Opera and Refugees

If last year is anything to go by, now that the Handel Festival is done, the rest of the season will fly by pretty quickly, although I’ve got lots to learn before it does!

This evening we have the Konzeption meeting (where the director explains their idea for th piece and the designer shows their drawings and the set model) for Border. The piece is being labelled a Jugendoper, which means it’s aimed at teenagers. It was written last year and had its Premiere in Cologne, so this will be its second outing. Having spent the last couple of days in musical ensemble rehearsals, getting a grasp of the big picture of piece (not just my bits), I’m looking forward to it, as I think it will be a very powerful show.

The piece is based loosely on Children of Herakles by Euripides and involves three siblings fleeing their home after their father falls victim to a political murder. They are followed and it doesn’t end happily.

Here is a little snippet from the Cologne staging (Charlie Kedmenec singing here, is also Australian..) where my character, Farid, sings that he’s not a dog to be hunted, and that he will return for revenge:

I guess I find this to be a powerful story, because over the past 18mths I’ve become friends with some people who have gone through this kind of situation, and their stories are powerful, and sometimes tragic, and I’ve heard just a glimpse what it means to have to leave everything and everyone to seek safety and a new life in a foreign land. If this piece can help to open people up to those who seek asylum here, then I will be very glad.

Update: One of our friendly hospitants is running a blog about the rehearsal process. Check it out here (although it is in German.. but Google Translate works pretty well)

2 responses to “Opera and Refugees”

  1. […] is really getting away from me – Endproben will do that to you – and I nearly forgot this month’s post-IW […]

  2. […] the enthusiastic and successful Premiere of Ludger Vollmer’s refugee teen-opera Border on Wednesday, it was straight into staging rehearsals for my next piece, Mieczysław […]

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