Watch the trailer


supported by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds

Pierre Boulez memorably declared in 1971 that the future of opera lay in the destruction of all opera houses, but in the very same year, Mauricio Kagel presented a revolutionary vision of the clean-up operation that could follow

The première of Staatstheater at the Hamburg State Opera disassembled the traditional operatic institution and indeed the whole genre into its constituent parts, creating a much sought-after path for new music theatre which is as relevant today as it was almost half a century ago. In creating the score, Kagel gathered hundreds of theatrical, instrumental, vocal and physical miniatures; certain rules govern their usage, but they are fundamentally intended to be combined freely into a unique production. A new interpretation of the work therefore presents a compositional jigsaw whose pieces have neither clear edges nor, when combined, can present an overall picture. Kagel's music theatre however operates beyond simple representation; one finds no acts and figures or beautiful songs about emotions or feelings. It rather creates a kaleidoscope of distorted quotations rotating lewdly around themselves, presenting a grotesque representation of a damaged world. If Opera Lab Berlin is to devote itself to recreating Kagel’s classic yet rarely performed magnum opus, then it must also design a kaleidoscope-like musical theater world which interested in more than itself. In Opera Lab's version, the elderly Staatstheater will become a Theatre of the Elderly State...