Photo: Harald Hoffmann


Die Hetzer: Composition Commission to Bernhard Lang

Oper Dortmund

With his development of a political, timeless and, at the same time, contemporary opera entitled "Die Hetzer" (The Rabble-Rousers) dealing with the topic of right-wing extremism Bernhard Lang is pursuing a new approach in the opera genre in terms of form. In so doing he examines whether musical theater can be political and, if so, how to prevent a work of this kind from appearing outdated in a few short years. His opera "Die Hetzer" is based on the need to artistically process the increasing erosion of democracy in Western society thereby entering into a dialogue with the audience about the existing social structure. The aim is to touch the audience and arouse their interest in topics beyond the private sphere as well as pave the way for a new kind of contemporary and political music theater. The work is based on Shakespeare's figure of Iago as well as text fragments from Shakespeare's works and their incorporation and adaptation into Verdi's opera. It is to be structured into two interlinked levels of perception, a timeless one and a very topical one. Characteristic of the latter are seven windows that are re-inhabited with socio-political content (events, biographies, circumstances) that shape each city where a performance of the work is held. The music will move stylistically on several levels and, in addition to Bernhard Lang's typical style, will include elements from Verdi's opera "Otello". The project was initiated by Heribert Germeshausen, artistic director of the opera house Oper Dortmund. The commission continues the series that kicked off with Luca Francesconi's "Quartet" and György Kurtág's "Fin de Partie" at Oper Dortmund.

March 20, 2020
Oper Dortmund

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