Sum Up tells of war through the never-ending story of war.
three main characters: The Soldier is Light and darkness, colour and
sent home from war. He suffers from pattern in black and white together,
PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) with manga drawings in XL format, form
and no longer feels at home in civilian intense visual narrators.
society. He returns to the war and dies in
an explosion. A monument is raised in his Kirsten Dehlholm and
memory. His fate and this phenomenon Willie Flindt
still exist today.
The Warrior is killed in battle.
His unnatural death prevents his soul “The man-machine interface, the new en-
from a natural transition to the world on vironment or computer space, which ma-
the other side. He becomes a spectre, chine and man inhabit together, is not an
a ghost who must tell his story in order extension of the body but a total environ-
to find peace. An old superstition which ment. It is the context for a new corporeal
still exists in many cultures. reality, an entirely new world in which war
The Spy is captured in the war. In is conducted, a world into which we are
order to be freed she must relearn her not only sensorially but also physically in-
abilities in martial arts and transform corporated and assimilated.” (Christopher
herself. She turns into a superwoman Coker from The Future of War)
and escapes. She is a part of the fantasy-
genre as well as popular culture.
All three stories are framed by
Biographies / The Irrepressibles
Background Formed in 2002, The Irrepressibles are a
performance pop orchestra created by
artist and composer Jamie McDermott.
The Irrepressibles perform a ’spectacle’
Hotel Pro Forma show, which brings together choreogra-
phy, interactive set, lighting installation
Hotel Pro Forma is an international and musical performance to inspire the
laboratory of performance and instal- emotions of the ‘inner child’ of their
lations. Perception, perspective and audiences.
themes from the world are blended
into a conceptual, visual and musical art
form. Each work is developed through
an almost natural-science approach to
Santa Ratniece,
study and research, and subject matter composer
is often taken from this world-view. 
War Sum Up is the result of The Latvian composer Santa Ratniece
a unique cooperation between Hotel is considered by many to be one of the
Pro Forma, the Latvian Radio Choir most promising young composers in the
War Sum Up

War Sum Up
and the Latvian National Opera, with Baltic region today. She has won several
Kirsten Dehlholm as director. The British prizes for her work and participated in
symphonic pop orchestra The Irrepres- numerous festivals around the world.
sibles, and Latvian composer Santa
94 95
Ratniece, composed the new music,
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Music Theatre Now

which is performed by twelve singers
from the Latvian Radio Choir under its
Gilbert Nouno,
conductor Kaspars Putnins. The Danish composer
fashion designer Henrik Vibskov created

The Music
the costumes, and the lighting designer Gilbert Nouno is a composer, teacher,
Jesper Kongshaug provided the lighting recording sound artist and a researcher
with his usual contextual flair. at IRCAM. He was awarded the Villa
Medici Roma grant in 2010/2011 and
the Villa Kujoyama Kyoto grant in 2007.
He holds a Masters and PhD degree in War Sum Up is inspired by the powerful expression of Japanese poetry, pop music,
Kirsten Dehlholm, Acoustics and Signal-Processing applied
Kaspars Putnins, their precision and brutality. The libretto is created with texts from Noh-theatre and
direction and concept to Music from IRCAM and the University conductor others, written by Japanese masters. The old world meets the new world as the deep
of Paris. tone of poetry unfolds in an electronic musical universe. Several different musical
With a background in the visual arts, Kaspars Putnins is a staunch supporter expressions and styles combine. Together with the sung voices, newly-composed
Kirsten Dehlholm has worked with of new vocal music. For his choir, this classical music creates a spheric, electronic sound. Specially-composed pop music
performance art for over 30 years. She means performing challenging and still- describes the three main characters in a mix of chamber pop and electronica where
began with Billedstofteater (Theatre
Latvian Radio Choir, developing music that often leads into man and machine melt together.
of Images) from 1977 to 1984, and she vocals unexplored territory. He has collabora-
founded Hotel Pro Forma in 1985. She ted with various Baltic composers to de- “I was chosen to make pop. Pop is not specific in genre terms and has a line all the way
created over 100 performances, ranging Founded in 1940 the Latvian Radio Choir velop works with a new musical language back to folk-music, everything from a melody in a music box to instruments that repre-
from site-specific performances for is considered to be one of the most and expression. sent country music, to the style of music that one might associate with manga culture.”
museums, city halls and other architec- boldly-innovative choirs in Europe today.
turally significant buildings, to perfor- Their vast repertoire extends from early Jamie McDermott, composer
mances for prestigious venues around Renaissance and Baroque music to com-
the world, including the Venice Biennial, plex works of contemporary classical “Another dimension of the sound is created by electronics: it is like another acoustic
Berliner Festspiele and Brooklyn Acade- music. universe with varying sound sources. Electronic sound space is used as a self-contained
my of Music.  musical instrument. The electronics are made so exquisite as to create a sense of inner
voices, audible only to the internal mind.” Santa Ratniece, composer
Music Theatre Now


Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now



Music Theatre Now Credits


Artistic Consultant
Lara Thoms
Flyway Field Guide
Catherine Ryan

Cashiers’ Choir

Indrė Anankaitė
Veronika Čičinskaitė

Costume Design
Joanna Nogueiras Yankelevich
Electronic Device
Yamil Burguener
Video Programming
Diego Ruiz
Daniel Serale

(Bluebeard) Production Manager Erika Zaleckienė Diego Alberti Teatro Argentino

Jane Smith Milda Zapolskaitė
33 ⅓ Collective Producers Vida Valuckienė Assistant Director General Manager
Aphids Altos Ricardo Toro Cr Leandro Manuel Iglesias
Concept/Musical Direction Liucina Blaževič Director of Cameras Art Director
Michael de Roo Co-Producers Virginija Linkevičienė Juan Molteni Marcelo Lombardero
Dramaturgy Next Wave Festival Rita Račiūnienė Production D irector of the Center
Peter te Nuyl Partnered by Kristina Svolkinaitė Teatro Argentino de La Plata for Experimentation and
Musical Arrangements Birdlife Australia Rima Šovienė (Argentina) Creation (TACEC)
Mete Erker and Piano Commissioned by TACEC Martín Bauer
Martin Fondse (2011) & Photographer Kęstutis Pavalkis E ditor of The Grand


Daniel Cross (Rosa Ensemble) Flyway, 2012 Live Electronics Photographer Theatre of Oklahoma
2012 Next Wave Festival. Lina Lapelytė Marita Machetta MELOS EDICIONES
100 101
Featured Singer Images courtesy of MUSICALES S.A.
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

Stephanie Pan (2012) John Possemato Production Voices of the Nonsense
Soundscapes Independent creative group Vocal Soloists Ensemble

Michael de Roo OPEROMANIJA

Video Sopranos
Douwe Dijkstra, Photographers Lucía Lalanne
Coen Huisman Kęstutis Serulevičius Nadia Szachniuk
and Jules van Hulst Dovydas Petravičius Contralto
Voice-over Artist Simonas Švitra Evangelina Bidart Homework
Kevin Walton Geros dienos! Tenors
Prologue/Lyrics (Have a Good Day!) Martín Díaz François Sarhan
33 ⅓ Collective Juan Francisco Ramírez
Photographer OPEROMANIJA Baritone and Bass Composer / 
Mark Groen El Gran Teatro de Oklahoma Alejandro Spies Director Staging / Design
Composer (The Great Theatre of Oklahoma) Javier Lezcano François Sarhan
Lina Lapelytė Instrumental Ensemble Süden

Librettist Teatro Argentino de la Plata Flutes Ictus Ensemble
Vaiva Grainytė and Marcos Franciosi Juliana Moreno (Brussels)
Director/Set Designer Sergio Catalán
Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė Composer Clarinet Saxophone
Costume Designer Marcos Franciosi Federico Landaburu Matthieu Metzger
Flyway Daiva Samajauskaitė Text / Librettist / Staging Violin Keyboards
Lighting Designers Diego Cosin Carlos Britez Jean-Luc Plouvier
Elizabeth Dunn Eugenijus Sabaliauskas Marcos Franciosi Viola E-Guitar
Mindaugas Skuminas Based on the novel Amerika Mariano Malamud Tom Pauwels
Principal Artist Choirmaster by Franz Kafka Cello Trombone
Elizabeth Dunn Milda Zapolskaitė Musical Director Martín Devoto Alain Pire
Sound Artist Sound Director Valeria Martinelli Bass Drums
Lawrence English Valdas Karpuška Scenery / Lighting Facundo Ordóñez Gerrit Nulens
Fabian Nonino
Géry Combier

Kunst aus der Zeit,
Maschinenhalle #1

Wolfgang Silveri /
steirischer herbst

Elision Ensemble

Commissioned by Brisbane
Festival 2008, Melbourne

Leo Mayberry
Set / Prop Design
Jason Puccinell
Colin Ernst

Bregenzer Festspiele (Machine Hall #1) International Arts Festival Ela Lamblin
and the ELISION Ensemble
Photographer Christine Gaigg, with the support of the Created with the support
François Sarhan Bernhard Lang, Australian Government‘s Major of The Frye Art Museum,
Winfried Ritsch and Festivals Initiative, managed Watermill Center a Laboratory
Philipp Harnoncourt The Navigator by the Australia Council, its for Performance, Center for

arts funding and advisory body, Performance Research,
Composer Elision Ensemble in association with the National Endowment for
Bernhard Lang Confederation of Australian the Arts, Neighborhood
Concept Composer International Arts Festivals. Matching Fund, Mayors
Christine Gaigg Liza Lim The creative development Office of Arts and

Josefine singt. Bernhard Lang Libretto phase of this project was also Cultural Affairs Seattle
(K)ein Liederabend nach Franz Kafka Winfried Ritsch Patricia Sykes supported by the Perth and 4Culture
102 103
(Josefine sings. Philipp Harnoncourt Director International Arts Festival.
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

(Not) a recital after Franz Kafka) Stage Design / Light Barrie Kosky Photographer
Philipp Harnoncourt Conductor Ricordi London / Universal Bruce Tom
opera silens Choreography Manuel Nawri Music Publishing Classical
Christine Gaigg Set Design / Costumes

Composer Technology & Alice Babidge Photographer
Wolfgang von Schweinitz Development Light Design Justin Nicholas /
D irector / Staging Winfried Ritsch /  Damien Cooper Copyright Elision
Hans-Jörg Kapp Institute of Electronic Sound Design Ensemble
Dramaturgy Music and Acoustics Michael Hewes
Mascha Wehrmann (IEM) Samotność pól bawełnianych

Stage Design / Dancers Cast (In the Solitude of Cotton Fields)
Costume Quim Bigas Bassart
Marcel Weinand Sara Canini The Navigator Stefan Zeromski Theatre
Sound Design Ella Clarke Andrew Watts
Thomas Schmölz Alexander Deutinger (Countertenor) Composers
Assistant Director Christine Gaigg The Beloved Red Shoes Ignor Bartosz
Laura Nerbl Robert Jackson Talise Trevigne Michał Lis
Milla Koistinen (Coloratura soprano) Degenerate Art Piotr Lis
Cast Anna Majder First Siren / The Crone Ensemble Maciej Matysiak
Asher O’Gorman Philip Larson Director / Staging
Soprano Eva-Maria Schaller (Bass baritone) Composers Radosław Rychcik
Frauke Aulbert Magi Serra Foraste Second Siren / The Fool Joshua Kohl The Natural Born Chillers
Two Narrators Veronika Zott Omar Ebrahim Jherek Bischoff Ignor Bartosz
Kurt Glockzin, (Baritone) Director Michał Lis
Ludwig-Christian Glockzin Production Third Siren / Haruko Nishimura Stage Design
Violoncello steirischer herbst 2010 The Angel of History Primary Performers Marta Stoces
Agnieszka Dziubak Deborah Kayser Haruko Nishimura
(Baroque alto) Dohee Lee
Production Stage Direction Sound Design Cast 还魂三叠
Stefan Zeromski Theatre Frank Schulz Damiano Meacci (Three Haunted Souls)
in Kielce (Poland) Puppet Direction Francesco Casciaro Aymar
Photographer Evelyn Arndt Actor Hagen Matzeit Chinese Academy
Maciej Żórawiecki Cast Marco Cavalcali The Father for Dramatic Art
Grzegorz Kaczmarczyk / Tour Manager Brian Bannatyne-Scott
Copyright Zeromski Theatre Actress Marco Molduzzi The Mother Director
Annette Bieker Anne Rotger Zhou Long
Cast Bariton Production A Young Woman in Dramatist
Matthias Sprekelmeyer Fanny & Alexander / the Night Yan Quanyi
Dealer Matthias Flohr Tempo Reale Keren Motseri Music Designer
Wojciech Niemczyk Puppeteer A Young Blonde Woman Jiang Jinghong
Client Michael Hatzius Photographer Fflur Wyn Styling Designer
Tomasz Nosinski Vanessa Valk Enrico Fedrigoli The Man with Long Hair Liu Xiaoqing
Trombone/Accordion Antoine Rigot Lighting Designer
The Natural Born Jörn Wegmann Han Jiang

Chillers Band Cembalo Ensemble Modern Production
Frederike Möller Chinese Academy
104 105
Bass Norbert Kleinschmitt Thanks to My Eyes Production for Dramatic Art
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

Bartosz Ignor Festival d’Aix-en-Provence
Keys Producer Oscar Bianchi Co-production
Maciej Matysiak Theater Kontra-Punkt and Joël Pommerat T&M-Paris / Théâtre de
Keys / Guitar Co-Producer Gennevilliers CDNCC
Michał Lis Theater Freiburg Composer Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie Three Mile Island
Drums Oscar Bianchi Festival Musica - Strasbourg
Piotr Lis Photographer Libretto / Staging Andrea Molino
Maurice Korbel Joël Pommerat With support of SACD,
Based on his play, of Fonds de Création Lyrique Composer
Grâce à mes yeux Andrea Molino

(translated by Production on Tour Libretto / Dramaturgy
Schlimmes Ende Dominic Glyn) T&M-Paris avec le soutien Guido Barbieri
(The Awful End) Musical Director du Réseau Varèse et de Andrea Molino
Franck Ollu Pro Helvetia, Fondation Video
Theater Kontra-Punkt Scene / Light suisse pour la culture Karl Hoffmann
T.E.L. Eric Soyer Commissioned by
Composer Costumes T&M-Paris/Réseau Varèse Speaker
Hauke Berheide Fanny & Alexander / Isabelle Deffin and Festival d‘Aix-en-Provence Birgit Bücker
Libretto Tempo Reale Sound Design Editions Durand / Universal (Karlsruhe)
Annette Bieker Dominique Bataille Music Publishing Classical Andrea Mirò
(after Philip Ardagh) Composer Artistic Collaborator (Rome)
Musical Direction Mirto Baliani to the Director Photographer
Norbert Kleinschmitt Director / Stage / Philippe Carbonneaux Philippe Stirnweiss Neue Vocalsolisten
Dramaturgy Light Designer Artistic Collaborator Stuttgart
Thalia Schuster Luigi De Angelis to the libretto
Stage Design / Dramaturgist / Marie Piémontèse Soprano
Puppet Construction / Actress Sarah Maria Sun
Costume Chiara Lagani Susanne Leitz-Lorey
Jan Kocman

Mezzosoprano Production Photos / Video stills Production
Truike van der Poel ZKM – Centre for Arts and disquiet media Hotel Pro Forma,
Countertenor Media, Karlsruhe (Germany) Photographer Latvian National Opera
Daniel Gloger in co-operation with Acca- Joost Rietdijk Associate Producer
Tenor demia Filarmonica Romana, Sarah Ford /
Martin Nagy IUC (Istituzione Universitaria Quaternaire

Baritone dei Concerti), Rome Co-Production
Guillermo Anzorena Latvian Radio Choir
Bass Photographer Latvian National Opera
Andreas Fischer Felix Grünschloss / Ultima Oslo Contemporary
Copyright ZKM – Music Festival
Klangforum Wien Centre for Arts and War Sum Up Concert Hall Aarhus
Media Karlsruhe Royal Danish Theatre
Flutes Hotel Pro Forma Odense Theatre
Thomas Frey

Clarinets Music Photographer
Bernhard Zachhuber The Irrepressibles Gunars Janaitis

Saxophones and Santa Ratniece
Gerald Preinfalk with Gilbert Nouno
106 107
Trumpet / Flugelhorn Vocals
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

Anders Nyqvist Up-close Latvian Radio
Violoncello Choir
Andreas Lindenbaum Michel van der Aa Libretto
Contrabass Texts from classic
Beltane Ruiz Composition / Video Noh theatre edited
Percussion Michel van der Aa by Willie Flindt
Adam Weisman Artistic Director Conductor
Björn Wilker Candida Thompson Kaspars Putnins /
Cello Sigvards Klava
ZKM – Centre for Arts Sol Gabetta Direction
and Media, Karlsruhe Kirsten Dehlholm
Actress Musical Direction
Sound Direction, Vakil Eelman Kaspars Putnins
Interactive Environment Production Concept
Holger Stenschke Frank van der Weij for Willie Flindt
Medial Staging the Disquiet Foundation Kirsten Dehlholm
Bernd Lintermann (Stichting Rusteloos) Light Design
Manuel Weber Jesper Kongshaug
Nikolaus Völzow First performance 11 March 2011, Costume Design
Video Editing  Stockholm Konserthuset. Henrik Vibskov
Anna Falkenstern Amsterdam Sinfonietta Set Design
Sol Gabetta, cello Kirsten Dehlholm
Zürcher Hochschule der Willie Flindt
Künste, Media Arts Commissioned by Jesper Kongshaug
 uropean Concert Hall
E Manga Drawings
The Cloud, interactive Organization, Fonds Podium Hikaru Hayashi
video installation Kunsten, Het Concertgebouw.
Written for Amsterdam
Sinfonietta, Sol Gabetta
Music Theatre Now


Music Theatre Now Notes

Music Theatre Now Notes



Music Theatre Now Notes


German Centre of the
International Theatre Institute (ITI)
Kunstquartier Bethanien
Mariannenplatz 2
10997 Berlin

Tel. + 49 (0)30 61 10 76 50

Music Theatre Committee
112 113
of the International Theatre
Music Theatre Now

Music Theatre Now

Institute (ITI)

Laura Berman
Penny Black
Annette Doffin
Michael Freundt
Maximilian Grafe
Viviana Marrone

Antonella Amato
Penny Black
Marie Fol
Andrew Jarman
Karl Edward Johnson

Graphic design
Jan Grygoriew


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