“The Outcast” – Composition Commission issued to Olga Neuwirth

Nationaltheater Mannheim

The inspiration for Olga Neuwirth’s musical theater The Outcast is provided by New York writer Herman Melville. The creator of Moby Dick features in Neuwirth’s work as an ageing customs official looking back on his life. The composer confronts the character of Melville, a knowledgeable yet failed individual, with people from his own novels, in particular from Moby Dick. The ageing writer ponders his childhood, his writing, his power and powerlessness and yet ultimately simply longs “for the healing of the sea”. 

Mannheim’s Nationaltheater wishes to open up new forms of musical theater to a wider audience with this composition commission issued with the support of the EvS Music Foundation. Every year a piece of musical theater is to be premiered on the large stage thereby developing new forms of appreciation of contemporary music in comprehensive supporting programs.


May 2012

Nationaltheater Mannheim


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