Marienglas – A Spatio-Acoustic Chamber Opera

Beat Gysin, Basel, Switzerland

"Marienglas" tells the story of K., the protagonist from Kafka’s unfinished novel "The Castle". K. is a sensitive but confused character. His perception is problematic and he experiences reality differently to those around him. With this spatio-acoustic chamber opera the audience wears headphones and follows K.’s story purely on the acoustic level. Like with a radio drama the audience feels transposed into the six very realistic-sounding scenes featuring all details including background noises. K.’s. character, his growing confusion, paralyzing fatigue and isolation are translated in composition terms into six pieces of music for piano trio. During the chamber opera lasting a good hour a fine envelope closes around the recumbent audience. The audience thereby experiences K.’s separation from the outside world virtually firsthand. In "Marienglas" a compositional vision can be transposed: perfectly designed inner-musical processes within the three-dimensional space. The headphones and stage system provide the technical wherewithal to make this possible. And the Kafkaesque view of the world, this tragic clash of internal and external reality, makes the unfinished novel "The Castle" an ideal literary basis. The chamber opera "Marienglas" will be performed for the first time on April 16th 2010 in Basel after which it will go on tour throughout Switzerland.

Friday, April 16th 2010, Premiere
Maurerhalle Basel, Switzerland

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