• The opera has begun: 14.11.2020, 15:02:13
  • Die Oper hat begonnen: 14.11.2020, 15:02:13
  • The opera has begun: 14.11.2020, 15:02:13
  • Die Oper hat begonnen: 14.11.2020, 15:02:13
  • The opera has begun: 14.11.2020, 15:02:13
  • Die Oper hat begonnen: 14.11.2020, 15:02:13
  • The opera has begun: 14.11.2020, 15:02:13
  • Die Oper hat begonnen: 14.11.2020, 15:02:13

The Village

 

An Opera through space and time

Joel Mandelbaum Susan Fox The village

 Joel Mandelbaum (Composer)

&

Susan Fox (Librettist)

The Opera "The village", composed by Joel Mandelbaum, first performed in 1995 in New York, is based on a true story: A young boy is brought to a French village by his mother. He has to hide here.  It is the old story of “new in town”- but the stakes are high. If David is found out he and the whole village risk persecution by the Nazis.

 

The village choses to protect the boy.

 

In the end the boy survives.

 

More than 6 million others are dead.

 

The village can be understood as a microcosm- a microcosm we will not leave until the orchestra has played the last note. And yet the village isn’t an island- it’s impossible to keep the outside out. News, rumors and letters continue to find their way in. In the end the outside- personified by the German soldiers who come to occupy the village- becomes a presence that can no longer be ignored.

 

The world cannot be locked out, it cannot be stopped and it cannot be rewinded- even if there are moments when we wish we could do exactly that.

It seems fitting to set the opera today, in the year 2020, a year of big changes. New times require new artistic expression. Art should not and cannot be tidied away neatly, the same way you cannot neatly tidy away the 6 million victims of the Holocaust. We are living in times that are radically changing our understanding of inside and outside, the public and the private. This also has consequences for art.

 

We've transformed the traditional kick scooter, so that it's easy to fold and take with you, simple to use, appealing, and — perhaps most important — fun.

This is why director Agnes Oberauer has decided to set this opera in the entire city of Hamburg and over the course of five months. Hamburg is full of its past. You can find it in its memorials, its architecture, its people, their memories and- last but not least- in the ground beneath our feet.

 

We have gone on a search- a search for places that have something to tell-the school Bullenhuser Damm, the concentration camp memorial site Neuengamme, the Hannoversche Bahnhof, the debris in the ground beneath Rothenburgsort…and for the places that have become invisible.

 

We've transformed the traditional kick scooter, so that it's easy to fold and take with you, simple to use, appealing, and — perhaps most important — fun.

 

This is why director Agnes Oberauer has decided to set this opera in the entire city of Hamburg and over the course of five months. Hamburg is full of its past. You can find it in its memorials, its architecture, its people, their memories and- last but not least- in the ground beneath our feet.

 

We have gone on a search- a search for places that have something to tell-the school Bullenhuser Damm, the concentration camp memorial site Neuengamme, the Hannoversche Bahnhof, the debris in the ground beneath Rothenburgsort…and for the places that have become invisible.

    What is a village?

In music a motif is defined as the smallest musical entity. It can be repeated, transferred and changed. It can merge with other motifs. It can disappear and reappear. Music cannot be frozen. It swims in the river of time, exists only in the present moment- and in our memory. We do not want to lock this piece up in time either. We want it to take place in the time-span of several months- in the entire city of Hamburg and with the entire city of Hamburg. We want to set different motifs: Objects, characters, gestures, people, sounds and texts. We want to let them come alive in different places, disappearing and reappearing in a different form, in another context, in another place.

 

Like this we hope to place an invisible map over Hamburg: in real and digital space. We want to make the invisible visible, turning the inside out and the outside in. We want to span strings through space and time: a net of motifs merging into each other.  We want to send every character, every note, every theme, every object on a journey- through Hamburg and through time- finally coming together- and maybe colliding against each other- in April 2021 at St. Katharinenkirche Hamburg.

 

We want the past to dance with the present.

 

 

Joel Mandelbaum Susan Fox The village
Joel Mandelbaum Susan Fox The village