ODYSSEY: Dead Men Die O-Ton – online Musikmagazin

Very warm applause for the entire ensemble and production


Zenaida des Aubris
published on

A core feature of the ensemble is all associated artists and performers working in all expressive performative modes.

Conveying experimental aesthetics with contextual topicality is a primary objective of the ensemble. It is therefore unsurprising, that the new production treats a theme so rich in tradition as the return of Odysseus as a music theatre mega farce. […] What at first sounds and looks like Theater of the Absurd, on second glance proves to be a remarkable undertaking for this small ensemble, which works with a lot of enthusiasm, but very little financial means. The costumes of Hanna Rode are shrill and colourful and personality evoking. Stage designer Martin Miotk has joined the two worlds with a red ramp, sometimes used as a bridge, sometimes as tribune for paroles. The difficult return of Odysseus is visualized by filmmaker Christian Striboll as march through the marsh of life. Soprano Gina May Walter is the cinema landlady Penelope, who mourns being a grass widow with perfect comedic timing, in order to punish the home comer like a fury, before she resigns and accepts him. As her son, countertenor Georg Bochow first has to go on stage as a one-man-orchestra-with-popcorn-selling-function, only then can he shed his psychosis as half-orphaned child. Baritone Martin Gerke is a wonderful sleazy comedian, who has muddled through in the role of Odysseus for thousands of years and now wishes to surrender himself to frolic. Evan Gardner’s composition is full of selective references in music history. Additionally to the primed cello sounds and other electronic outputs, there are piano citations from Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue as well as Alessandro Scarlatti’s opera Il Primo Omicido next to grecian choir declamations. The 15 music-making sirens are responsible both for singing and playing — much praise must be given on that account to the musical directors Shin-Joo Morgantini and Louis Bona as well as Evan Gardner for the electronics, because the musicians perform their pieces mostly from various positions in the hall. Very warm applause for the entire ensemble and production.

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