Karlheinz Stockhausen: "Mittwoch aus Licht"
Birmingham Opera Company, UK
With the support of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, the Birmingham Opera Company stages the premiere of Stockhausen’s last un-performed opera Mittwoch aus Licht as a highlight of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival.
Mittwoch is the only Stockhausen work never to have been performed in its entirety. Dedicated to each day of the week, Licht is an epic work of over 29 hours of music composed between 1977 and 2003. Six operas of the cycle premiered at La Scala, Covent Garden, Opera Leipzig and Opera Cologne. The 7th and as yet un-performed Mittwoch is a hugely ambitious opera consisting of 6 parts, which are played in two adjacent halls. The most spectacular part - the helicopter quartet - requires each soloist of a string quartet to play inside a helicopter hovering above the venue, with sound and images relayed back into the auditorium.
Inspired by and featuring the central figures of Eve, Lucifer and Michael, Licht explores a spiritual world of world peace and global harmony. Its powerful vision of harmony between humans and the universe offers a fitting cultural equivalent to the internationalism and the values of the Olympic Games and London 2012.
The production features an outstanding artistic team. Internationally acclaimed opera director Graham Vick and his award-winning company Birmingham Opera Company will stage the work in the extraordinary industrial site Argyle Works in Birmingham. Musical direction is by Stockhausen’s long-time collaborator Kathinka Pasveer.
Premiere: August 22, 2012
Argyle Works, Birmingham