The music by George Frideric Handel is the main theme of Anaesthesia, a musical theatre piece performed by the Berlin theatre ensemble Nico and the Navigators together with the music ensemble Franui. This commemorative project marking the 250th anniversary of Handel's death paid tribute to a composer who lived in Germany, Italy and England and is regarded as one of the first "Europeans".
His oeuvre was the basis of a pastiche, a popular musical genre during Handel's lifetime, in which "favourites" are performed in succession. The new pastiche mainly features portions of Handel's operas, but also includes his oratories and instrumental works. Rearranged in a new order, the pastiche features adaptations of the original libretti and newly-created plot lines. The art of Baroque is emotionally-charged and ornate, though at the same time, unpretentious and puristic. "Anaesthesia" musically, dramatically and artistically demonstrates both ends of the spectrum - the joy and austerity of the Baroque form.
The actors in Nico and the Navigators were working with singers for the first time. The goal was to counter the lack of dramatic skill prevalent in musical theatre by developing the piece largely with improvisation. The "Musicbanda" Franui from the village of Franui in eastern Tirol performed Handel's compositions in their own clearly recognizable style which resembles Austrian folk music.
Artists: Nicola Hümpel, Oliver Proske, Andreas Schett (AT), Markus Kraler (AT)
Schedule and venue:
4-6 June 2009 Handel Festival / Neues Theater, Halle an der Saale
12 and 14 June 2009 Festwochen Herrenhausen
12-13 Aug. 2009 Bregenz Festival, Austria
4-7 Nov 2009 Radialsystem V, Berlin
28-29 Nov. 2009 Grand Théâtre du Luxembourg
2-4 Mar. 2010 Radialsystem V, Berlin
Nico and the Navigators