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.