With breathtaking emotional power, Michael Hersch and Stephanie Fleischmann retell the story of Emperor Nero and his wife Poppaea: the most powerful woman in the world 2000 years ago, a ruthless fight for one’s own goals, the burning of Rome and the end of a world. This opera premiere directed by Markus Bothe ventures on a red-hot journey to the dark side of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea. The Basel-based company “Piertzovanis Töws Architekten” turns the stage design into a statement for consciously dealing with the consequences of one’s own actions.

“Poppaea is an opera about a woman whose desire is limitless; a woman who must endure many things and make her way through a world in which women are systematically silenced. The violence that prevails in this world is extreme. It begs the question: How far have we come? How little have we progressed?” (Michael Hersch / Stephanie Fleischmann)

https://zeitraeumebasel.com/produktionen

1517 and 2017

The Reformation thoughts, taking up the old heretical voices of the mystics and developing them further, led to a political and inner-church upheaval of unimagined dimensions and later influenced the Enlightenment and secularization.

Today, global economic interests are confronted with tendencies of national isolation and radicalizing religious fundamentalism. In between are people. They are lynched, tortured, incapacitated, expelled or, misled by false hopes for a better life, seduced and forced to flee.

Imagine: an overcrowded boat on the stormy Mediterranean Sea at night. Hundreds of people cry out desperately and perhaps silently for help.

Or listen in on the flames of the burning Grenfell Tower in London.

Woe betide if the voices were to become loud and reach our ears unhindered!

Statements of the reformers Oekolampad Basel | Zwingli Zurich | Haller Bern | Farel Lausanne and Luther | the threat of banishment from Rome | Mallarmé “Le Coup de Dès” | Freud “Why War” | victims of genocide from Myanmar, 2016 | the holy figures of the “Heavenly Court” in the choir vault of the Bern Cathedral | names of Jewish, Christian and Islamic mystics and the first names of a Swiss school were brought together in the composition process and mixed to form the libretto of the space symphony “STEINHIMMEL”.

The church space as an instrument becomes a resonating space, an echoing space, which all those listening, singing, playing make resound through their presence and their devotion and steer, as it were, like Noah’s Ark through the times of the present.

Daniel Glaus

Walk-in music theater installation between intoxication and ritual

In their first opera production, Susanne Kennedy and Markus Selg create a posthumanist “Gesamtkunstwerk”. In doing so, they break down boundaries between man and machine, future and past, theater, visual art and virtual reality. The constantly rotating stage becomes the living space of a new kind of community. It cultivates a hieroglyphic language of movement and seems to live according to its own enigmatic rules. Inspired by the unconventional genius Albert Einstein, Philip Glass created a 20th century musical masterpiece that breaks all the rules of opera and follows no linear narrative structure. Repetitive patterns make time sensually tangible and put the audience into trance. The audience can move freely and experience the work individually.


other artists:

Performance/Dance – Suzan Boogaerdt, Tarren Johnson, Frank Willens, Tommy Cattin, Dominic Santia, Ixchel Mendoza Hernández
Basler Madrigalisten (conductor: Raphael Immoos) – Anna Miklashevich, Viola Molnar, Viviane Hasler (soprano), Barbara Schingnitz, Schoschana Kobelt, Leslie Leon (alto), Patrick Siegrist, Daniel Issa, Christopher Wattam (tenor), Othmar Sturm, Valerio Zanolli, Amir Tiroshi (bass)

Production of Theater Basel in cooperation with Berliner Festspiele and Wiener Festwochen


further information:

https://www.theater-basel.ch/de/einsteinonthebeach

Walk-in music theater installation between intoxication and ritual

In their first opera production, Susanne Kennedy and Markus Selg create a posthumanist “Gesamtkunstwerk”. In doing so, they break down boundaries between man and machine, future and past, theater, visual art and virtual reality. The constantly rotating stage becomes the living space of a new kind of community. It cultivates a hieroglyphic language of movement and seems to live according to its own enigmatic rules. Inspired by the unconventional genius Albert Einstein, Philip Glass created a 20th century musical masterpiece that breaks all the rules of opera and follows no linear narrative structure. Repetitive patterns make time sensually tangible and put the audience into trance. The audience can move freely and experience the work individually.


other artists:

Performance/Dance – Suzan Boogaerdt, Tarren Johnson, Frank Willens, Tommy Cattin, Dominic Santia, Ixchel Mendoza Hernández
Basler Madrigalisten (conductor: Raphael Immoos) – Anna Miklashevich, Viola Molnar, Viviane Hasler (soprano), Barbara Schingnitz, Schoschana Kobelt, Leslie Leon (alto), Patrick Siegrist, Daniel Issa, Christopher Wattam (tenor), Othmar Sturm, Valerio Zanolli, Amir Tiroshi (bass)

Production of Theater Basel in cooperation with Berliner Festspiele and Wiener Festwochen


further information:

https://www.theater-basel.ch/de/einsteinonthebeach

Walk-in music theater installation between intoxication and ritual

In their first opera production, Susanne Kennedy and Markus Selg create a posthumanist “Gesamtkunstwerk”. In doing so, they break down boundaries between man and machine, future and past, theater, visual art and virtual reality. The constantly rotating stage becomes the living space of a new kind of community. It cultivates a hieroglyphic language of movement and seems to live according to its own enigmatic rules. Inspired by the unconventional genius Albert Einstein, Philip Glass created a 20th century musical masterpiece that breaks all the rules of opera and follows no linear narrative structure. Repetitive patterns make time sensually tangible and put the audience into trance. The audience can move freely and experience the work individually.


other artists:

Performance/Dance – Suzan Boogaerdt, Tarren Johnson, Frank Willens, Tommy Cattin, Dominic Santia, Ixchel Mendoza Hernández
Basler Madrigalisten (conductor: Raphael Immoos) – Anna Miklashevich, Viola Molnar, Viviane Hasler (soprano), Barbara Schingnitz, Schoschana Kobelt, Leslie Leon (alto), Patrick Siegrist, Daniel Issa, Christopher Wattam (tenor), Othmar Sturm, Valerio Zanolli, Amir Tiroshi (bass)

Production of Theater Basel in cooperation with Berliner Festspiele and Wiener Festwochen


further information:

https://www.theater-basel.ch/de/einsteinonthebeach

With breathtaking emotional power, Michael Hersch and Stephanie Fleischmann retell the story of Emperor Nero and his wife Poppaea: the most powerful woman in the world 2000 years ago, a ruthless fight for one’s own goals, the burning of Rome and the end of a world. This opera premiere directed by Markus Bothe ventures on a red-hot journey to the dark side of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea. The Basel-based company “Piertzovanis Töws Architekten” turns the stage design into a statement for consciously dealing with the consequences of one’s own actions.

“Poppaea is an opera about a woman whose desire is limitless; a woman who must endure many things and make her way through a world in which women are systematically silenced. The violence that prevails in this world is extreme. It begs the question: How far have we come? How little have we progressed?” (Michael Hersch / Stephanie Fleischmann)

https://www.wienmodern.at/2021-hersch-fleischmann-poppaea-en-2172

We all know it: suddenly a warm wind comes up and dries all the clouds from the sky. The mountains move closer together, everything seems closer, clearer, more beautiful, brighter and the sun shines in its massiveness: postcard magic!
The “Föhn” wind has its origin on the northern slopes of our mountains. It is loved and feared, longed for and cursed. It can be felt as far as the border runs in the north of our country, and the Swiss themselves even complain that it afflicts them, tormenting them with headaches, bone aches and pains of the soul. The Föhn belongs to the alpine world and to the alpine countries like the mountains themselves. It is deeply rooted in everyday life and a piece of distinctive identity, bringing sweet magic and devastating devastation. The “Föhn” is an archaic, cyclical weather and drama of the Swiss cultural landscape that has always helped shape its uniqueness. Surprisingly, one hardly finds this theme in the world of music and theater. Musician and director Christian Zehnder wants to remedy this situation: his interdisciplinary music theater project “Föhn” explores, laments and celebrates this phenomenon that is so quintessentially Swiss. Swiss author Urs Widmer has written especially for this project, the myth of the “Föhn” in the Swiss Alps, which is still unwritten in the alpine cultural landscape.


Carina Braunschmidt, Martin Hug, Hans Rudolf Twerenbold – actors
man’s choir (dir: Fritz Näf)


text: Urs Widmer
concept, direction, room concept: Christian Zehnder
co-composition: Christian Zehnder
choreographie: Theresa Rotemberg
costumes: Karen Feelizitas Petermann
sound: Amadis Brugnoni
lighting: Makus Küry