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Once to be realised

Six encounters with the unclassified project files of Jani Christou by Beat Furrer, Barblina Meierhans, Olga Neuwirth, Younghi Pagh-Paan, Samir Odeh-Tamimi and Christian Wolff.

A woman in black, a sound continuum interrupted by an explosion, crowds storming the stage, traffic lights, the deafening singing of the cicadas on Chios in the midday heat, performing in an ensemble as a cipher of social constellations, invoking the metaphysical other, composing as an attempt to break with the musical syntax, or even as a “slight pressure against the limit of meaning”: The cosmos of the Greek composer Jani Christou is labyrinthine branches in the richness of his suggestive images and designs. He transgresses the purely musical to the integration of scene, text, and image, and at the same time departs from the realms of art, and he sees political and social elements as compositional material, he creates a performance in tangible landscapes and cultural spaces. And ultimately it remains a prophetic design, ONCE TO BE REALISED:
In the last years of his life Christou created nearly 130 sketches for compositions to be realized later on. He was only able to work out a few of them before his untimely death in a car accident in 1970 on his 44th birthday. Most of these visionary drafts were never realized in the just under 50 years following his death, and only now will become the foundation of a new music theater work: Together with the renowned Greek director Michail Marmarinos, six composers, who are among the most distinguished creators of contemporary music theater, will tackle Christou’s designs. They encounter them with their own musical language, explore them, let themselves be inspired, and work their way through them, in order to use their own means and their own ideas to continue and write on into the future. The result is a music theater that is as much an archaic drama as a social sculpture that conjures up mythical powers in order to jump from practicing music into, in Christou’s terms, a “metapraxis,” into creating a metaphysical “other”—and it’s an “outburst from the syntax,” an attack on the logic in the relationship of the performer to his own special means of expression.


Friday, 15.05., 19:30 Uhr, Muffathalle
Saturday, 16.05., 19:30 Uhr, Muffathalle
Sunday, 17.05., 19:30 Uhr, Muffathalle
Monday, 18.05., 19:30 Uhr, Muffathalle

Language: German, english, old greek
Duration: ca. 120 minutes / one break

16.5.2020, 6:45 p.m.
Muffatwerk Café

Composition commissioned by the City of Munich for the Munich Biennale
A coproduction of the Munich Biennale with Deutsche Oper Berlin and Onassis Cultural Center
Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation
Composition comissions to Olga Neuwirth, Samir Odeh-Tamimi, Younghi Pagh-Paan and Christian Wolff Funded by the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung
Funded by Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council

Verena Tönjes (mezzosoprano), Matthew Cossack (baritone), Marius Boehm (actor), Meik van Severen (actor), Sofia Pintzou (dancer), Robyn Schulkowsky (drums) Ensemble DissonArt: Jannis Anissegos (flute), Alexandros Stavridis (clarinette), Theodoros Patsalidis (violin), Chara Sira (viola), Vassilis Saitis (violoncello), Yiannis Chatzis (double bass), Kostas Argyropoulos (drums), Lenio Liatsou (piano) Cantando Admont: Peyee Chen (soprano), Elina Viluma-Helling (soprano), Cornelia Sonnleithner (mezzosoprano), Helena Sorokina (mezzosoprano), Hugo Paulsson Stove (tenor), Bernd Lambauer (tenor), Matias Bocchio (baritone), Vytautas Vepstas (bass)
Partners and Sponsors

Many a "NEW Return" is appearing quicker and more unexpectedly as previously thought. Due to the omnipresent effects of the corona crisis we will, together with our collaboration partners, react in a flexible manner. The Munich Biennale will become a dynamic festival in Munich and elsewhere.

Operations have been interrupted in almost all of the theaters and opera houses. This also affects our preparations and rehearsals. For this reason we have reached the following decision: world premieres that cannot be performed in Munich in May 2020 will celebrate their premieres elsewhere or in Munich on a different date.

We are planning to publish the Biennale program in May 2020 in order to conceptually present the entire festival. The Munich Biennale will begin as a physical festival at different locations. The theme and spirit should culminate in the "Salon of Wonders and Views" as a connective element over a long period of time at different locations and always viewable via a live stream. In this manner the issues of new music theater and the Biennale theme "Point of NEW Return" will be reflected and perpetuated.

The advance sale of tickets has been postponed until further notice. We are in close consultations with our partners and the responsible authorities, we will keep you up to date on our website, our social media channels and the newsletter.