To compose the opera

Tracing the word back to the moment of its becoming, to where it, coming from the inner world, pushes its way through the pores of the flesh into the outer world and becomes sound and rhythm. At this constriction, where out of an infinite wobbling something wells up reduced to a sound, in the antechamber of sense, I had set myself up compositionally.

The transition from flesh to sound is the place where misunderstanding begins. Peter Handke says that misunderstanding is how he sees the world. Perhaps his statement can be extended with: Misunderstandings are how one sees oneself and the world. How much I misunderstood the words of the opera libretto can be seen in the melodization of the text, with melodies that are in complete contradiction to it. The misunderstanding does not concern the actual content of the words, of the sentences, it concerns what I call the musical background of the word. Every word has rhythm, has melody or fragments of it. If you listen to the word, if you eavesdrop on its sound, its noise, and how letter connections become rhythms and how words combine into larger structures, the way words and sentences want to be sung is already present. The melodies and rhythms in POEMS of the DAILY MADNESS are often in stark contrast to the meaning of the lyrics. I decided to use these misunderstandings as a compositional method of tension and resistance, even applied against myself. This allowed me to write music in a style that I would never have composed otherwise.

POEMS of the DAILY MADNESS Claudia Bosse + Günther Auer / theatercombinat, Bochum 2018 from theatercombinat on Vimeo.

POEMS of the DAILY MADNESS is a walk-in opera, spatial sculpture and political singspiel all at once. Under the impression of assassinations and racist attacks, Claudia Bosse examines the effects of our political present on our everyday rituals, on thinking and acting within a visibly polarizing public. Her fragmentary, manifest-like and reflexive texts meet resistively with Günther Auer’s electro-acoustic compositions. Between the chants of the allegorical figures POEMS, HATE CRIME, MADNESS and TERROR, the coordinates in the choreographed space permanently shift, just as the effects of our political present are transferred to us – do we move freely or are we moved?

Concept, text, space, direction: Claudia Bosse * Composition: Günther Auer * MADNESS: Mirjam Klebel * HATE CRIME: Nic Lloyd * POEMS: Nicola Schößler * TERROR: Alexandra Sommerfeld * A choir of local singers completes the performance at the Favoriten Festival: Ines Hardieck, Sarah Heckner, Friedhelm Koch, Elke Köhn, Mamadoo Mehrnejad, Susanne Slobodzian, Josephin Tischner, Anne Werthmann * Choir direction: Julia Wendel *

With the kind support of a residency of workspacebrussels, Belgium. theatercombinat is supported with funds from the Cultural Department of the City of Vienna – MA7.

The adaptation for the Favoriten Festival in Dortmund/Bochum is made possible by a grant from the Kunststiftung NRW.