Beat Furrer – Desert Book

A music theatre performance

In cooperation with Theater Basel, the composer Beat Furrer and author Händel Klaus have developed a music theatre project which took a close look at images of death from ancient Egypt. The theatre text was based on ancient Egyptian texts about death, translated for the first time by the Egyptologist and Orientalist Jan Assmann. The texts are fascinating in that they also depict the ritual of death as a vibrant celebration of life.
In Egyptian mythology the desert is a metaphor for the unknown and for death. Even in the European tradition (e.g., the barren icescapes by Caspar David Friedrich or the depopulated cities with their abandoned industrial complexes), the desert is where we project our fear of forgetting, of emptiness and the unknown. In addition to the primary text by Händl Klaus, related texts by Angel Valente, Nazim Hikmet and Ingeborg Bachmann were woven into the libretto. Beat Furrer composed a score for a small orchestra with singers and speakers.

Composition: Beat Furrer (CH)
Author: Händl Klaus (CH)
Director: Christoph Marthaler (CH)
Musicians: Klangforum Wien (AU), Vokalensemble
Actors: Isabelle Menke and Sylvie Rohrer (AU)

Venue and schedule:
Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Berlin, 19 - 21 March 2010


Berliner Festspiele

Schaperstraße 24

10719 Berlin (external link, opens in a new window)