© Walter Mair
Fri 14 Aug Sun 23 Aug

Die Verschollenen (Für großes Orchester)

14 Aug
23 Aug

The centrepiece of Christoph Marthaler’s music theatre creation is Alexander Scriabin’s orchestral work first performed in 1908 Le Poème de l’Extase (The Poem of Ecstasy). An uncompromising and euphoric large scale composition, written in a confusing period of transition: at the beginning of the 20th century new levels of growth produced a fundamental change in the production and working conditions in mines, pits and factories: the capitalist financial system and company monopolies exacerbated the unequal distribution of wealth and caused an increasing sense of disorientation in Western societies.

This is a condition that the writer Franz Kafka alludes to in his book Der Verschollene (The Man Who Disappeared). This fragment of a novel in which Kafka describes an emigrant to America who is in danger of being lost in the land of unlimited opportunities, is full of the disconcerting sounds and rhythms of the New World. The novel’s individual episodes seem to resemble sections of a musical composition: they are polyphonic, with richly contrasting instrumentation, showy, fragile, and packed with introductions, highlights, repetitions, pauses and false cadences.

This association is highlighted in Christoph Marthaler’s production by bringing together motifs from Kafka’s narrative with Scriabin’s Poème and works by the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók. Indeed Marthaler goes further, inventing a work of music theatre in which not the single protagonist of a novel but the entire ensemble of the Bochumer Symphoniker is set in motion to counteract the forces of a spreading sense of loss. Together the musicians – almost a hundred of them – reach the enigmatic “Nature Theatre of Oklahoma” and are not a little surprised that this is a place where work is also conducted “underground”. To all appearances they are concerned with mining previously undiscovered raw materials. No one can say whether these are organic, inorganic or utopian in origin. The only thing that is certain is that recovering them requires a large orchestra. At least. Two would be better.

Jahrhunderthalle Bochum
An der Jahrhunderthalle 1
44793 Bochum

Further Information

Introduction 45 minutes prior to show.

Artist talk 15th of August after the performance.

Produced by Ruhrtriennale.

Language information: German with English surtitles.


Director Christoph Marthaler
Musical direction Peter Rundel
Stage Design Anna Viebrock Thilo Albers
Costume Design Charlotte Pistorius
Co-Regie Joachim Rathke
Light Design Phoenix (Andreas Hofer)
Sound Thomas Wegner
Dramaturgy Malte Ubenauf
With Tora Augestad Marc Bodnar Charlotte Clamens Raphael Clamer Bendix Dethleffsen Veronika Eberle (Violine) Olivia Grigolli Martin Horn Ueli Jäggi Jürg Kienberger Claudius Körber Elisa Plüss Martin Schütz (Violoncello/ Elektronik) Clemens Sienknecht Graham F. Valentine Sebastian Zuber


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