original title: Endlich Opfer
for large ensemble, 1 actor, 4 singer, childrens choir, tape and video
premiere: 20.09.2013 Arge Kultur Salzburg | Taschenopernfestival klang21
instrumentation: 2 S., A., T., Kinderchor (12), Fl., Klar.Sax., Hrn., Tba., Sz., Pno., Vl., Vla., Vc., Kb, fixed media
director: Thierry Bruehl
ensemble: oenm (Österreichisches Ensemble für Neue Musik)
conductor: Juan Garcia Rodriguez
childrens choir: Salzburger Landestheater, Leitung: Wolfgang Götz
Hi Victim (Endlich Opfer!) was performed by the ÖENM at the Pocket Opera Festival Salzburg and deals with a photo, which was given to the composers in the beginning of the composition process. This photo shows Italian sunbathers at the beach of Naples ignoring two dead gipsy girls lying covered with towels on the beach – it shocked the world in 2006.
When I received this photo I told the stage director Thierry Bruehl that I won’t make a music theatre about this scene. What kind of music doesn’t raise the moral pointing finger and what kind of music doesn’t celebrate pain? But the more I thought about these questions I asked myself about the moment, in which you’re confronted with a scene like this. What exactly is this awkward silence, this faint feeling of powerlessness? And I recognized that this void is full of blatant and unfulfilled desires, a methodically insanity compressed in a strong corset strangulating humanity and compassion. Showing these mechanisms that cause socio-political paralyses in a society opened the door to create a very precised-working breathing machine on the stage out of a strong construction of music, performers and mixed media.
Hi Victim starts in the void – an empty stage, a counting voice as a correlation to the waiting, musicians appear by following strict vector courses along the stage. Some are blowing dust through instruments and disappear; some are playing on their positions, isolated in the stage space. A colored conductor (Vimbayi Kaziboni) is projected conducting at the wall in the back of the protagonists trying to sync with the live conductor, but left alone at the wall being a playing object for the actor. The music consists of a live part by the ensemble and of a synchronized tape. As the stage the music is composed in thinking of spiral developing – every minute a new performer enters the stage (entering and leaving the stage is part of the score) till a machine of movements, rhythm, singing and playing is created without pausing and with only one aim: an unstoppable expanding although the structures (the corset) disallow discharging. Hi Victim has no libretto – the singers sing through solmization, the voice of the tape is counting and the actor is the only performer, who crosses the existing ways and interacts with musicians and the projected conductor – scene, music and video are interlacing each other and tell a story without any words. It’s obvious that this pocket opera is not a story about redemption, it’s the story of watching the void – with the aim to create a reflecting moment for the prerequisite of humanity.