Fat Cat, Glashalle
Fat Cat, Glashalle
schwere reiter
Gasteig HP 8, Saal X & Isarauen
Fat Cat, Black Box
Alte Utting, Maschinenraum
Fat Cat, Foyer Philharmonie
Münchner Stadtbibliothek, Gasteig HP8
Meeting point Scholastika
Fat Cat, Black Box
Münchener Biennale
On the way
31.5. – 10.6.24
9 June, 21:15

Following the performance of “Defekt” on 9 June 2024, the closing party of the festival will take place in the Muffatwerk café.

31 May, 19:30

The Munich Biennale 2024 will open on 31 May with a welcoming address by City Councillor Julia Schönfeld-Knor, co-representative of the Department of Culture, and a welcome by the festival’s Artistic Directors Daniel Ott and Manos Tsangaris.

Following the world premiere of “Searching for Zenobia”, the opening ceremony will take place in the Ampere of the Muffatwerk.

Prof. Dr. Mieke Bal
Art and/as Thought: Image-Thinking for Art’s Political Relevance (in English language)

As part of Campus 2024_On the way, Prof Dr Mieke Bal (Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis) will give a public keynote speech.

The cultural theorist and filmmaker Mieke Bal coined the term “traveling concepts” 20 years ago. In her lecture she will investigate three unstable, always moving components, which she sees as crucial to make art politically effective, thus, thinking and art-making bound up together as a resistance against what is and goeswrong in the world: the affective engagement with the present, the refusal to excise the past from that present, and the displacement or “migratoriness” characteristic of today’s world. She will focus on the cultural skill most needed in the present time where dictatorships, “democratically” elected or not, rule the world, and mass murderers decide who lives and who dies: listening. And not only, but also, to music. In order to enhance the urgency as well as the long duration of the need to listen, she will focus on an intermedial artwork she has recently made, a short film, on the antique figure of Cassandra. Coerced by her employer to sleep with him, which she refused, he cursed her to never be listened to. This antique instance of MeToo brings the past into the present and vice versa. Time and intermediality, then, are two central focus points of concepts that travel, and thereby gain political relevance.

Mithatcan Öcal

Earth is lost. The time has come to make an about turn in the wasteland of a terrifyingly real future following the great catastrophe. Whoever has a spaceship can consider themselves lucky – but before Mike Tango, Sierra Sierra, Charlie Gold and Mandy Lemon can go on the run, the ship and onboard computer have to play along. And they prove to be extraordinarily wilful and lively…

This premiere of Defect was commissioned in cooperation with the State Theatre of Kassel. Istanbul composer Mithatcan Öcal is considered one of the greatest international talents of contemporary music. He exemplifies strong musical concepts along traditional lines and an intrinsic musical logic in a radical large format which is consciously anti-eclectic. Interdisciplinary artist cyclixe wrote the text of this space opera, she is also responsible for the production’s videos. Her works voyage through the graphic arts and widely differing media, along social and political fold lines, through human networks and realities, across continents – and for this work, through time and space.


Recording BR-KLASSIK
Broadcast date: 02.07.2024, 20:05, BR-KLASSIK, Festspielzeit

Composition: Mithatcan Öcal
Libretto & Video: cylixe
Musical direction: Mario Hartmuth
Direction: Roscha A. Säidow
Stage design & Costumes: Paula Wellmann
Figure construction: Lili Laube
Dramaturgy: Kornelius Paede
Light: Marie-Luise Fieker
Cam-Operator: Jannick MorgnerDavid von der Stein
Videotechnician: Karl-Walter Heyer
Assistent of the director: Vivien Hohnholz
Production Management (Kassel): Ann-Kathrin Franke
Produktion Management/Dramaturgy: Felix Linsmeier
Stage Manager: Heiko Schmelz
Props: Anne Schulz
Technicians: Andreas LangFrancesco AlessioMark Brede
Three music theater premieres for public space in the city centre of Munich by Het Geluid (NL), Novoflot (D), Oblivia (FIN)

In what ways can contemporary music theatre contribute to the creation and formulation of new lines (of thought) for a meaningful mobility of the future? By producing unusual theatrical settings in public spaces that no one walks past! By opening stations of the future in the middle of the city (and thus before everyone’s eyes!) By manifesting ways of moving forward that are robot-controlled and fed by music, or by setting in motion new moving streams of knowledge, memory and forgetting amongst visitors to the HP8 municipal library! In “New Lines”, the Biennale seeks to highlight the importance of artistic thought in addressing key socio-political issues. The Munich Biennale has invited three independent producing companies from Finland (Oblivia), the Netherlands (Het Geluid) and Germany (Novoflot) for this special pilot project, all of whom have influenced the European music theatre scene for many years. For the Biennale they are staging productions with composers Ted Hearne, Tamara Miller, Du Yun and Yiran Zhao for the first time. The three world premieres will be shown several times a day from 5th – 9th June or can be visited during specific opening hours.

#1 The Gates are (nearly) open – Novoflot
#2 Turn Turtle Turn – Oblivia
#3 In Passage – Het Geluid
Du Yun

It is the very first MBE-station in Europe and, as part of the Biennale, will be set up in the centre of Munich’s inner-city. MBE is an abbreviation of “Maximum Broad Effect” and stands for multiple adaptable handling procedures; it will serve a wide variety of means of transport for future urban traffic. A completely unique innovation that brings with it great expectations. But before implementation, there will be opening ceremonies across several days – staged by Novoflot from Berlin! Under the banner of “The Gates are (nearly) open”, Novoflot and composer Du Yun invite all city residents and international guests to a first glimpse of the station operated by MBE technology to demonstrate the music-controlled power supply, open up the “Feel well and easily moved” areas of the station for the first time and present several protagonists from the management team of this latest of Munich’s attractions.

Composition: Du Yun
Libretto texts: ruth weiss
Direction & Concept: Sven Holm
Musical Direction: Vicente Larrañaga
Stage Design: Elisa Limberg
Costumes: Nina von Mechow
Dramaturgy & Concept: Malte Ubenauf
Yiran Zhao

The question posed by Oblivia in this geological era of the Anthropocene and its man-made crises is: “How did it get to this point?” and is the starting point of their new piece for the 2024 Munich Biennale which will premiere in the municipal library in the HP8. In this work, the hit Finnish company of the new music theatre scene take another look at humanity’s great concerns and counter them in a delicately humorous manner using fragments of text, movement, and New Music. In “Turn Turtle Turn”, the five performers of Oblivia, working with three local singers and the twelve-member ensemble ö!, playfully and pointedly create a grandiose tableau: they meander between the age of dinosaurs and adventure stories, between the Ice Age and parallel worlds, between prehistoric geography and our hunt for fossil raw materials. Sometimes coming right up close, sometimes seeming to drift right away, “Turn Turtle Turn” flows in its search for traces of the status quo of humanity stuck between perpetual (self-) destruction and persistent hope.



Composition: Yiran Zhao
Concept, Direction, Dramaturgy, Texts: Oblivia
Musical Direction: Armando Merino
Light & Stage Design: Meri Ekola
Costume Design: Tua Helve
Sound Direction: Zoro Babel
Costume makers: Eeva Varmola (EEWA, FI)Anna Hoffmann (Atelier Hoffmann, DE)
Makeup and hair: Franziska Röder (DE)
Production assistent: Stephen Webb
Het Geluid & co-creators
Tamara Miller, Ted Hearne

Ted Hearne: Royal Wedding and Ballet (composition title)
Tamara Miller: In Passage (composition title)

“In Passage” is a music theatre project through which we explore our bonds with a technological and digital world, while still remaining analogue and physical humans. Through the interplay between an (especially developed) moving sound sculpture, a choir, an ensemble of musicians and new compositions, we find new connections between the virtual and the ‘real’, within our modern urban environment. How ‘human’ are we in a world that is less and less reliant on in-person contact with its new technological and digital modes of communication, work and life? How does the invisible intersection between being digitally and physically present become ‘tactile’ through means of music and sound? To create a mirror and internal feedback, two compositions were created for the kinetic loudspeaker instrument developed by artists and designers Parker Heyl, Mackenzie van Dam and Georgios Adamopoulos and the team at 4DSOUND: One by Ted Hearne, especially for the public space and one by Tamara Miller, for the interior space. In co-creating two different music pieces at two different sites, one an underground public space and the other a classic building of a former ‘Männergesangsverein’ (Scholastika), the movement through current day Munich is not only literal but creates a thematic echoing between these two ‘opposites’ as well.

Composition: Tamara MillerTed Hearne
Artistic co-creator: Rohan Chander
Conzept & Stage Direction: Romy RoelofsenGable Roelofsen
Kinetic Sound sculptures: Parker HeylMackenzie Van Dam
Software development: George Adamopoulus
Sound software & development: 4DSound: Salvador BreedPoul HollemanRoman Willems
Vocal Consultancy: KlangK / Kirsten Schötteldreier
Dramaturgy: Margriet Dijkema
Alvin Curran

Alvin Curran’s installation for a hanging self-performing piano and a large number of football boots strewn across the floor was inspired by Pier Paolo Pasolini who, because of his vast talents and interests, was an avid football player. Completely randomly and far more than artificially intelligent, the programme living within the instrument chooses from a huge number of pre-recorded data and composes an infinite number of musical events – played acoustically on this socalled “diskklavier” piano. “Footnotes 1.2“ is a sounding artwork, that welcomes the musician Marco Blaauw for a performative dialog at certain times!

Composition, Installation: Alvin Curran
Campus 2024_On the way - Aufbrüche, Fahrpläne und Reisegruppen im neuen Musiktheater

“Last Night of the Campus” is an open format to be created as part of the Campus. Students who participate in the Campus are invited to react discursively and creatively to their impressions of the Biennale and to develop short contributions. These should respond to questions such as what ideas and expectations they already brought as “baggage” and what new images, sounds, words and insights they will take away with them. What tempos and rhythms determine their own mobility? Which paths do they want to pave and take?

The students will work in groups, mixed from different universities and disciplines. The presentation does not show a final result, but a work-in-progress; a departure, not an arrival.

Concept und Realization: Prof. Dr. David Roesner
Concept und Realization: Prof. Dr. Jörn Peter Hiekel
XR Musiktheater in the Alte Utting: An immersive journey with ship and grain.
A Project of Hochschule für Musik und Theater München

The augmented reality music theatre piece ‘nimmersatt’ takes its audience on a unique journey through space and time that delves deep into the complex world of food – from its role as one of the building blocks of life to its use as a political weapon. This innovative production combines music theatre, immersive performance and multidimensional perspectives, and takes place in the unusual location of the ‘Alte Utting’, a historic steamboat in the center of the city.

‘nimmersatt’ invites its participants to come together to explore the intersections of global politics, the food industry and social critique in a world of material abundance. To start, an audience of 25 people  assemble onboard the ‘Alte Utting’, moored right beside the Munich abattoir. Wearing virtual reality headsets and to an accompaniment of live music and song, they immerse themselves in custom-made musical and virtual worlds. Music, technology and theatre merge to form a multimedia experience that offers up new perspectives on the man-made food cycle.

‘nimmersatt’ is more than just a music theatre piece – it is an immersive experience that invites its audience to reflect on the complex interrelationships between food, people and nature.

Composition: Jiro YoshiokaEve Georges
Musical Direction: Henri BonamyMarkus Hein
Direction: Waltraud LehnerPaulina Platzer
Concept: Alexandra HermentinWaltraud LehnerPaulina Platzer
Stage design, costumes: Pove Siersch
Digitaldramaturgy: Ilja Mirsky
Artistic Production Management: Alexandra Hermentin
Musical rehearsals: Andreas Ruppert
Production Management: Janna Lihl
Light and Technical support: Amelie BissingerAlfred Ouoba
Make-up: Ulli Tischler
Bodycoach: Anton Gruber
XR Production: Nightfrog GmbH
XR Consulting: Benedict Mirow
XR Project Management: Bashira Cabbara
XR Camera: Carl Amadeus Hiller
XR Development & Programming: Alexander Schmidt
Nico Sauer

RÜBER is a brand-new form of passenger transport: the transformation of the passenger compartment of a Bavarian luxury limousine – it’s insides inconspicuously dissected – into a mobile theatre space. The vehicle reacts dynamically to its environment and creates a sound bubble that transports its occupants to an acoustic parallel dimension. Which events and sounds – noises, car doors, indicators, screeching tires – are part of the norm and which are a curated element of the performance? Even the recognizable outer world sounds different from the inside: traffic noise becomes part of the experience and the journey a choreography of random movements. Who is a passer-by and who a performer positioned along the six-kilometer route? Performers merge into the street life, meddle with street life, mix up street life, they puncture the boundaries between performance and the everyday, between composition and contingency, between cinema-in-the-mind and multi-disciplinary artistic creation. Figures emerge from the teeming landscape of the world rolling past and, following the laws of a free, urban jungle, use signals and adverts to compete for the viewer’s attention.

Direction, Composition, Performance: Nico Sauer
Costumes: Jasmin Knitter
Stage Design: Nicole WytyczakNiklas Ludwig
Music-theatre for actress, vocalist, mezzo, female vocal ensemble, string ensemble and percussion
Lucia Ronchetti

Germany 2024: Zeina is dying. Her diary, which Zeina wrote to give her daughter Leyla a deeper insight into her life, falls into Leyla’s hands. Together with Leyla we dive into Zeina’s biography; once a Syrian archaeologist researching Palmyra and the story of the antique Queen Zenobia, she was forced by the war to leave Syria and seek refuge in Germany. Here her thoughts keep wandering back to her home country. In particular, it is the imaginary presence of Zenobia who is her constant companion and with whom she maintains an intimate dialogue.

Lucia Ronchetti and Mohammad Al Attar tell the story of two female Syrian figures: Zeina unites real and complex experiences of flight and migration for various modern women and contrasts her own biography to that of Zenobia. The musical element is guided by fragments from Albinoni’s Venetian opera of the same name combined with elements of traditional Syrian music. These influences are shaped by the vocals of Mais Harb and percussionist Elias Aboud, who – like Al Attar – come from Syria and are considered to be among the most outstanding artists of their culture in Germany today.

31.05.2024: 19:30h festival opening at Café Muffatwerk

Composition: Lucia Ronchetti
Libretto: Mohammad Al Attar
Translation into German language: Sandra Hetzl
Musical Direction: Susanne Blumenthal
Direction: Isabel Ostermann
Stage design and Costumes: Stephan von Wedel
Dramaturgy: Sarah Grahneis
Assistence Musical Direction: Liga Korne
Kai Kobayashi

Life would not be possible without water; it is the essential requirement for our bodies to develop, thrive, grow and survive. And yet simultaneously water is in a constant state of flux, symbolising intercommunion and transformation – in different phases of matter, forever taking on a different form, flowing through diverse bodies and linking them together. Water represents intimacy and closeness, yet at the same time it reflects the cosmic dimension of that very element which interconnects all life on Earth.

Bearing that in mind, SHALL I BUILD A DAM? interrogates, from a post-human hydro-feminist perspective, new ways for bodies, sounds, text and movement to correlate; the aim is to arrive at a new form of interaction and communion that explores possibilities beyond an antropocentric perspective with its traditional subject-object relations. Things will be in flux, will influence each other, will intermingle and interrelate. The themes are guilt and complicity, taking and giving, poetry and politics, viscosity, solidification, evaporation and elapsing.

SHALL I BUILD A DAM? is a first-time first collaboration for composer Kai Kobayashi, who has been engaged intensively in music theatre for many years, with choreographer and performer Simone Aughterlony, and lighting and set designer Joseph Wegman. The project is also part of Munich Biennale’s ongoing and fruitful collaboration with Deutsche Oper Berlin: this collective piece becomes a project in which evolution and transformation become visible and audible.

Composition: Kai Kobayashi
Direction, Choreography, Stage design, Costume: Simone Aughterlony
Stage design, Costume, Video, Light design: Joseph Wegmann
Collaboration Stage design: Aslı Ersüzer-Sökmen
Collaboration Costume: Lenna Stam
Dramaturgy: Sebastian Hanusa
Carlos Gutiérrez

Composer Carlos Gutiérrez, together with artist Tatiana Lopez and a group of 100 non-professional musicians from Munich are working on a sound theater piece based on the subject of Dual Territories, including some elements of traditional Bolivian music such as collective sound displacements of instrumental groups over long distances. The cooperation with the Münchner Volkshochschule explores and questions South American and Western European perceptions of sounds and art production. Territories of perception, forms of listening and interpretation but also as contiguous acoustic spaces with deep underlying connections where syncretic processes that range indistinctly from irreconcilable pairs to intense neighboring affections occur.

After an unconventional start in Hall X, it expands into an increasingly intricate sound sculpture along the banks of the Isar river. The performance transcends mere auditory stimulation; it becomes an exploration of spaces. The musicians will play instruments built by themselves and navigate through a sonic landscape that is both rooted in tradition and unapologetically experimental, challenging preconceptions and pushing the boundaries of what is considered technically correct.

For the TERRITORIOS DUALES performances, we invite everyone interested to take part in the rehearsals and performances. No previous musical knowledge is expected, but attendance at the rehearsals and performances is required. Children from the age of 8 and over are welcome in company.

Kick-off and rehearsals, Einstein Kultur
11 and 12 May 2024

Rehearsals, Gasteig HP8 and Isarauen
30 May to 1 June 2024

Composition and Direction: Carlos Gutiérrez Quiroga
Artistic Direction: Tatiana López Churata
A Happyning in 3 Parts
Andreas Eduardo Frank / Patrick Frank

Composers Andreas Eduardo Frank and Patrick Frank go hunting for happiness in the economic metropoles of Munich and Basel. What is the relationship between collective happiness and the unhappiness of individuals? Is it possible to share the path to happiness with others? The two Franks invite audiences to the foyer Philharmonie of the Fat Cat for a Musical Happiness forum. The three-part performance interrogates different ideas of happiness whilst journeying through the body centers of the heart, brains and intestines. Audience and performers encounter each other in a kaleidoscope of mini-concerts, music-theatrical actions, intimate discussion circles and culinary art breaks. Socio-philosophical theories meet intimate stories and deeply personal definitions of happiness. Happiness researchers and extreme athletes have their say, as do worms, Nietzsche, Gandhi, you and me.
In Georg Schütky‘s production, the differing styles of the two composers form the basis of a polyphonic and collaborative work of art: participants include the Ensemble Lemniscate, opera
singers, professional and non-professional performers, and the via-nova choir. The upshot is a place to linger, enjoy, and ponder the question of all questions: what is it, this so-called happiness?

Composition: Andreas Eduardo FrankPatrick Frank
Direction: Georg Schütky
Musical Direction: Daniel Moreira
Stage Design: Camille Daur
Costumes: Wieland Lemke
Dramaturgy: Meret KündigRoman Reeger
Production Management: Anna Crespo Palomar
Production Management Münchener Biennale: Katharina Böhler
Assistent Director: Lena Elsa Chalupka
Costume Design Assistent: Yumi Ferretti
Acting coach: Gregor Schleuning*
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best functional experience on our website. We don’t use advertising or tracking cookies or any kind of cookies that passes your data on to third parties. More info