Photo: Dominik Büttner


Kompositionsauftrag an Michael Pelzel

Opernhaus Zurich, Switzerland


Under the project title “Neues Musiktheater – Szene Schweiz” Opernhaus Zürich is commissioning the composition of a chamber opera in three consecutive seasons to a young or unknown Swiss composer to be premiered on the opera house’s Studiobühne stage. The first composition commission issued to Geneva composer Xavier Dayer was already funded by the EvS Music Foundation. For the second commission it was possible to enlist Rapperswil composer Michael Pelzel who received one of the EvS Music Foundation Composer’s Prizes in 2017. His chamber opera entitled Last Call to Elpisonia based on Dominik Riedo’s libretto will also be funded by the EvS Music Foundation and presented to the Zurich audience and directed by Isabel Ostermann. Last Call to Elpisonia focalizes the apocalyptic vision of a world suffocating in media communication – a science fiction scenario with comically grotesque features. It is the year 2118: the communication media are out of control. They have gone off on a massive tangent, threatening to become a risk to human survival. The earth is so polluted by communication that a (pathetic caricature) of a world government decides to evacuate the planet. The exodus is destined for the planet of Elpisonia leaving the earth to its own devices until it has regenerated itself. The spaceship takes off. Everyone leaves the earth. One man and one woman are accidentally left behind. They are the last people on earth. Realizing their situation, they react in panic and almost automatically spin into overdrive but then do become closer. A new (old, lost) ability to speak has to be relearnt: non-verbal communication, touching and silence. Conversations. Really getting to know one another. The musical theater form combines passages of installation-type “mechanical music” with the narrative strand featured in traditional opera and cold and mechanical media artificiality with the singing out of emotional inner worlds.

June 28, 2019 
Opernhaus Zürich, Studiobühne, Switzerland

Further Performances:
June 30 and July 4 and 6, 2019
Opernhaus Zürich, Studiobühne, Switzerland


Further Information: