EURYDIKE? vol. 2 — The DanceMusicFilmInstallation on Monteverdis L’Orfeo

Helmut Oehring

2023/24 4:3 Kammer Musik Neu Musik Film Uraufführung

The DanceMusicFilmInstallation EURYDIKE? vol. 2 continues the cycle of documentary-poetic reply works to Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo with a focussing on contemporary perspectives: the two musical theaters based on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darknes – Orfeo14 vol. 1 in the context of global refugee movements with Le Concert d’Astrée / Emmanuelle Haïm and Ictus Ensemble at the Opéra Lille and DarkHeart or Orfeo17 vol. 2 with Kammerakademie Potsdam – as well as the AudioVideoInstallation with performance EURYDIKE vol. 1 at SPOR Festival Århus + KONTRAKLANG Festival Berlin + Tonlagen Festival HELLERAU 2019 are currently followed by the international premiere series of EURYDIKE? vol. 2.

The DanceMusicFilmInstallation is based on the DNA of the audiovisual score and SignMimoChoreography: interaction between the soloists’ instrumental-vocal-dance interpretation, experimental camera work and editing composition generates silenced images and tinged sounds. RidgeWalk between the StillSpeakable and the NoLongerVoiced. The multidimensional grammar of space creates a through-time-grasping, poetic-documentary theater past the sound of silence. DeadMemory. Requiem. AnswerBurden of the survivors. On two projection surfaces and twelve loudspeakers distributed on the stage, between which the audience moves, EURYDIKE? vol. 2 reflects existences between victim and perpetrator, revenge and remorse, attempt and failure, utopia and surrender, social and media isolation. SecretStature of the neardistant Other. UnderWorldSore. Entropy.

Duration: ca. 53 min without a break
Language: german, english, italian

Sensory stimuli occur (light, stroboscope, extreme brightness, extreme darkness) 

Composer, author, choreographer and director Helmut Oehring was born in 1961 in East Berlin. As CODA (hearing child of deafmute parents) he considers German sign language his mother tongue, as well as a foundation for his audiovisual compositions, choreographies, stagings and films. An autodidact guitarist and composer, unadmitted for university education because of repeated concentious objection to GDR military service, after the fall of the Berlin Wall he became a master student of Georg Katzer between 1990 and 1992 at the Berlin Academy of Arts. In 1994/95, he was guest of the Villa Massimo in Rome, and he obtained numerous prices since, including the Hanns Eisler Prize from the Deutschlandsender Kultur, the Italian Orpheus Chamber Opera Prize and the Schneider Schott Music Prize. He also was awarded the Hindemith Prize (1997) as well as the Arnold Schoenberg Prize (2008) for the entirety of his creation which – since the early theater music for Ruth Berghaus’ productions of works by Bertolt Brecht at the Thalia Theater or for Robert Wilson and the inspiring collaborations with artists such as Peter Greenaway, Friedrich Goldmann, Claus Guth, Joachim Schloemer, Michael Simon, Ulrike Ottinger, Maxim Dessau, Lothar Zagrosek, Patrizia Kopatchinskaja, Ingo Metzmacher oder Daniele Abbado – today includes around 500 works of almost all genres. His compositions and productions are performed worldwide. The New Yorker recently named him one of “the most influential audiovisual composers alongside John Adams, Kaija Saariaho, Björk and Robert Ashley”. In 2011, btb/Randomhouse published Oehring’s autobiography With different eyes. From the Child of Deaf Parents to the Composer, which he directed as a radio play in 2015 for SWR. 2024/25 follows the publication of his montage novel of a German-German biography ALEX and the simoultaneously emergenced film script. He is a member of the Berlin Academy of Arts, the Saxon Academy of Arts and the Academy of German Music Authors. In 2015 he was awarded the German Music Author Prize in the music theatre category. 2020/21 he was Excellence Fellow of Villa Aurora in Los Angeles.

Sound designer and sound director Torsten Ottersberg worked as a rock musician and lyricist before becoming a founding member of an experimental audiovisual studio at Filmkunsthaus Babylon/Berlin-Mitte in 1990. In 1992, Ottersberg’s intensive collaboration with Helmut Oehring began with the founding of the electronic studio GOGH surround music production (the studio as an instrument), as a platform for audio productions of contemporary music, electroacoustic experiments and installation works, which to this day realizes works by contemporary composers in the fields of opera, theater, concert, video and film with pre-recorded and live electronics, among others. Since then, Ottersberg has focused his work on areas such as surround production and live surround production. He is responsible for the audio conception and realization of productions of contemporary music / music theater on European stages and at international festivals. In recent years, he has realized his sound concepts at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Carnegie Hall New York, Hermitage St. Petersburg, German Opera of River Rhine Duesseldorf, Berlin State Opera and Grand Festival Hall at Salzburg Festival a.o.

Stefanie Wördemann, born near Hamburg in 1974, studied musicology and German language and literature at Humboldt University in Berlin and was a founding member of the Academy Music Theatre today – Berlin/Salzburg and the laboratory for music:theater Berlin. After assistant directing for Peter Konwitschny at the German Opera Berlin, among others, she became music theater dramaturg at the Theater Osnabrück in 2001 and was dramaturg and editor of the Berlin Philharmonics in 2002-06. Since 2007 she has worked as a freelance librettist, dramaturg and producer, collaborating with Helmut Oehring on operas such as AshMOON or The Fairy Queen (wp 2013 Berlin State Opera) and YearningSEA or On The Flying Dutchman (wp 2013 German Opera on River Rhine Duesseldorf), oratorios such as Massaker. Listen, MASSAKER! (to Racep Tayyip Erdogan) (wp 2015 Dresden Symphonics / RADIALSYSTEM V Berlin) and GOYA II. Yo lo vi (wp 2009 German Symphony Orchestra / Philharmonic Berlin) or music theater such as The WOUND Heine / Mahagonny Songspiel (wp 2010 Ensemble Modern / Opera Frankfurt a.M. / Weill-Festival Dessau / Ruhr Triennale Cologne), ANGELUS NOVUS II (wp 2015 Dampfzentrale Bern), Orfeo14 vol.1 (wp 2014 Ictus Ensemble / Emanuelle Haïm / Le Concert d’Astrée / Opéra Lille), AGOTA? The Analphabet (Yesterday/ Somewhere) (wp 2016 Wiesbaden State Theater), DarkHEART or Orfeo17 (wp 2017 Chamber Academy Potsdam) and KUNST MUSS zu weit gehen oder DER ENGEL SCHWIEG commemorating Heinrich Boell’s 100th birthday (wp 2017 Ensemble Musikfabrik / Cologne Opera).

Katja Erfurth completed her dance education from 1981-90 at the Palucca School in Dresden, which was followed by an engagement in the ensemble of the Semperoper Ballet of the Saxon State Opera until 1997. Since 1995 she she has devoted herself to numerous dance-choreographic works in more than 30 productions since 1995, including a solo dance evening dedicated to the expressive dancer Dore Hoyer, Dances in BLACKWHITE, which was nominated for the 2015 Saxon Dance Award. Since 2006, she has held a teaching position at the Dresden University of Music in the fi eld of movement, dance and improvisation. She is a founding member and chair of the board of the Villa Wigman Association for DANCE and together with Julia Amme, Johanna Roggan and Josefi ne Wosahlo forms the management team of the Villa Wigman in Dresden. She has been a member of the Saxon Academy of Arts since 2018, received the Art Award of the State Capital Dresden in 2020, and was elected Vice President of the Saxon Cultural Senate in 2023. Since 2019, she has had a close collaboration with Helmut Oehring in world premiered compositions and choreographies, a.o. the dance theater Κασσάνδρα / KASSANDRA (tongue – tearing) (wp 2021 HELLERAU Dresden), the duo for dancer and violin κάθαρσις / KATHARSIS I (wp 2021 Societaetstheater Dresden) or the AudioVideoInstallation zwischenORT (wp 2022 Societaetstheater Dresden).

Mia Carla Oehring was born in Berlin in 2005 and, in addition to her high school education with a focus on acting/theater, completed her musical training as a guitarist and singer/songwriter as well as her dance training in ballet, contemporary and modern/jazz dance and Hip Hop. Since 2013, she has acted as a child and youth performer for stage, radio drama and fi lm. As a musician, performer and dancer, she took on leading roles in the world premieres of music theater works such as JONA, JONAS and the WAL at Volkstheater Rostock (2015/16), in DarkHEART or Orfeo17 with Chamber Academy Potsdam (2017) and in KUNST MUSS (zu weit gehen) oder Der Engel schwieg with Ensemble Musikfabrik at Cologne Opera (2017). In the successful radio play series Papa, Kevin said by rbb/Kulturradio, whose third season was broadcast in 2020 and which won the German Radio Play Award among others, she personifi es Bastian Pastewka’s radio play daughter as Greta. After graduating from high school, Mia Carla Oehring will begin studying psychology and philosophy at Humboldt University in Berlin and human rights at Columbia University New York in parallel to her dancing and acting profession.

Deaf dancer, choreographer and actress Kassandra Wedel lives in Munich, where she studied theater and art education at Ludwig Maximilians University. Since 2004 she has been dancing and choreographing in dance groups with deaf and hearing people and founded the Nikita Dance Crew in 2005. In 2008 she completed her Hip Hop Coach training and acted as a dancer in music videos several times; in 2012 she became a two-time German Hip Hop Champion and World Champion in solo and duo of the inclusive Hip Hop Championships. Since 2012, she has been an ensemble member of the German Deaf Theater, where her roles included the title role in Alice in Wonderland in 2014-2016. In 2015 she played the highly acclaimed role of a deaf dance trainer in the ZDF Tatort Deathsilence directed by Zoltan Spirandelli. In 2016 she won the Pro 7 competition Deutschland tanzt and became known to a wider public. In 2017, she took on the title role in the new production of Helmut Oehring’s opera AshMOON or The Fairy Queen at the Wuppertal Opera and staged her own dance theater piece The Dress with the Alphadancetheater. Since 2017 she can be seen in Verena Regensburger LUEGEN at the Münchner Kammerspiele as well as in Girls like them at State Theater Hannover 2018 directed by Wera Mahne. In 2018 she staged Fil frz. Faden together with Valerie Marsac and was the soloist in Verena Regensburger’s The Dada at Theater Hoch X. Currently she is the protagonist in Helmut Oehring’s new DanceMusicFilmDrama BEETHOVEN? Der redemptive FAULT with Ensemble Musikfabrik (film release 2022).

Florian Mayer, born in Zwickau in 1974, studied classical violin at the Dresden University of Music and surprises in his concerts with experimentation, new discoveries, unusual playing styles and unexpected program combinations. From 1997 to 2005 he was a founding member of the Dresden Symphony Orchestra, from 2006 to 2013 a member of the world music formation Das Blaue Einhorn, and since 2017 of the Swiss jazz ensemble Pago libre. However, the focus of his musical-artistic activity is his performances as a soloist with his own concert programs. Thus, among other things, he made guest appearances with My Paganini at the Master Concerts at Albrechtsberg Castle and in the Chamber Recital of the Saxon State Orchestra Dresden. In 2014 his CD Eleven Preludes for violin solo with his own compositions was released; for some years Florian Mayer has also been active in literature.

Felix Kroll is intensively committed to the accordion with its diverse possibilities in a wide range of artistic fi elds. After his musical education in Bremen, Turku (Finland) and Muenster, he has been a lecturer for accordion at the University of the Arts Berlin since 2017. Stylistically, he oscillates between works of new music, classical music and jazz. With the successful Die Grenzgänger he presents German-language folk songs in modern and multi- faceted arrangements. As a member of the RADAR Ensemble, among others, he has premiered several works and collaborated with composers such as Rebecca Saunders, Younghi Pagh-Paan, Beat Furrer, Helmut Oehring, Georg Katzer and Sidney Corbett. Felix Kroll is a sought-after theater musician and artistic director at the State Theater Wiesbaden in productions by Uwe Eric Laufenberg and Ingo Kerkoff a.o. He has worked intensively with actresses such as Corinna Harfouch, Dagmar Manzel and Winnie Böwe in readings and recitals. He regularly gives guest performances with orchestras and ensembles such as Staatskapelle Berlin, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Concert Hall Berlin, Babelsberg Film Orchestra, Hamburg State Opera and others. Television and radio recordings as well as CD productions, among others awarded with the German Record Prize, document his extensive interpretative work.

Silke Lange studied accordion at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin. She is interested in new music and cross-genre projects, works closely with composers and has initiated many world premieres. She is co-founder of the ensemble for new music LUX:NM, whose debut album LUXUS was awarded on the German Record Critics’ Best List. Since 2018 she has been playing in the trio for live electroacoustic music Lange//Berweck//Lorenz and is also dedicated to improvised music and sound art. She has performed worldwide at major festivals such as Ultraschall and MaerzMusik Berlin, Donaueschingen Music Festival, Éclat Festival Paris, Warsaw Autumn, Festival de música contemporánea Santiago de Chile, Edmonton New Music a.o. CD recordings as well as numerous radio recordings document her concert activities. Another focus is her participation in theater productions as a musician and performer for e.g. German Theater Berlin, Berlin Festival, artist group club real, Schauplatz International, Hamburg State Opera, Mainz State Opera, HAU Berlin, Tehran Independent Theatre) as well as her activities as a curator and director of concert projects and series.

Susanne Stock, born 1980 in Dessau, studied at the University of Music Franz Liszt Weimar with Prof. Ivan Koval and at the University of Arts Bremen with Prof. Margit Kern and attended master classes with Stefan Hussong, Hugo Noth, Mikko Luoma, Mie Miki a.o. As an accordionist she is active as a soloist and chamber musician. She is a member of Ensemble Courage Dresden, Contemporary Insights Leipzig and Géllert Szabó Ideal Orchestra Leipzig and has performed as a guest in concerts of Ensemble United Berlin, Ensemble L’Art pour l’art, Ensemble Experimente or the International Ensemble Modern Academy a.o. In intensive collaboration with composers such as Helmut Oehring, Annette Schlünz, Benjamin Schweitzer, Samir Odeh-Tamimi and Michael Quell, she has created both solo and chamber music works that have been premiered by her, including in duo with clarinettist Georg Wettin and her involvement in particular with the music of Lyonel Feininger and in the unusual instrumentation of double bass clarinet and accordion. In addition to purely musical works, Stock – Wettin repeatedly incorporate extra-musical themes into their programs and work with electronics and light performances. Susanne Stock has taught in various state and private music schools from 2005 to 2021 and held a lectureship at the University of Potsdam from 2011 to 2020. Currently she devotes herself increasingly to free improvised music and performances.

idea + composition + SignMimoChoreography + direction + camera 1: Helmut Oehring
audio + video production + sound direction + camera 2 + film editing: Torsten Ottersberg
textbook + dramaturgy + photography + camera 3: Stefanie Wördemann

dancers / vocalists: Katja Erfurth + Mia Carla Oehring + Kassandra Wedel
violin soloist / vocalist: Florian Mayer
akkordion soloists / vocalists: Felix Kroll + Silke Lange + Susanne Stock
performer + vocalist: Joscha Oehring
singer soloist + choir: male prisoners / choir of the prison Dresden

Composition commissioned by the European Center for the Arts HELLERAU and financed by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation

With thanks to the heads of the prisons and departments of Dresden and Bautzen for their cooperation with special thanks for the support to the State Secretary of the Saxon State Ministry of Justice and for Democracy, Europe and Equality as well as Department IV Division IV 5 Enforcement, Transition Management, Social Services

© 2023 LOWmusic production + company GbR