Composition Commission issued to Patrick Thomas Schäfer
Protestant-Lutheran Church Congregation St. Anna, Augsburg, Germany
Voices drift through the night, some loud, some scarcely audible: the worries of a refugee on the Turkish Mediterranean coast, of a boy scared to go to sleep, the sound of border soldiers. This is how Patrick T. Schäfer’s opera Letzte Nacht (Last Night) begins. The work is a composition commission of the church music of the protestant church St. Anna in Augsburg supported by the EvS Music Foundation.
Framed in various discourse and meeting formats linked to the anniversary of the Reformation, the production Letzte Nacht is to be understood on several levels as a fresh and democratic cultural project. In terms of both the work and the production everyone involved is an aspiring young artist that wants to make and convey contemporary opera as a living aesthetic event. Furthermore, the project also connects city society, theater and church – for instance, by involving the amateur ensemble Madrigalchor St. Anna in an opera production featuring professionals like the Augsburg Philharmonic Orchestra.
One of the main aspects of Schäfer’s opera is the ambivalence of the Reformation that, once triggered, can no longer be controlled and which can be both progressive and restorative but which always means striving for absoluteness. Consequently, the tonal image oscillates between traditional media and modern techniques, between tonality, atonality and noise.
June 15 and 22, 2017
Evangelisch-Lutherische Kirchengemeinde St. Anna, Augsburg