Photo: Sebastian Buff


Composition Commission issued to Ulrich A. Kreppein: Caligari (working title)

Landestheater Coburg, Germany

Commissioned by the Landestheater Coburg and funded by the EvS Music Foundation, composer Ulrich A. Kreppein is writing a piece of multi-perspective musical theater for soloists, choir and the Philharmonic Orchestra. CALIGARI is based on the film “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” and tells of a society in fear. This silent movie released in 1920 as an echo chamber of fear is as relevant today as it was at the beginning of the 20th century. In expressionist style, from the perspective of the main protagonist Franzis, it tells the tale of the crazed Dr. Caligari, who uses the murdering somnambulist Cesare to grip a city with fear. Only at the end does it become clear that Franzis himself is the inmate of a mental hospital run by Caligari. The diffuse undertone of disorientation and paranoia pervading the film draws a parallel to our contemporary mindset in an increasingly connected and confusing world. Today, fear expressed as a loss of orientation and security is not only relevant in terms of individual sensitivities but is now also increasingly impacting political and social discourses. The music theater project CALIGARI investigates the perceptions of people possessed by fear. A new spatial concept is to be tested here in close cooperation between direction, composition and stage.

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