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23. June 2014

AscheMOND or The Fairy Queen

Opera by Helmut Oehring using music by Henry Purcell | Concept and libretto by Stefanie Wördemann with texts by William Shakespeare, Heinrich Heine, Adalbert Stifter and Helmut Oehring

An ode to the transience, dark and urgent: Helmut Oehring’s current musical theatre work revolves around the existential timeless issues of love and death - with the artistic attitude that today's perception of Early music and its themes, experiences a new reference to reality, especially in the contact with contemporary composition.

An ode to the transience, dark and urgent: Helmut Oehring’s current musical theatre work revolves around the existential timeless issues of love and death - with the artistic attitude that today's perception of Early music and its themes, experiences a new reference to reality, especially in the contact with contemporary composition.



    Sung in English and German
    2:15 h | no interval
    VORWORT
    Pre-performance lecture, 45 minutes prior to each performance (in German)
    • Synopsis

      INSTEAD OF A PLOT
      Helmut Oehring and Stefanie Wördemann call ›AscheMOND‹ »a hymn to fugacity«, an opera in the course of a summer night and at the same time in the endless flow of the seasons, which nevertheless does bring some things to an end. In the words of Heinrich Heine, »Our summer is but winter painted green.« The overarching motif of the opera is the solar eclipse. The constellation in which the sun and the moon (man and woman) come closest to one another, before they both go their own way through the day and the night. Eclipse: superimposition, concealment, annihilation. In the words of Helmut Oehring, »›AscheMOND‹ sings of the forces that make the earth turn and move our hearts. This opera is about a state of uncertainty between this world and the next, life and death, love and loss. Between the enchanting beauty and strength of life and its constant everyday invalidation and existential threats.«

      As in Purcell’s semi-opera ›The Fairy Queen‹, Shakespeare’s ›Midsummer Night’s Dream‹ repeatedly shines through, engaging with the piece in many ways: doomed stories of love compounded by the encounter between the human world and the other-world of fairies. Shakespeare saw the tragedy in every comedy, social and individual. But he could see a hope in tragedy: for each individual and for the ones who follow those who have tragically failed, setting off onto a new tomorrow.

      Shakespeare’s sonnets, which Oehring set to music in central solo arias and an instrumental trio, can be read on first glance as a description of fugacity, the death of a zest and love of life. On much deeper level, they are a longing for a coming closer to one another.

      Claus Guth reacts to Oehring’s score with a fragmentary story that was conceived in a parallel process. A man returns to the home of his childhood: how did the suicide of his mother come about? Her diary offers ways to understand, yet also poses new riddles. The man once again becomes the young boy from way back when the funeral took place … the stream of memories/dream images/speculation begins to flow: there was the birthday party shortly beforehand …

      Is that how it was? Or was it perhaps like this? What happened? A woman (the mother) and her husband (the father), her sister and her husband, a friend. The heart and soul of the home, and the boy who tries to
      understand: then and now.