Kidnapping Mozart - Politics Theatre Africa

The Abduction from the Seraglio. Festival

Franck Edmond Yao alias Gadoukou la Star im Orchestergraben des Theater Bremen. Foto: Knut Klaßen

Since 2005 the director duo Monika Gintersdorfer and Knut Klaßen have been collaborating with a German-Ivorian team on dance and performance projects which combine aesthetic statements with socio-political discourse. Gintersdorfer/Klaßen create spaces of confrontation that are characterised by speed, spontaneity, independence and curiosity. In cooperation with the Musiktheaterensemble Bremen, the Bremen Philharmonic Orchestra and Ted Gaier of the band “Die Goldenen Zitronen”, Gintersdorfer/Klaßen explored the political potential of music theatre with the festival "Kidnapping Mozart - Politics Theatre Africa". Their newest production “Les robots ne connaissent pas le blues” (Robots Don’t Know the Blues) was the central part of the festival. Their goal was to open up music theatre to socio-political debate and discourse. The production primarily focuses on the difference between a European tradition of Enlightenment and an African culture which hasn’t been influenced by the Enlightenment. Mozart’s opera “The Abduction from the Seraglio” served as the basis and model for the clash of divergent cultures. In “Les robots ne connaissent pas le blues”, two seemingly dissimilar worlds collided – classical music theatre and Couper-Décaler, a West African musical style in which the vocalists sing to a fast-paced electronic beat. What differences and similarities do these musical traditions have, which seem (at first listen) so completely opposite? The participants learned how to listen to the music in a different way, and in several sessions, developed a project in which the audience could also participate. The festival included open workshops and a symposium on opportunities for activism in music theatre.  

Artistic directors of the festival: Katinka Deecke, Ingo Gerlach
Artistic directors of the performance: Ted Gaier, Gintersdorfer/Klaßen, Benedikt von Peter, Markus Poschner
Artists: Bremen music theatre ensemble, members of the Bremen Philharmonic Orchestra

Africa – International programme focus

As part of its new programme focus on Africa, the Federal Cultural Foundation is currently working to promote the exchange between artists and institutions in Germany and African countries.

More about the programme focus Africa


Theater Bremen

Goetheplatz 1-3

28203 Bremen (external link, opens in a new window)