AMOPERA Klangforum Wien Meta-Oper

A project by
Needcompany & Klangforum Wien, Jan Lauwers, Grace Ellen Barkey, Maarten Seghers, Sarah Maria Sun, Holger Falk, Bas Wiegers, Sophie Schafleitner, Christoph Walder, Elke Janssens, Emily Hehl, Paul Blackman, Tim Anderson, Pauli Jämsä etc.

November 5 2022 | 6.00 p.m. | Festspielhaus Erl

November 2 2022 | 16.30 p.m. | Haus der Musik Innsbruck



On 5 November 2022, the first meta-opera byKlangforum Wien will be premiered together with the Belgian Needcompany. A piece of opera history of the last 110 years awaits you in the Festspielhaus Erl in Tyrol – drawn from the fund of over 90 operas. With AMOPERA, unique narratives are assembled, the abysses of LOVE and its ecstasies told in the mirror of a history of the new in music. Be curious!

Inspired by Peter von Matt’s book “Betrayed Love” (Liebesverrat), which maps out a literary history from the perspective of infidelity, deception and disappointment, Klangforum Wien has developed a meta-opera, which takes the form of ajourney through time, through all that’s new in music and opera, from a novel thematic perspective. By means of montage, adaptation and concentration, excerpts from various operas from different decades are assembled in order to re-activate their potential in the form of a meta-opera of between 80 and 90 minutes’ duration. This format is primarily energized by the music, an economical light design, and a compelling narrative.

“AMOPERA” stands for relationships, contrasts, hopelessness, and ecstasies, which make up the glowing and at the same time forbidding realm of love. Against this backdrop, Klangforum Wien presents a wide range of excerpts from contemporary works. The final compilation was devised in cooperation with director Jan Lauwers from the Needcompany. Jan Lauwers will deploy the musicians of Klangforum Wien in a dramatic and performative capacity which will take them way beyond their usual interpretative role.

Employing a variety of different approaches, musical styles and literary methods, this META- OPERA also offers a narrative about what is new in music – entertaining, gripping and incredibly rich in variety.

Founded in Brussels in 1986 by Jan Lauwers and Ellen Barkey as an international collective, the Needcompany, with its landmark productions, has caused a stir worldwide ever since. In 2001, Maarten Seghers joined the group which works with a multidisciplinary approach in the fields of theatre, dance, performance, art, film and literature. In 2018, the Salzburg Festival presentedL’Incoronazione di Poppea, Jan Lauwer’s first opera production (which was revived at the Vienna State Opera in 2021), followed by the superb production of Luigi Nono’s Intolleranza 1960 at the Felsenreitschule in 2021.

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Music by
Luciano Berio | Sir Harrison Birtwistle | Alexander Zemlinsky | Alban Berg / E. Kloke | Benjamin Britten | Peter Maxwell Davies | Iannis Xenakis | Salvatore Sciarrino | Bernhard Lang | Beat Furrer | Rebecca Saunders | Michael Wertmüller | Sara Glojnarić

“What Klangforum Wien and Needcompany have in common is their investigation of the twentieth century as a time of deconstruction, excessive speed and excess in general. We do not pretend to be parsing the archive of modern and contemporary music, but do demand the right to interact with it for a time without shame.“

– Jan Lauwers

“The Meta-Opera is based on the profound connectivity at work in the creative process, which transcends the efforts of an individual composer. The autonomy, on the one hand, and the inviolability of a self-contained work of art on the other, remain uncontested – nonetheless it is possible for wholly unexpected new perspectives to emerge, if, proceeding from the momentum of one particular opera, we transcend its storyline in search of points of contact that can be found in quite a different work. We conduct our search by listening, from an inner perspective, in order to fathom the profound meaning of a musical message – not simply by adopting the point of view of a particular composer, but by framing the whole to form a single, large-scale picture, which is the result of the effort of many participants, who speak many different languages, and adopt many different attitudes – in short: a meta- opera. Colourful, entertaining and profound, it represents a history of operatic literature characterized by novelty and flagrance – and it is full of surprises.”

– Peter Paul Kainrath

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