Gabriel Prokofiev: Elizabetta (2019)

Commissioned by Regensburg Opera and written in collaboration with celebrated librettist David Poutney (director of WNO), Elizabetta is a contemporary, thriller opera inspired by the infamous Countess Elisabeth Báthory.

Set in the present day, Elizabetta opens as a satire of the current obsession with fitness and health, and Instagram narcissism, before delving into darker, more serious issues – such as human trafficking, the Ebola crisis, slavery, adoption and DNA testing  – prompting the question: what is the true cost of vanity and our yearning for self preservation?

Scored for full symphony orchestra, electronics and extensive percussion, Gabriel brings a refreshingly 21st century approach to Elizabetta, fusing classic operatic aria & recitative with techno & dance, TV-commercials, Congolese song, contemporary classical and electronic music.

This fast-paced, 25 scene, poly-stylistic ‘cinematic’ opera is directed by critically acclaimed German director Marcus Lobbes, with projection-led design from Michael Deeg, ingenious costumes from Christl Wein, featuring Regensburg Opera’s versatile soloists and 24-strong chorus. Conducted by Chin-Chao Lin.


George Benjamin: Lessons in Love and Violence (2018)

A king is forced to choose between love and a tough political stance. He takes a fateful decision, plunging the country into civil war and turning his own wife and son irreconcilably against him. But once the son has learned a few painful lessons in realpolitik and the ‘surgical’ use of violence, he commits a terrible act of violence in front of his own mother – with the intention of making peace.

For Lessons in Love and ViolenceGeorge Benjamin and author Martin Crimp were inspired by the quick scene changes and the vulnerable, complicated characters of Elizabethan drama. Their new opera is therefore also concerned with the question of whether – and to what extent – the dangerous machinery of power leaves scope for love and affection.

Musical director: George Benjamin
Author: Martin Crimp
Stage director: Katie Mitchell
Sets and costumes: Vicki Mortimer
Lighting: James Farncombe
Director of movement: Joseph Alford
Orchestra: Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
King: Stéphane Degout
Isabel: Barbara Hannigan
Gaveston/ Stranger: Gyula Orendt
Mortimer: Peter Hoare
Boy/Young King: Samuel Boden
Witness 1/ Singer 1/ Woman 1: Jennifer France
Witness 2/ Singer 2/ Woman 2: Krisztina Szabó
Witness 3 / Madman: Andri Björn Róbertsson
Girl: Ocean Barrington-Cook

Eva Reiter: MITRA (2018)

The portrait of an Iranian psychoanalyst who is wrongfully interned and her battle for freedom with almost mythical proportions.Following the cry for help from his Iranian colleague Mitra Kadivar, psychoanalyst Jacques-Alain Miller tries to free her from a psychiatric hospital in Teheran by means of e-mail correspondence. Based on this heartfelt correspondence Mitra brings the story of Kadivar’s fight. On the crossroads between opera, film and installation is this a genuine cry from the depths of imprisonment and isolation. Mitra attests of the resistance of our humanity, which is vulnerable and stands up against everything that destroys it. Besides this on-stage version Jorge León also made the film ‘Mitra’ which will be shown in selected international cinemas from autumn 2018.




Hauen und Stechen: Fidelio – Ein deutscher Albtraum in vier Folgen (2018)



Um ihren politisch verfolgten Gatten aus dem Gefängnis zu befreien, arbeitet Leonore undercover als Gefängniswärter Fidelio. Doch nicht nur die Gefangenen, auch das Gefängnispersonal lebt gefährlich: In einem unübersichtlichen Fegefeuer der Folter und der Bürokratie muss es sich zwischen Karriere, Angst und der Hoffnung auf privates Glück zerreißen, während die versprochene symphonische Gerechtigkeit der utopischen Republik auf sich warten lässt. Statt treuer Gattenliebe und einem Schulbuchhumanismus erwarten Leonore in Schwarz-Rotz-Gold-Sturm. Fidelio – Ein deutscher Albtraum in vier Folgen eine lesbische Liebe und große Lust auf Kampf.

In ЯOTZ, dem zweiten Teil der Serie, hüllt sich Beethovens Befreiungsoper in rote Gewänder, um den Leichen aus den Kerkern des deutschen Idealismus auf den Leim zu gehen. Rot ist das Blut der Herrschenden, rot sind die Knöchel der Gerechten und das glühende Eisen, das sich auf ihre Haut presst. Rot ist die untergehende Sonne und das beginnende Fest, bei dem geknutscht und gerauft wird, vielleicht bis zur Revolution. Nach wie vielen Flaschen hört der Glaube an den Rechtsstaat auf? Nach wie vielen Flaschen öffnen wir die Tore der Gefängnisse?

VON UND MIT Musiktheaterkollektiv HAUEN•UND•STECHEN | REGIE Julia Lwowski | DRAMATURGIE Maria Buzhor | BÜHNE Romy Springsguth | KOSTÜME Ingibjörg Jara Sigurðardóttir | VIDEO Martin Mallon | SOPRAN Angela Braun | SCHAUSPIEL Gina-Lisa Maiwald, Wieland Schönfelder | BRATSCHE Louis Bona | SCHLAGWERK Evdoxia Filippou | KLAVIER/ORGEL Roman Lemberg | PERFORMANCE Geoffroy Grison, Tatjana Moutchnik REGIEASSISTENZ Marie Roth | AUSSTATTUNGSASSISTENZ Charlotta Hench | AUSSTATTUNGSHOSPITANZ Jorinde Sturm

Eine Produktion von Musiktheaterkollektiv HAUEN•UND•STECHEN in Koproduktion mit SOPHIENSÆLE. Gefördert im Fonds Doppelpass der Kulturstiftung des Bundes und durch die Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa – Spartenoffene Förderung.

Damien Ricketson: THE HOWLING GIRLS (2018)

In the weeks following Sept 11, five young women present separately to hospitals in New York with identical symptoms. They are unable to swallow, and believe that some debris or body part from the destruction has lodged in their throats. The surgeon who examines them finds no obstruction.

The Howling Girls is a new chamber opera dissecting the medium and metaphor of the voice, its loss and attempted reconstitution. A solo voice constricted, wheezing, stammering, in decay, a teenage chorus of howling girls, an absent mass, an unearthly theremin, a spectacle of fragmented bodies and voices. A sublime aural and perceptual encounter.

  • Composer: Damien Ricketson
  • Musical Director: Jack Symonds
  • Director: Adena Jacobs
  • Set & Costume Design: Eugyeene Teh
  • Lighting Design: Jenny Hector
  • Sound Design: Bob Scott
  • With: Jane Sheldon and teenagers from 
    The House that Dan Built: Grace Campbell,
    Kittu Hoyne, Kiri Jenssen, Emily Pincock, 
    Jayden Selvakumaraswamy, Sylvie Woodhouse
  • Dates: 8pm Wed 28 March, Tue 3, Wed 4, Fri 6, Sat 7 April 2018
  • Venue: Carriageworks Bay 20, 245 Wilson St Eveleigh

Composers Website:

Venues Website:

Klaus Janek: MUSRAOPERA (2018)

During the month-long residency in the quarter of Musrara sounding situations developed a participatory mobile radio opera based on the voices of the neighbourhood. In a collective dialogue we draw a description of the present and futures to be heard in an acoustic portrait. The piece moves as a radiophonic opera through the city landscape transforming it into its stage. How to deal with a format full of past and tradition like the opera, when present is the moment we have, the time frame and power to make transformation happen? Theatre and performance are a strategy to imagine in a concrete way what we do not know and how (personal and collective) history could be staged. It is the fictive rehearsal and master training of transforming the uncertain present into a wished future world in which we want to construct our broader neighbourhood.

Composers website:

Heinz Holliger: Lunea (2018)

The poet Nikolaus Lenau is one of the most fascinating artistic personalities of the Romantic period. A dramatist, political intellectual, guitarist and violinist, as well as the most successful lyricist of the Biedermeier period, he was a highly talented polymath. Lenau led a restless, intense life informed by his love for a succession of women before becoming mentally deranged in 1844, remaining in psychiatric care until his death in 1850. His most passionate and almost lifelong love affair was with Sophie von Löwenthal, the wife of his friend Max. With Sophie, Lenau maintained a dual correspondence that was split between “official” letters and unrestrainedly intimate messages.

The Swiss musician Heinz Holliger, one of today’s most important composers, was so drawn to Nikolaus Lenau’s transgressive life, work, ideas and sensibility that he made the figure of the poet the subject of his song Lunea, which was premièred by Christian Gerhaher five years ago at Zurich Opera House. Lunea in turn became the nucleus of a new opera about Nikolaus Lenau, which will now be premièred at Zurich Opera House.

Lenau-Szenen in 23 Lebensblättern by Heinz Holliger (*1939)

Musical director: Heinz Holliger
Librettist: Händl Klaus
Producer: Andreas Homoki
Stage design: Frank Philipp Schlössmann
Costumes: Klaus Bruns
Musical assistance: Michael Richter
Lighting designer: Franck Evin
Choir director: Raphael Immoos
Dramaturgy: Claus Spahn

Lenau: Christian Gerhaher
Sophie von Löwenthal: Juliane Banse
Anton Schurz: Ivan Ludlow
Marie Behrends/Karoline Unger: Sarah Maria Sun
Therese Schurz: Annette Schönmüller

Philharmonia Zürich
Basler Madrigalisten
Statistenverein am Opernhaus Zürich

World Premiere: 4 March 2018

Joe Diebes: Oyster (2018)

oyster is a new opera (in progress) about a surprising precursor to and Pandora. In the 1960’s, renowned American folklorist Alan Lomax developed a wildly ambitious system called cantometrics for coding and analyzing folk songs from every corner of the world.  The opera is structured as a public lecture of Alan Lomax’s folk song analysis as demonstrated by four singers, who embody the IBM360 mainframe computer used to correlate his vast amounts of data.  Working with the BOTCH vocal ensemble, I am reconstructing the folksong styles from regions as disparate as Bali, West Africa, and Central America using only the data from Lomax’s study.  Things like melodic complexity, vocal blend, and nasality, are adjusted by the singers as they circumnavigate the globe.   This data vocalization is further mediated by the ensemble’s distinctive extended vocal techniques, and is accompanied by a film narrative that unravels connections between cybernetics, surrealism and ethnography. The film also features a wide range of material drawn from the Alan Lomax archive at The Library of Congress.

oyster will be performed on February 20 and 21 at 8pm (doors open at 7pm) at Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn. Tickets will be available to purchase shortly, at

Music, video, and libretto by Joe Diebes
Featuring: John Rose, Christina Campanella, Michael Chinworth, and Saori Tsukada
Live Staging: Phil Soltanoff
Lighting Design: Poe Saegusa
Cinematography for video: Damian Calvo
Make-Up/Costumes for video: Naomi Raddatz

Chaya Czernowin: Infinite Now (2017)

This creation commemorates World War I and takes as point of departure the play FRONT (2014) by Luk Perceval. The American-Israeli composer Chaya Czernowin saw the performance and connected the theatrical experience of FRONT with the novella Homecoming by the Chinese author Can Xue. The result of this union is music theatre about opening new perspectives in a harrowing situation.

In FRONT, we see the soldiers in the trenches, caught in an unending battle and constantly exposed to death. In Homecoming it is a woman who happens to find her way to a house on the edge of an abyss and gradually realises that it is impossible for her to escape. Two situations in which the moment becomes dilated to the point of infinity.

Premiere April 18th, 2017
Opera Ballet Vlaanderen

Moritz Eggert: Freax (2017)

In the artificially cut-off world of a show conceived as a mixture of circus and television entertainment which thrills its audience with so-called freax, people whose bodies do not correspond to the norm, a tragic love story unfolds. The dwarf Franz loves the tall, beautiful Isabella. But she is in love with Hilbert, the moderator of the show. Hilbert, for his part, loves great success. This is guaranteed by the freax – dwarfs, Siamese twins and hermaphrodites – who, not least due to their success with the public, are cut off and humiliated by their “normal” colleagues.
In a mixture of moving drama and biting satire, Franz‘ blind love and longing to escape permanent discrimination and to be accepted and loved as a man becomes a parable about the power of looks and about the fine line between hope and self-deception, closeness and betrayal.

Composer: Moritz Eggert
Lyricists: Hannah Dübgen
Opus/Year: 2007

Staged world premiere: January 21st, 2017, Theater Regensburg