The Amazon rainforest is the world's largest forested area and fresh-water reservoir. Most people are generally aware that clear-cutting, live-stock breeding, monoculture, and the exploitation of energy resources and raw materials pose a dramatic threat to its unique species and the livelihood of its indigenous peoples. Yet hardly any immediate or long-term measures have been taken to effectively counter this development. If current trends continue, scientists predict that the Amazon rainforest will be almost completely decimated by 2080 with far-reaching consequences for our global climate.
The goal of this multimedia opera project was to express the anxiety caused by the irretrievable loss of the rainforest - the "Amazonian pain" (Peter Sloterdijk). Composers, media artists, shamans of the Yanomami - one of the last major indigenous peoples of South America, anthropologists and sociologists jointly developed a concept that included both the latest scientific findings and native cosmology and spirituality. The artistic examination of this issue aimed to sharpen our awareness of the dangerous developments in the Amazon.
A comprehensive educational programme for children and young adults accompanied the project, along with symposiums, exhibitions and publications.
“Amazonas – Music theatre in three parts” was a coproduction of the Goethe-Institut, the Munich Biennale, ZKM | Karlsruhe, SESC São Paulo, Hutukara Associação Yanomami and the São Carlos Portuguese National Opera, in association with Operadays Rotterdam, Netzzeit (Vienna), Ministério da Cultura (Brasilia), Petrobras/CENPES (Rio de Janeiro).
Artistic director: Peter Ruzicka
Director: Michael Scheidl
Author: Laymert Garcia dos Santos (BR)
Composers: Tato Taborda (BR), Klaus Schedl
Writers: Michael Scheidl (AT) and Bruce Albert (FR)
Fine artists: Nora Scheidl (AT), Leandro Lima (BR), Gisela Motta (BR)
Venues and schedule:
Reithalle, Munich, 8 - 12 May 2010
Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 29 - 30 May 2010 (tba)
São Paulo, Brazil, 21 - 25 July 2010
Lisbon, Portugal, 6 - 10 October 2010 (tba)