Composition Commission issued to Chaya Czernowin

Nationaltheater Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany


For Spring 2017 Nationaltheater Mannheim is planning an international contemporary opera project. With the support of the EvS Music Foundation renowned Israeli composer Chaya Czernowin will be commissioned with a composition for the project.

The libretto is based on the play “FRONT” premiered by director Luk Perceval at Thalia Theater Hamburg in 2014. This production was hosted throughout Europe, at such events as the Edinburgh Festival and the Summer Festival of the German Federal President. It is based on Erich Maria Remarque’s novel “All Quiet on the Western Front”. Luk Perceval will also be staging the premiere of the new opera project with the working title “Infinite Now”.

In her work Chaya Czernowin will be extending the text basis of “FRONT” to include another source: the short story “Homecoming” by the celebrated Chinese author Can Xue – a surreal and very personal story of homecoming.

Both “FRONT” and “Homecoming” talk of standstill: all figures are caught in static situations. In each case it is not certain how long this situation will last and whether there will be any deliverance.

In her libretto Czernowin artfully weaves parts of both stories together. Planned to last two to three hours the work is designed for six singers and six actors. The voice of author Can Xue, who will read her short story out in Chinese as part of the staging, is both considered as music and used in the composition.


April 18, 2017 and other dates
Ghent Opera House, Ghent

May 7, 2017 and other dates
Antwerp Opera House, Antwerp

May 26, 2017 and other dates
Nationaltheater Mannheim

June 15, 2017
Cité de la Musique, Paris

Further Information