Aribert Reimann

Medea

Opera in two parts [2010]
German
2h 30m, incl. intermission
First performed with overwhelming success in 2010, Aribert Reimann's opera is coming to Berlin for the first time – with Nicole Chevalier in the title role of the tragic outsider who becomes a merciless avenger. Based on an ancient myth and yet utterly topical, this work is produced by the Australian Benedict Andrews, who already provided audiences with powerfully disturbing images in Prokofiev's The Fiery Angel. Contemporary musical theatre at its best!

Medea, the daughter of the King of Colchis and possessed of magical powers, betrays her own flesh and blood and leaves her home out of her love for Jason. Yet she remains a stranger to Jason, and in Corinth he too betrays the woman shunned by all. Medea concocts a horrific plan ...
Whether it's Shakespeare's Lear, Strindberg's Ghost Sonata or Franz Kafka's The Castle – the Berlin-based composer Aribert Reimann's pieces are always populated by the truly great subjects and figures. For this archaic tale of betrayal, love, faithfulness and the ice-cold nature of power, Reimann references the rarely performed play by Austria's national playwright, Franz Grillparzer, portraying Medea as a persecuted stranger, defenceless amidst a hostile society, at the mercy of the whims of powerful men and politicians.
Benedict Andrews already proved his theatrical imaginativeness and feel for tortured characters in 2014 with his interpretation of Sergei Prokofiev's The Fiery Angel. With Medea, he breathes life into a breathtakingly topical story about despair and tragic resistance, and through the title character poses this question: what choices remain to those from whom everything has been taken?
Text by the composer, based on the drama of the same name by Franz Grillparzer