ODYSSEY: Dead Men Die Siegessäule

Promising critique of capitalism

Februar 2020

Eckhard Weber
published on

The music theatre collective Opera Lab Berlin stages a controversial contemporary interpretation of the antique Odysseus theme.

Amongst the music theatre groups in the capital’s fringe scene, Opera Lab Berlin is without a doubt one of the most experimental and refreshing. The name says it all, the collective sees itself as a creative laboratory. Their plumply filled, often flamboyantly colorful pieces are all at once opera and instrumental theatre, performance and walk-in installations. Trash and camp go hand in hand with satire, sharp critique and vitriol farce. […] For their current project „Odyssey: Dead Men Die“ the collective focusses on the antique legend Odysseus. Homer portrays him as a cunning hero. Opera Lab Berlin on the other hand scrutinizes Odysseus relentlessly and puts him on trial. […] In his music for voices, instruments and electronics, Gardner works with diverse stylistic references, quotes from pop culture and music history. These references are important to him as clear indications of socio-cultural contexts, which are covered in the piece. And they are highly up-to-date. Because here the story of Odysseus is read as ‚attempt to violently and ignorantly reinstate a deeply crisis-ridden and broken social order’, as Michael Höppner explains. Promising critique of capitalism with flying sparks, chipped out of the famous antique legend.

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