Unter Eis Music-theatre by Jörn Arnecke after a libretto by Falk Richter

First performance
Falk Richter
Musical director:
Johannes Debus
Alex Harb
Tina Kloempken
Carsten Sander
Meika Dresenkamp
Thomas Fiedler
Markus Brück, André Szymanski, Thomas Wodianka, Chorsolisten des Philharmonia Chors Wien, Knabensopran der Chorakademie Dortmund, Ensemble Resonanz,
Opening night:
28. September
8:00 pm
approx. 2 hours, an interval
30. September, 3., 5., 6. October
8:00 pm
approx. 2 hours, an interval
3., 5., 6. October
The introduction begins 45 minutes prior to the start of the event.
Category A
60 €
Category B
50 €
Category C
40 €
Categorie D
20 €

Discussions between the audience and the participants of the play will be held after the performance of September 30


»Paul Niemand, too young for a new start, too young to surrender, in a few years everything will be over.«
Unter Eis, first scene.

Paul Niemand and his colleagues are consultants in a major business enterprise. They speak the specific language of consultants; they sack people, they promise solutions for every problem and guarantee that things will run smoothly. The system of consulting companies which strives for utmost economic efficiency wants to optimise all areas of life and even the consultants themselves feel composed to this demanding requirements. Paul Niemand is a man who begins to loose his strength. His pending decline leads him into a nightmarish confrontation with his younger colleagues and with his meaninglessness of his hitherto existence.
In the spring of 2004, the theatre play Unter Eis from Falk Richter had its premiere in the Berliner Schaubühne being the last part of the major project Das System. It is the terrifying analysis of a language and ideology that dominates the whole of existence. It poses questions about the impact of technocratic thinking, about the image the consultants have of people and how their Weltanschauung has repercussions on the individual.
For the RuhrTriennale, Frank Richter rewrote his play into a libretto which the young and yet repeatedly award-winning composer Jörn Arnecke sets to music. The conditions of politico-economic power structures, verbalised in the theatre play, experience an aggravation in the music theatre Unter Eis. In a large musical installation, Paul Niemand listens to his surrounding area, he hears how words are frozen to ice, how his own blood freezes and how everybody disappears under sheets of ice. Nevertheless, he struggles for his proper language and searches for a critical point of view inside this system which submerges our world with its unmanageable, rampant structure composed of figures, calculation and presentation techniques of economy.


The performance is accompanied by the RUHRFUTUR-events – a programme for the young audience aged 16 to 26. 

A work commissioned by the RuhrTriennale in cooperation with Oper Frankfurt.