Choral Opera | 2009


The actions, realised in the open air along the streets of Munich, is intended as parades that lead the public to where some lectures will take place.  It is an in-transit music theatre project, connecting and introducing other events.
The main subject of the piece is  utopia and the reality of  social life, as sketched, with attention to political and sociological issues, in the sarcastic, ironic and visionary portrait penned by Sebastian Brant in 1494.
One of the actors will represent the intelligent and cultivated humanist Sebastian Brant himself,  as he gives advice, makes political comments and pronounces prophecies to the crazy assortment of people following the ship (represented by an open stage lorry that moves along with the parade).  Brant would often distribute political and polemical handbills to the people of Basel.
Because of the importance given to words, to communication with the community through emphatic and rhetorical speech, the project recalls the  Agitprop period in Germany, as it seeks an inter-communicative form of music theatre,  with spontaneous interaction between performers and non-professionals .
Some fragments  from Das Narrenschiff will be divided amongst  the different “characters” of the four parades and commented on by other texts.

The musicians will be involved in simple but massive and explosive choral effects, elaborate ostinato and solo improvisations, reminiscent of the Massenspiel and the  politically charged Sprechchor, and vocal and instrumental soloists will be equipped with megaphones and/or  contact microphones and loudspeakers, which will be structurally incorporated into their costumes:  they will be modern Minnesängers.

The processions will  have no polemical meaning, but will simply embody the historical form of a public demonstration. This free-style, mobile form will accompany the public to the luogo deputato of a stationary event, representing the meta-shift of  Brant's polemical and visionary text.
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In-transit action after Sebastian Brant
for actors, soloists, amateur wind orchestra, amateur male choir,
skateboarders and passers-by (2009)
Text based on Sebastian Brant
Commission: Bayerische Staatsoper
First performance: Munich Opera Festival 2010
29 June 2010, Enragement
6 July 2010, Exhaustion
13 July 2010, Equability
20 July 2010, Enchantment
Stephan Merki, Lea Salfeld, Florian Innerebner (actors)
Neyko Bodurov, Nenad Markovic (trumpets)
Valeri Pachov (trombone)
Melvyn Poore (tuba)
Wolfgang Winkel (percussion)
Christopher Ward (conductor)
Express Brass Band,  Wolfli Schlick (conductor)
Miron Hakenbeck, Andrea Schönhofer (dramaturgy)
Thomas Seelig (audio design and editing)
Sonja Albartus (set and costumes)
Barbara Weber (director)
Publisher: Edizioni musicali Rai Trade
Duration: ca. 40 m (each section)