Music Theatre | 2009

Der Sonne entgegen

Der Sonne entgegen is a dramatic reflection for 14 solo vocal-performers, brass ensemble and live electronics. New and old frontiers of our hyper-communicative world are the main subjects, the point of departure of the project.
The dramaturgy follows the multiple transformations of the 14 performers in fragmented, associatively connected, and dramatic situations. They emerge as Europeans enjoying a seemingly wonderful holiday on an exotic island-bubble; as refugees facing an insurmountable barrier in a desert-like place; as stateless people or survivors living in the first world and finally as unheard intellectuals lost in complex discussions about loss of territory and migration. A figure-skating girl gliding through the polished space crossing frontiers, a choir of the dead standing on the border discussing the almighty power of time, an Iceberg speaking about his borderless Antarctic Land, are out-group characters, external observers.
The cast performs as singers and actors. They appear as a percussion orchestra creating every sound with their voices, bodies, and simple props, using the stage as a gigantic drum. For long parts of the performance there is no external sound support, except the plain and sometimes fragile a cappella performance.
At the end of the piece, the brass-ensemble creates a meta-historical event referring to the Flood, a remake of the biblical story where everything seems too complex, too loosely connected and impossible to solve. The storm affects the performers, the music, the narration, and the audience as well. We want the artificial sound-event to turn into a real force; the theatre transforms into a sinking ship.
We aim to create music theatre that overcomes the traditional idea of solo performers as fixed protagonists, but instead works towards an ever-changing heterogeneous group performance, where single persons pop out of the stage-community for one moment to express their originality and just vanish the next second.
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Music theater for 14 voices, brass ensemble and live electronics (2007, rev. 2009)
Text by Steffi Hensel
4S.2M.2C.3T.3B, Brass 2. 1. 1. 1
Prize from Fonds Experimentelles Musiktheater NRW 2006
Prize from “Music Theater Now” ITI Berlin 2008

Supported by
Hauptstadtkulturfonds, Berlin for  2010
Kunststiftung NRW,
Deutscher Musikrat
Initiative Neue Musik Berlin
Italienisches Kulturinstitut, Berlin
Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst

Fonds Experimentelles Musiktheater NRW 2006
MaerzMusik, Berlin, 21 March 2010

First performance of new version:  MaerzMusik, Berlin, 21 March 2010
Katia Guedes, Andrea Chudak, Ruth Rosenfeld, Estelle Lefort (Sopranos)
Anna Charim, Regina Jakobi (Mezzosopranos)
Kyoung-Ran Won, Claudia von Hasselt (Contraltos)
Volker Nietzke, Eloi Prat i Morgades, Florian Just (Tenors)
Andreas Fischer, Martin Gerke, Simon Robinson (Basses)
Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, Timo Kreuser (conductor)
Thomas Seelig (live electronics), Lothar Baumgarten (set)
Svenja Gassen (costumes), Elisabetta Benassi (video)
Michael von zur Mühlen (director)

Publisher: Edizioni musicali Rai Trade
Duration: ca. 90 m