Spielzeit 26.08. - 09.10.


or: The Strange and Memorable Ways of Happiness A music theatre piece by Hans Werner Henze, Christian Lehnert and Michael Kerstan World premiere

World premiere
Musical Director
Stage and Costumes
Lighting Designer
Michael Dahmen, Hanna ­Herfurtner, Fausto Reinhart, Studenten der Folkwang Universität (Studiengänge Schauspiel und Tanz)
25. September 2010
25., 28., 30. September, 2., 3., 6., 8. October
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This work by an old master is a brand new creation for young people and with young people. A bridge between Italy, the land of romance and home of opera culture, and the Ruhrgebiet, decried as grey and inhospitable, but which has long since become an exciting cultural centre. With his latest piece of music theatre Gisela! or:The Strange and Memorable Ways of Happiness Hans Werner Henze attempts to connect extreme opposites and to make apparently impossible combinations possible. Between commedia dell’arte improvisations which appear to descend into chaos and romanticism of the Brothers Grimm variety, mutating into nightmares, everything is governed by great emotion. The central character Gisela meets her true love Gennaro in Naples and is willing to renounce her German fiancé for him, if her new "Italian lover" is only willing to appreciate the beauties of Oberhausen.  Malicious jealousies and excessive machismo culminate without warning and end in the eruption of Vesuvius. Gisela finds happiness, seemingly insurmountable borders are crossed and the composer who himself once emigrated to Italy has gifted the audience a very special work full of new sounds, accomplished scenes and delicate madrigals. He shows us how important it sometimes is to leave everything behind, to be open to what is new without forgetting tradition and to connect everything together in order to attain one’s ultimate goal.

One of the composer’s great aims with this new work is to involve a new generation of audiences and performers. This world premiere will therefore feature young music and theatre-makers from the Ruhrgebiet in order to discover, promote, challenge and present their creative potential and artistic identities.

A Ruhrtriennale world premiere. Commissioned by the Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden and European Capital of Culture Ruhr.2010 for ‘The Henze Project’.The composer’s commission is supported by the Kunststiftung NRW.