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EXPERIMENTAL CLASSICAL AT THE “INS OFFENE” MUSIC FESTIVAL — RECOMMENDED BY CHRISTINE SCHEUCHER

EXPERIMENTAL CLASSICAL AT THE “INS OFFENE” MUSIC FESTIVAL — RECOMMENDED BY CHRISTINE SCHEUCHER

Classical music festivals are always trying to attract younger audiences – often with mixed results. This Berlin project could have better chances: Ins Offene..! Musik Festival 2.0., a program hoping to get youngsters excited about classical music. Putting “2.0” in the title may sound hackneyed, but it’s not just an empty phrase. The program is very much switched-on, offering the likes of seminars on social media marketing. This year’s line-up also includes a master class and a symposium. The evening concerts, meanwhile, let audiences discover new musical territories: classical genre boundaries will be crossed with artists, dancers and DJs performing together. The theme is “Dreams”, and there’s a willingness to experiment and show how diverse classical music can be.

Festival director Nikolaus Rexroth has included young talents as well as a Ukrainian legend: Valentin Silvestrov, the 85-year-old artist who made a name for himself as a master of silence. Silvestrov has lived in Berlin since the outbreak of the war. A performance by Greek dancer Emmanouela Dolianiti is particularly worth seeing, as are concerts featuring Casals, Ysaye, Ginastera and Cruixent. The music continues until this Sunday (29.01.2023).

Text: Christine Scheucher / Photos: Caerus Chamber Ensemble & Claire Wells / Credit: Flavio de Marco

Christine Scheucher is a cultural journalist and podcast producer at Austrian public broadcaster ORF. She hosts numerous cultural programs and is always traveling around Europe’s cultural hotspots, including her favorites on the Côte d’Azur and in Berlin.

Kühlhaus Berlin, Luckenwalder Str.3, 10963 Berlin-Kreuzberg; map

Ins Offene..! – Musik Festival 2.0. Tickets for the festival and individual performances are available online or at the box office.

@kuehlhausberlinofficial
@ins_offene

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NEW BEGINNINGS MEET MUSICAL HERITAGE — MENSCH MUSIK #6 FROM THE RUNDFUNK SINFONIEORCHESTER BERLIN

NEW BEGINNINGS MEET MUSICAL HERITAGE — MENSCH MUSIK #6 FROM THE RUNDFUNK SINFONIEORCHESTER BERLIN

Questions about home, origin and identity are unifying elements of the composers and performers in the Haus des Rundfunks series Mensch, Musik!. Under the title “Heimkehr in die Fremde” (“Return to the Unknown”), conductor Ruth Reinhardt embarks on a musical journey in search of answers in pieces by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Bohuslav Martinů, Ursula Mamlok, George Walker and Dai Fujikura. These will be juxtaposed with extraordinary electronic sounds by British composer Richard Scott. There are surprises in store: Aribert Reimann’s disturbing arrangement of the Mendelssohn-Heine piece is performed by acclaimed countertenor Philipp Mathmann, while Mendelssohn’s title piece is paired with movement by Colombian dancer and choreographer Gustavo Llano. Finally, actress and speaker Inka Löwendorf adds spoken texts on the theme of homecoming and foreignness. The result is a multiperspectival, diverse evening with striking sound design. And what ensemble would be better suited for this than the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, an orchestra which for a century has played in the architecturally unique halls of the Haus des Rundfunks, a listed building. With new beginnings meeting musical heritage, the audience is in for a fantastic night.

Text: Hilka Dirks / Credit: Tauchgold, Jessica Schaefer & Peter Meisel

Haus des Rundfunks, Masurenallee 8–14, 14057 Berlin–Charlottenburg; map

Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin – Mensch Musik! #6 Return to the Unknown, Fri 03.02.2023. Tickets are available here.

@rsb_orchester

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GERMAN LITERATURE AND A WHOLE LOT MORE — SALON FÜR TEXT UND MUSIK #7 AT VOLKSBÜHNE

GERMAN LITERATURE AND A WHOLE LOT MORE — SALON FÜR TEXT UND MUSIK #7 AT VOLKSBÜHNE

The Salon for Text and Music will take place for the seventh time next Thursday (02.02.2023) at the Volksbühne theater. The event is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Volksbühne ensemble and Das Wetter magazine, which in recent years has become a bible for the art and culture scene. Katharina Holzmann and Sascha Ehlert (the Berlin publishers who call themselves the “Rich Kids of Literature”) have jointly curated the program. The theme this time is control. Everyone and everything is involved: friends, family, ensemble members, music, dance, text, acting and art. Marie-Rosa Tietjen and Rosa Lembeck will read the long poem “Kontrolle”, (first published in Das Wetter). Mira Mann, Leif Randt and Alexander Winkelmann will give a talk, with the latter also playing the bass. Meanwhile, Max Gruber will play acoustic guitar with Jannis Kleiß on drums. All of this is real, though there’s a music video by Rosanna Graf, Katharina Pia Schütz and Hanna Osen that isn’t quite what it seems. It’s going to be a lot, but it will definitely be beautiful.

Text: Hilka Dirks / Cover: Das Wetter / Photos: Rosanna Graf & Tobias Kruse

Volksbühne at Rosa–Luxemburg–Platz, Linienstr.227, 10178 Berlin–Mitte; map

Salon für Text und Musik – Nummer 7 Über Kontrolle on 02.02.2023 at 20h in the Roter Salon. Tickets are available here.

@wetteristimmer
@volksbuehne_berlin

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NINE ARTISTS, ONE PERFORMANCE AND LOTS OF LITERATURE — CCCCCOMA COLLAB X SHE SAID BOOKS

NINE ARTISTS, ONE PERFORMANCE AND LOTS OF LITERATURE — CCCCCOMA COLLAB X SHE SAID BOOKS

Art, literature, writing, text and language: the new year is here and curator collective Cccccoma (“curational collective connecting concepts of communication and art”) is back with a second edition of Cccccoma Collabs, a series that aims to foster a dialog between different cultural sectors while lowering entry barriers to the art scene. The group exhibition opens tonight (19.01.2023) at queer-feminist bookstore She Said on Kottbusser Damm. All nine showcased artists – Samantha Bohatsch, Sophie Calle, Lea Draeger, Harry Hachmeister, Šejla Kamerić, Julia Lübbecke, Markues, Rima Radhakrishnan and Anys Reimann – put language and literature at the forefront of their artistic work. Join at 20h for Bohatsch’s performance: an exploration of the nun and mystic Hildegard von Bingen. The title of the work: She Said.

Text: Hilka Dirks / Credit: Anys Reimann; Julia Lübbecke; Markues & PSM, Berlin

Cccccoma Collabs x She Said, Kottbusser Damm 79, 10967 Berlin–Kreuzberg; map
19.01–18.02.2023, Mon–Fri 10–19h & Sat 10–18h. Opening 19.01.2023 from 19h30. The performance begins at 20h.

@cccccoma_berlin
@shesaidbooks

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WHO WANTS TO LIVE FOREVER — JANÁČEK’S “THE MAKROPULOS AFFAIR” AT THE STAATSOPER

WHO WANTS TO LIVE FOREVER — JANÁČEK’S “THE MAKROPULOS AFFAIR” AT THE STAATSOPER

A prototypical femme fatale – emotionally impoverished, torn between restlessness and longing – cold-hearted opera diva Emilia Marty is looking for a potion that promises eternal life. Its recipe is hidden somewhere among the documents of an absurdly complex inheritance dispute that has been going on for a hundred years. The plot summary of Leoš Janáček’s opera Die Sache Makropulos (The Makropulos Affair) reads as wildly and emphatically as the sounds of his music, which are uniquely characteristic of him. Staging is by Claus Guth with musical direction by Finnegan Downie Dear. The audience at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden is literally sucked in, so dense are the melodies, storylines and profound questions of this meta-opera about the pros and cons of eternal life.

The work’s suggestive power and light footedness is supported by Etienne Pluss’ stage design and the choreography. You see a cross-section of a Wes Anderson-esque anthill in which the protagonists wander through hotel corridors, theater aisles and the shelves of a law firm while pondering the big questions of life: meaning, death and finitude, love, its absence and how it all connects. Dvořák’s friend Janáček, who worked long hours in Austria and Germany and was fluent in German, always preferred Czech in the Pan-Slavic tradition. And so his penultimate opera is also in Czech (with English and German subtitles): composed in tune with the unique harmony of the language.

Text: Hilka Dirks / Photos: Monika Rittershaus & Marcus Ebener

Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Unter den Linden 7, 10117 Berlin–Mitte; map

Die Sache Makropulos 21.01–02.02.2023. You can book tickets here. Save 20 percent on tickets with the code “Hallo2023” (maximum of four tickets per booking. Simply enter code at the end of the online booking process).

@staatsoperberlin

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