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Music Text

Text by Helmut Oehring (G)


M, voice, 3 deaf soloists;
ob.sax.tpt.trbn.tuba-perc-vln.vlc.elec gtr-live electronics

Abbreviations (PDF)

For full details on this stagework, including synopsis and roles, please visit our Opera section.


This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.


World Premiere
Saalbau, Witten
Maxim Dessau, director / Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin / Roland Kluttig
Press Quotes

"Oehring’s own libretto consists of attempts to record observations, everyday wisdom, sayings, clichés, as well as extravagantly laboured expressions: a documentary of the impossibility of communication in today’s society, of the loss of language.

Oehring allocates his text montage to one female speaker, a mezzo soprano and three deaf actresses on three platforms between the instrumentalists sitting in a semicircle. Their gestures are mimicked by the other two actresses. Movements are fed into the sound structure through a dataglove and change the tuning of certain groups of instruments. With the new instrumentalists of the chamber ensemble Neue Musik Berlin, directed by Roland Kluttig, with live electronics, sampler and tape, Oehring ‘builds’ a differentiated, complex sound space, in which the actors, and sometimes even the musicians, can move around freely, keeping in contact with the sound space through headsets and microport systems.

Oehring combines rock rhythms, jazz sequences and electronic sound inventions with the voices of the performers to form a sound score... it opens up room for the various interactions whose musical and scenic gestures grow ever more closely together.

In this sense Oehring’s Dokumentaroper contains a utopian element: in sound, distances are bridged, communication becomes possible. At its best points, Maxim Dessau’s stage performance achieved a high density between the communicating mediums of expression."
(Gerhard Rohde, FAZ, 06.06.1995)

Recommended Recording

Salome Kammer/Ulrike Zech/Berlin Neue Musik/Roland Kluttig
Wergo WER6534

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