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Unruly sound riot Waldorf kindergarten

The Kunstfest Weimar invites you to a 100-minute post-dramatic music spectacle about climate change, the plight of refugees and the destruction of nature in the e-werk.

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Unruly sound riot Waldorf kindergarten

The Kunstfest Weimar invites you to a 100-minute post-dramatic music spectacle about climate change, the plight of refugees and the destruction of nature in the e-werk. "Welcome to Paradise Lost" it says. The Persian epic poem "The Conference of the Birds" by Fariduddin Attar serves as his starting point. Director, author and activist Falk Richter wrote the libretto in 2018.

With the Weimeraner university professor Jörn Arnecke he already successfully released “Unter Eis” at the 2007 Ruhrtriennale. This time he's just a smiling guest. Opera director Andrea Moses had a hard time enlivening his loose theses rasping as a station drama.

First we sit on junk furniture between the actors, a middle-aged and a young couple and an old woman as a seer. There is still an "actor" who is more of a motivational speaker, questioner or cheerleader and drives the adults along as the cause of all evil.

15 young people in activist overalls scurry around him, but with bird heads, who, as startled birdies, now want to save the world. They don't know how, and in the end they only learned that they themselves are their king, so that each individual counts even more.

Falk Richter is a practiced rhetorician, his word cascades work, but never actually hit the target because they are spread far too widely. Andrea Moses, on the other hand, moves to the anteroom, where in another "valley" on the path of ignorance, the old people chant from the tennis judge's seats.

Then it's off to the parking lot, where everyone in the base camp pretends to be dead, and the cheerleader numbs himself with fine spirits in a huge bird house. Oh yes, there is also a “boy” as a solo voice of innocence: he is a girl, wears Greta Thunberg straw braids, holds up a Swedish protest poster and has trouble chopping wood.

It ends back inside. Now you sit frontally, let yourself be flickered by videos of natural disasters of the latest agitprop clichés about kamikaze flights in office glass facades and continue to listen to the music sauce prepared by Arnecke, which was too thin and conducted heroically by Andreas Wolf and his assistants.

Yes, with birds you can think of a lot of piccolo and flute as well as various woodwinds. Surprisingly, they are also widely used. A few strings straddle in between. For the finale, a Verrophonist is allowed to let his glass harp sing.

That sounds just as esoterically bland as the cloudy tone in the “wellness temples” and “Botox-to-go booths” conjured up by Falk Richter, where we sleep through the end of the world. This unruly sound riot Waldorf kindergarten will not prevent him.

In Weimar, people are still actively involved in the Passion Play theater course. In the Semperoper, on the other hand, the opera “Chasing Waterfalls”, which was presented in advance with a lot of PR hype, is quickly sedated for 70 minutes in your seat. The Berlin "Studio for Sonic Experiences kling klang klong" lets it collectively desolate synthesizers. In addition, co-composer and conductor Angus Lee employs nine musicians somehow, but not sufficiently - so the dress rehearsal impression.

Nothing less than the first use of artificial intelligence in composition and singing in an opera is promised here. We leave that as an assertion. But while at the same time Christian Thielemann and the rest of the Staatskapelle are working on the next Bruckner ascent, the opera wheel is not being reinvented here either.

Director Peter Theiler, in whose otherwise rather well-behaved schedule this premiere as a quasi-guest performance does not seem to fit at all, leaves the upper house to external companies. Because the event organizers “phase 7 performing.arts”, who are also based in Berlin, are also allowed to demonstrate their technical and aesthetic skills as on an advertising platform in a noble ambience before, after a few performances, they travel on to Hong Kong, where the Asian commercial market is sure to have fun with the meager thing will have.

"Don't chase the falls, stick to the rivers and lakes you know," is the apt American proverb. With “Chasing Waterfalls” one has the feeling that the optically extensive water imagery, in reality as a nicely reflecting paddling pool and rain shower, virtually as a pyramidal LED staircase, over which real drops also jump, serves purely as a decorative demonstration. In terms of content, the project, which is also supervised by Christiane Neudecker (libretto) and Sven Sören Beyer (director), is about a woman (Eir Inderhaug) who cannot log into her computer first thing in the morning because he refuses face recognition, but then she can almost sucked in.

She loses herself, but instead she is yodelled by six “ego fluens” (child, appearance, success, doubt, etc.). The diodes light up at the top, four cubes also serve as projection surfaces, as does the portal curtain with its laser decoration. This identity crisis analysis looks as casual as it is empty. The whole aesthetic is chic but totally interchangeable, meaningless, or at least flat. The promised emotionalisation of the technical – puff cake.

At some point everyone is on the ground. And whether the AI, which spits out new sounds real and live via algorithm, sings a little smurfishly beforehand - for free. In the best case, you can leave the cold glamor set design to Helene Fischer for her next indoor tour.

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