Our times appear to be a sheer endless present – a continuing state of crisis, where the future is perceived more as a threat than a promise. Simultaneously, new demands on this possible future are constantly being voiced, demands that stem from the day-to-day impotence felt by every individual faced with the overwhelming problems. The new music theater work opera, opera, opera! revenants and revolutionsconfronts this ambivalent situation: At a point far in the future, a choir with partial amnesia converses with themselves and with a cyborg about where they come from, how everything came about, and where they are headed to. Are we in an ice age or a war? Where were we on the last day? In an airplane? No, on a train platform – or part of a furious fisherman choir in the middle of a grand opera in 1830, which supposedly triggered a revolution and the founding of Belgium. The cyborg is tormented by stored memories and searching for answers, and the choir also grapples with its condition. Fragments, infestations, individual and collective remembrances arise from its murky memory. In the face of these moments, questions are posed over and over again: Which social potential does a mutual voice still have? Where should all of these historical turning points and utopian desires go in light of the rubble and human failures? The opera will be conceived and staged in a collective development process in cooperation with Ole Hübner’s Oper Halle (composition); Thomas Köck (libretto); Michael v. zur Mühlen (director); Martin Miotk (set designer); Maria Huber (dramaturge); Jakob Boeckh (conceptual designer); and Kornelius Paede (dramaturge). The musical direction is in the hands of the accomplished conductor Michael Wendeberg.
Language: German with English surtitles (English translation from German: Anna Galt)
Duration: ca. 140 Minutes / one break
Composition and libretto commissioned by the City of Munich for the Munich Biennale
A coproduction of the Munich Biennale with the Oper Halle
Some “NEW Return” results faster and more unexpected than expected. Due to the ubiquitous effects of the Corona Pandemic, the Munich Biennale 2020 will for the first time become a dynamic festival. Premieres that cannot be released in Munich in May 2020 due to the pandemic will be premiered elsewhere, or in Munich at a different time.
The Munich Biennale will not stream performance-replacement pieces. It will not go online as a whole. The Internet is used primarily to provide impulses for later, physically real performance situations. We assume that many of the productions planned for the 2020 Biennial will see the light of day over the next eighteen months. The theme and spirit are to take place in the “Salon of Wonder and Views” as a unifying element over a longer period of time in various locations in a pointed manner.
In all existential crises, the arts have been a (co)decisive moment of renewal, of rethinking, of reflection, of departure, of conversion, of NEW Return, for each individual as well as for the community. Thus the dynamic Munich Biennale 2020/2021 is, with its motto “Point of NEW Return”, a metaphor for the necessary flexible handling of our present and a model for mobility, topicality and relevance of the arts.