Shadowtime Opera in seven scenes

Musical director:
Jurjen Hempel
Emmanuel Clolus
Marie-Christine Soma
Olga Karpinsky
Benoit Resillot
Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart:, Ekkehard Abele, Guillermo Anzorena, Frank Bossert, Janet Collins, Andreas Fischer, Bernhard Gärtner, Matthias Horn, Angelika Luz, Monika Meier-Schmid, Martin Nagy, Anja Paulus, Sabine Schilling, Tobias Schlierf, Christiane Schmeling, Barbara Stein, Silke Storz, Stefan Weible, Nicolas Hodges: Klavier solo & Stimme, Mats Scheidegger: Gitarre solo, Nieuw Ensemble Amsterdam
Opening night:
30. September
8:30 pm
2 hours, no interval
1., 2. October
8:30 pm
2 hours, no interval
30. September, 1., 2. October
The introduction begins 45 minutes prior to the start of the event.
Category A
45 €
Category B
35 €
Category C
25 €

The opera focuses on the life and work of cultural philosopher Walter Benjamin. Various aspects of his thinking are brought together in a biographical setting – the last scene of his life, Port Bou on the night of 26September 1940. Fleeing from the Nazis, Benjamin takes his own life at the Franco-Spanish border. The moment of his death outlines constructions of history. Experienced lifetime overlaps and merges with wasted time, reflective and Messianic time.

In a kaleidoscope of seven sound and image stations, the Angel of History, Benjamin's friend Gershom Scholem, the poet Friedrich Hölderlin, Albert Einstein Adolf Hitler, Jeanne d'Arc and Benjamin's wife Dora all make appearances.Fictitious dialogues and wide-ranging associations fire a profound discussion on the role of European intellectuals in the 20th century.

English composer and musical thinker Brian Ferneyhough is one of the best known but at the same time one of the most uncompromising protagonists of New Music.Over a period of five years, his creative imagination and concentration were concentrated on Shadowtime. What emerged were largely autonomous pieces of instrumental music, choral music and a cappella miniatures. The reflexive dramaturgy which holds them together exhibits a logic inspired by Benjamin's notion of "constellations". The work's premiere at Munich's Biennale 2004, directed by Frédéric Fisbach, has been celebrated as one of the high spots of modern music theatre.

The Nieuw Ensemble was founded inAmsterdam in 1980 and has been performing chiefly under the direction of Ed Spanjaard since 1982. His unusual arrangements of plucked strings, such as mandolins, guitars and harps, together with wind and bowed strings as well as percussion, have led to the ensemble's unique, innovative repertoire of commissioned works.

Composition and libretto commissioned by the City of Munich for the Münchener Biennale
Commissions for individual scores: Carnegie Hall Corporation; Flandern Festival and Ian Pace; Musée d’Orsay and the Ensemble InterContemporain; Mr. and Mrs. Billarant for the IRCAM

A RuhrTriennale production, co-produced with the Münchener Biennale; Sadler’s Wells, London (with support from English National Opera); Festival d’Automne, Paris; and the Lincoln Center Festival, New York

With kind support from the Ernst-von-Siemens-Musikstiftung