Pierrot Lunaire

Three Monodrama
Melodrama Op. 21 [1912] by Arnold Schoenberg as well as Not I [1972] and Rockaby [1981] by Samuel Beckett
German
A dark stage, a woman and her voice — a sound that hovers somewhere between song and speech. With Pierrot Lunaire (1912), Not I (1972) and Rockaby (1981), Arnold Schoenberg and Samuel Beckett created pioneering monodramas in which language, music, and form break with conventions, coming closer together. Works thus tailor-made for the genre-bending iconoclasts Barrie Kosky and Dagmar Manzel.

»In order to present our poets, in order to present our composers, we need both, the sounds of singing and of speaking,« the Berlin performance artist Albertine Zehme had stated. In 1912, she commissioned Arnold Schoenberg to write the extraordinary melodrama cycle Pierrot Lunaire, which Igor Stravinsky would later refer to as «modernity’s solar plexus.» At that time, Schoenberg was already composing atonally but had not yet committed himself to the twelve-tone technique he was later to develop. Suggestive images of the moon and nighttime recount the life of the artist, in loosely linked scenes.

With their rhythmic sentence fragments and repetitions, Samuel Beckett's monologues are a music unto themselves: in stream-of-consciousness, staccato-like snippets of thoughts, Not I gives free rein to an unchecked logorrhea, as a desperate story of suffering emerges. In Rockaby, a woman’s death in a rocking chair is dramatized as a minimalist meditation. A virtuoso evening full of intricate rhythms, iridescent melodies, and unrestrained theatricality. The audience, brought up close on the stage, closes in on the singing, speaking, and incanting protagonist.

Melodrama Op. 21 [1912] by Arnold Schoenberg and
Not I [1972] as well as Rockaby [1981] by Samuel Beckett




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Selected Performance: 2108
2108
Tue 23 Feb 202119:30 — 21:00
Crew
Conductor
Staging
Set design
Costume design
Dramaturgy
Cast
Soloist
Members of the Orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin


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Dagmar Manzel glänzt in der Dunkelheit

»Beim Melodram-Abend an der Komischen Oper Berlin war alles geboten: gespenstisches Grauen gepaart mit virtuoser Stimmkunst ... ein Abend für Dagmar Manzel, die schon als junge Frau davon träumte, Schönbergs Melodram einmal spielen zu dürfen. Diese Liebe zum Werk merkt man ihre Interpretation an. Sie verfällt nicht in den Fehler vieler Opernsängerinnen, die genau notierten Töne singen zu wollen, sondern deklamiert sie, hält das Werk in der Schwebe zwischen Sprechen und Singen, wechselt die Klangfarben und Sprechhaltungen ebenso virtuos wie den Tonfall zwischen Sarkasmus, Witz, Verzweiflung und Melancholie.«
BR Klassik
Uwe Friedrich, 1 Oct, 2020

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