Skip to main content

News Event Trip to a Foreign Land

Szene aus Lorry 39 Photo: Sören Balendat, Source: HfM

On 9, 10 and 11 February, two very well attended contemporary chamber operas with a partly real and very emotional backgrounds were performed.

Trip to a Foreign Land brought together two remarkable works, each in its own way an unconventional expression of music theatre. György Ligeti's "Aventures" and "Nouvelles Aventures", composed in the sixties of the 20th century, took centre stage. These were not based on a traditional plot, but on the idea of creating music from human sounds to convey emotions. The combinations of sounds produced by the singers and those of the instrumentalists entered into a fascinating dialogue that blurred the boundaries between vocal studies and instrumental music. The resulting pieces were characterised by great emotional drama and density, in which the most diverse interpersonal situations became audible.

The music theatre piece "Lorry 39" by Ying Wang, created in 2022, had a very real background. The work deals with the tragic death of 39 Vietnamese refugees in a refrigerated lorry in Essex, UK, in October 2019. Ying Wang uses her own unique sound language to trace the people's final hours, creating a multi-layered musical psychogram.

Director Susanne Frey has discovered a fascinating connection between the two very different works, in their use of the human voice and their powerful emotional density. She has set Ligeti's mini-dramas of extreme human states in the departure hall of an airport; in the foyer of the University of Music, the protagonists and the audience are sent on a journey to a foreign country in terms of sound and content. In Ying Wang's "Lorry 39", this journey found its tragic continuation in the orchestra hall.

Project idea: Prof. Guido Johannes Rumstadt and Prof Nina Janßen-Deinzer

Musical direction: Prof. Nina Janßen-Deinzer

Stage direction: Susanne Frey

Set design: Linda Siegismund

Video: Tobias Bencker

Assistant director: Luisa Zeitler

Production assistant: Maike Hitz

Make-up: Florence Fargeon

Direction: Giorgos Sgourdas, Theresa Kellner, Otto Itgenhorst (Class Prof. Rumstadt)