ensemble & voices & electronics

PHACE | Reise nach Comala

10.Mar.2020 // 19:30
Basel, Gare du Nord

18.Mar.2020 // 19:30
Wiener Konzerthaus, Berio Hall
PHACE Series 19/20 – N°3

a production by PHACE, Vokalensemble Zürich, Wiener Konzerthaus and IGNM Basel, in cooperation with ICST Zürich and Gare du Nord



Peter Siegwartconductor
Florian Bogner, electronics & sound
Germán Toro Pérez, electronics & sound

Vokalensemble Zürich




Germán Toro Pérez
»Reise nach Comala«
theater of voices, based on the novel «Pedro Páramo (1955)» by Juan Rulfo

Live-Radio-Play-Version für voices, ensemble and electronics


“We have to dig up the dead again and again, because only from them can we obtain a future.” (Heiner Müller)

The music theatre Reise nach Comala (Journey to Comala) is a conversation with the dead. The fallen Mexican village Comala is a place where the voices of the unredeemed are preserved and continue to resonate.

The work is based on Juan Rulfo’s only novel, Pedro Páramo (1955), which is nowadays acknowledged as a classic of modern Latin-American literature and regarded as a solitary, bold pioneer of Magic Realism. Highly symbolic and allegorical, Rulfo reviews the revolutionary era in Mexico and its social and individual preconditions.  The drama portrays a rigid community trapped in a system of dependency and complicity, self-deception and corruption. Unable to struggle for renewal, memory fragments about Comala and its story under Páramo’s autocracy are told, interwoven at various time levels. The more and more disoriented reader is invited to reconfigure the story for himself.

Germán Toro Perez’ work is a “theater of voices”, a multi-layered sound space, in which the clear boundary between audience and stage will be blurred. Generally inspired by aspects of life and reality that are transformed into musical forms by means of abstraction processes, the composer Germán Toro Pérez has been focusing on the Mexican author, his literary devices and his existential issues for several years: “The contradictory, prismatic identity of modern man and the word as a base for creating worlds.” (Germán Toro Pérez). In almost tangible presence, speaking or singing voices, visible or disembodied, create a hallucinatory and labyrinthine compartmentalized sound cosmos.

Single tickets for the PHACE concert series

Available at the website of Wiener Konzerthaus, as from autumn 2019!

Event Dates

March 2020
  • Date
  • 18.Mar.2020 19:30

    PHACE series @KH #3 | Reise nach Comala

    Vienna, Wiener Konzerthaus, Berio Hall

    Vocal Ensemble & Ensemble & Electronics

    Comala is the place where the voices of the unredeemed, who perished under the unscrupulous rule of Pedro Páramo and his village, are preserved. On stage is a "theater of voices", a polyphonic sounding room that eliminates the separation between spectator and stage.

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