This version of “Orfeo” premiered during the Ruhr Triennial 2015 at the former coal mixing plant Zeche Zollverein, whose industrial backdrop promised to lent a spectacular atmosphere to the performance. The young German director Susanne Kennedy, the Dutch artist duo Suzan Boogaerdt & Bianca van der Schoot, and the soloist ensemble Kaleidoskop teamed up to adapt Monteverdi’s “Orfeo” as a music theatre installation and individual walking tour through several rooms. In this way, the artists created an experiment in perception based on this well-known opera. The special character and visual impact of the mixing plant of the former colliery was countered by a room designed to be both banal and hyper-realistic. Here, Hades was presented as a “modern-day limbo”, comprised of cheap kitchenettes, bedrooms and waiting rooms: the “aesthetics of a room in suburbia”. Monteverdi’s composition formed the musical basis of the production. The Kaleidoskop ensemble also developed new works, as well as electronic samples based on fragments of the original composition. Like in Monteverdi’s opera, the principle of echoing played a decisive role in this production. The individual rooms of the installation could “perform together”, in other words, the music in one room could influence the acoustic experience of the music in another room. The audience was allowed to walk through the rooms in small groups. They encountered Orpheus, wandering restlessly, occasionally taking the audience members with him and then leave again. After about an hour, the tour of Hades concluded, but for those who chose to enter once more, new variations and a new version of this mythical tale awaited.
Directors: Susanne Kennedy, Suzan Boogaerdt (NL), Bianca van der Schoot (NL)
Musical concept and direction: Michael Rauter
Singer: Hubert Wild
Ensemble: Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop