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Commission to Johannes Maria Staud

Kunstfest Weimar (DE)

Why does power always have to be glorious? What is this glory supposed to tell of? Of the eternity of power? Or of its ever-present threat of inevitable transience? The opera missing in cantu, composed by Johannes Maria Staud in collaboration with the librettist Thomas Köck, deals with different scenarios that motivically connect with each other through an excessive search for redemption, transcendence and the insignia of power. The commission to Johannes Maria Staud for the Deutsche Nationaltheater Weimar as part of the Kunstfest Weimar is made possible by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.

Thomas Köck's theatrical work eure paläste sind leer (all we ever wanted) – eine missa in cantu was the basis for Johannes Maria Staud's new opera, which will be premiered as a co-production of the Kunstfest Weimar with the opera division of the Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar in September 2023 as part of the Kunstfest Weimar.

“The three thematic strands of the present piece, which are so artfully interwoven, virtually impose themselves on a musical setting in my opinion. Thematically, at any rate, they are timeless and burningly topical at the same time – eminently political, but linguistically always poetically and idiosyncratically realised. This powerful, loud, melancholy song, into which more and more voices and memories invade, offers me, in its thoroughly experimental structure, almost the ideal template for composing a multi-perspective work about power and its misuse. I envisage a dazzling, complex whole that allows traditional categories such as aria, recitative, ensemble scene or choral passage to recede into the background in favour of a multi-layered, hybrid-like scene arrangement. I have in mind a new kind of narration, neither static nor linear, in which music and text should retain their autonomy, but at times blend into an idiosyncratic, maelstrom-like amalgam". (Johannes Maria Staud)

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September 2, 7 and 9, 2023
Großes Haus, Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar