Music Theatre | 2018


Opera Premiere: 27.6.2021

Oper Frankfurt
Other performances: 28.6, 1.7, 2.7, 4.7, 5.7, 8.7, 9.7, 12.7, 14.7

Tito Ceccherini, conductor
Konrad Kuhn, drammaturgy
Soloists, actors, choir and orchestra of the Oper and Schauspiel Frankfurt

Premiere: 11.07.2021
Oper Frankfurt
Festival di Spoleto

Inferno Opera-film
by Kay Voges and Marcus Lobbes
Music by Lucia Ronchetti
Based on Dante Alighieri’s Divina Commedia
In German and Italian

With: Sebastian Kuschmann (Dante), Jan Jakub Monowid, Matthew Swensen, Frederic Mörth, Eric Ander (Dante‘s Inner Voice), Karolina Makuła (Francesca), Alexander Kravets (Ulisse), Alfred Reiter, Matthew Swensen, Frederic Mörth (Lucifero), Frank Albrecht, Rolf Drexler, Andreas Gießer, Anna Kubin, Florian Mania, Andreas Vögler (Damned Souls) and others; Vocal ensemble, Schumann String Quartet, Opern- und Museumsorchester Frankfurt am Main

A co-production of Opera and Drama Theatre Frankfurt am Main

Conductor: Tito Ceccherini
Director: Kay Voges and Marcus Lobbes
Set Design: Pia Mackert
Costume Design: Mona Ulrich
Video Art: Robi Voigt
Light Design, Director of Photography: Voxi Bärenklau
Camera: Jan Isaak Voges
Editing: Andrea Schumacher
Recording engineer: Felix Dreher
Dramaturgy: Konrad Kuhn, Ursula Thinnes, Katja Herlemann

With support by Aventis Foundation and Patronatsverein Frankfurt am Main
Composition funded by Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung

Dante is here conceived as author and principal character, living his own vision of the after-life. Many of the characters met by him on his path are Florentine, from both sides of the civil war he lived at the end of the XIII century, Guelphes supporting the Papacy and Guibellins supporting the Holy Roman Empire. They are placed in different circles of the Inferno, in the light of the gravity ot their own sins, according to Dante’s personal opinion.
The Inferno’s circles form a spiral progressively leading toward the center of the Earth were Lucifer had fallen at the beginning of time. This route to the deepest part of Earth matches with a progressive engagement and concern of Dante as explorer of the Underworld. He is the creator of this fantastic literary realm as a deus-ex-machina, who can judge the fallen human nature. On the other hand he is a sinner of his own and his mistakes are going to bring him to the solitude of the exile.
The Inferno is described as a resonating reversed cone whose deep point is Lucifer. The concentric circles of the Inferno are ordered following a progressive increase of sin. The punishments become more and more horrifying, culminating in the center of the Earth, where Lucifer is prisoner in the frozen lake Cocytus and his mouth blocks the worse of traitors.
The different damned souls are illuminated by the passage of Dante, offering them a sort of provisional stage. Bestial appetites and violence acted in life and suffered in the afterlife are described by Dante with vivid and realistic accent, with a vocabulary that mix the “vulgaris” Italian with slang expressions and onomatopoeic words, creating a plastic and expressive new language.
The landscape painted by Dante inside the descending spiral includes contrasting areas, fabulous and apocalyptic visions as the Dark Wood where he has lost himself, the Upper Hell, The city of Dis, the Rivers Achaeron and Styx, the lake Cocytus where Lucifer himself is prisoner, the Gate of Hell, The Malebolge (Evil Ditches) and a continuous flash-back to the medieval prosperous Florence, full of social tensions and change.
Last updated on
Opera for solo voices, actors, male voices vocal ensemble, mixed choir, string quartet, brass and percussions ensemble (2017-2018)
Text from Dante’s Inferno, with an epilogue by Tiziano Scarpa
Dedicated to Mariagrazia Pescetelli
Commission: Oper Frankfurt
Co-production: Oper Frankfurt/ Schauspiel Frankfurt
First performance: April, 18, 2020, Oper Frankfurt
Duration: ca. 90 m
Rai Com Music Publishing

Tito Ceccherini, conductor
Kay Voges, Marcus Lobbes, direction
Pia Maria Macker, set
Mona Ulrich, costumes
Marcel Heyde, light design
Konrad Kuhn, Ursula Thinnes, dramaturgy

Dante, Sebastian Kuschmann
Francesca, Karolina Makula
Ulisse, Alexander Kravets
Lucifer, Alfred Reiter

picture by Mona Ulrich