Scenic world premiere of »Hypermusic Prologue«

news_2013-09_hypermusic01 Hypermusic Prologue © Aron Kitzig & Fabian Lefelmann
news_2013-09_hypermusic02 Hypermusic Prologue © Aron Kitzig & Fabian Lefelmann
news_2013-09_hypermusic03 Hypermusic Prologue © Aron Kitzig & Fabian Lefelmann
news_2013-09_hypermusic04 Hypermusic Prologue © Aron Kitzig & Fabian Lefelmann

Zafraan Ensemble presents the scenic world premiere of the chamber opera »Hypermusic Prologue« by Hèctor Parra und Lisa Randall. The performances will take place on 4, 5, and 6 October 2013 at Sopiensaele Berlin and on 16, 17, and 18 October 2013 at Gare du Nord Basel.

When the extra-dimensional space is undetectable in front of our eyes, can we at least sense it acoustically? Inspired by the bestseller Warped Passages, Hèctor Parra wrote a chamber opera together with Harvard physicist Lisa Randall. The work deals with hidden universes, the existential urge to research as well as our boundaries of understanding and interdependencies in the so-called real world.

With the libretto of Hypermusic Prologue, Lisa Randall draws on her popular science books, in which she attempts to make the five-dimensional hyper space more accessible to the layperson. The central figure is a scientist, torn between her love for her partner and her passion for theoretical physics. In the course of the opera, she finds herself immersed in the fifth dimension, while her partner remains tied to normal space-time. Hèctor Parra found a sensual and energetic musical language for this material, enabling the listener to experience the complex hyper reality both emotionally and intellectually through the use of psycho-acoustic effects. Thus, the audience is taken on an oftentimes bizarre and absurd journey, which offers not only points of contact with parallel worlds, but also access to a unique inner experience.

Hypermusic Prologue was commissioned by the Ensemble Intercontemporain and IRCAM-Centre Pompidou. The one-hour opera was premiered by the Ensemble Intercontemporain and IRCAM at Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris in June 2009, with a large scale video projection by Matthew Ritchie and mise en espace by Paul Desveaux. Hypermusic Prologue will now receive its scenic premiere, directed by Benjamin Schad (winner of the Götz-Friedrich-Regiepreis in 2012).

For the performances at Sopiensaele Berlin (4, 5 and 6 October 2013) and at Gare du Nord Basel (16, 17, and 18 October 2013), a top-notch cast has been engaged including Johanna Greulich (soprano) and Robert Koller (baritone). The eight musicians of the Zafraan Ensemble will be conducted by Manuel Nawri, while the complex live electronics designed at IRCAM by Thomas Goepfer will be controlled by Wolfgang Heiniger.

Sophiensaele Berlin: 4, 5 and 6 October 2013, 8 pm
Gare du Nord Basel: 16, 17 and 18 October 2013, 8 pm
Instituto Cervantes Berlin, 1 October 2013, 8 pm: Introduction with Hèctor Parra, Elena Mendoza (composer), Enno Poppe (composer) and Prof. Stefan Koelsch (neuroscientist), presented by Jens Schroth. Admission free, with simultaneous interpreting.

Cast and contributors
Benjamin Schad (Direction), Tobias Flemming (Stage, Costumes), Aron Kitzig (Light, Video), Joshua Wicke (Dramaturgy), Manuel Nawri (Musical Direction), Johanna Greulich (Soprano), Robert Koller (Baritone), Wolfgang Heiniger und Hadas Pe’ery (Electronics), Zafraan Ensemble, Clemens Hund-Göschel und Sebastian Solte (Production)

A production of Zafraan Ensemble in co-production with Gare du Nord and Sophiensaele.
Funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds, Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, Spanische Botschaft in Berlin, Fachausschuss Musik BS/BL, Ernst Göhner Stiftung and Jubiläumsstiftung der Basellandschaftlichen Kantonalbank.
Supported by Instituto Cervantes, Institut Ramon Llull, Einstein Forum and Klangzeitort Institut für Neue Musik as well as media partners Opernwelt, rbb Kulturradio, concerti, taz.die tageszeitung.