Music and words.
The major events of the festival are Surrogate Cities by Heiner Goebbels and Lohengrin by Salvatore Sciarrino. Sciarrino is maybe the most important and at the same time most strange, dramatical composers of his time. His music constantly looks for foreign soundscapes through an extraordinary use of the tonal quality of instruments. The music
balances the poetic and the melancholic and, through quiet, distant sound, a highly developed sense of silence. His timing in general creates an expressiveness that is always intense and engaging. Lohengrin is one of his best works. These ”invisible actions” move neurotically on the border of love and madness – Else is the only actor on the edge of schizophrenia, who relates conversations between herself and Lohengrin.
Heiner Goebbels is like Sciarrino amongst the leading music dramatists of his time but in quite a different way. His approach is much more accessible and direct. The music is violent, changable and pluralistic in style. But no less intense and engaging.
Texts are by Paul Auster and Heiner Müller, amongst others.
Surrogate Cities is an enormous orchestral work that transcends its own form and becomes something other, maybe a distorted oratorium or a subtle concert drama.
Surrogate Cities will be a real feather in the cap for Århus Symphony Orchestra, who have shown themselves to be quite capable of handling large works (Wagner, Strauß)