Music Theatre

Reise nach Comala

Germán Toro Pérez (music)

(world premiere) “Theater der Künste” (Bühne A) der ZHdK
May 16th, 2017

Theater der Stimmen nach dem Roman “Pedro Paramo” von Juan Rulfo für Sopran, Vokalensemble (8), Kammerensemble (9), Schauspieler (7) und Elektronik (2)

 

production by VEZ, in co-operation with PHACE, supported by City of Zürich

 

DIRECTOR & LIBRETTO

Stefan Nolte

conductor

Peter Siegwart

STAGE DESIGN

Matthis Neidhardt

SOUND PROJECTION

Florian Bogner

VOKAL ENSEMBLE ZÜRICH
PHACE

Doris Nicoletti, flute
Michael Krenn, saxophone
Daniel Riegler, trombone
Berndt Thurner, percussion
Ivana Pristasova, violin
Petra Ackermann, viola
Roland Schueler, cello
Alexandra Dienz, double bass

Preface

“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.

Biographien

Germán Toro Pérez (*Bogotá, 1964) www.toro-perez.com

His body of work includes instrumental, electroacoustic and mixed compositions, as well as works in collaboration with graphic design, painting and experimental video. Numerous assignments, prizes and international performances at festivals (such as Wien Modern, Klangspuren Schwaz, Synthèse Bourges, Sonorities Belfast, Archipel Genf and ISCM Weltmusiktage) and co-productions with the ensembles Mondrian Basel, Mosaik Berlin, New Century Players L.A., die Reihe, PHACE, Vokalensemble Zürich und Klangforum Wien. Co-founder of the NewTonEnsemble, Vienna. He was director of the computer music course and guest professor of electroacoustic composition at the University of Music in Vienna. Since 2007 he is director of the ICST and professor for electroacoustic composition at the Zurich University of the Arts. He was professor for composition at the International summer courses in Darmstadt 2012. Publications and texts on artistic research, composition theory and aesthetics of electroacoustic music as well as on history and identity of Latin American music.

Stefan Nolte   www.stefannolte.de

The theatre director is an expert on large-scale and site-specific works including “Orpheus in der Unterwelt” (world premiere of the libretto by Peter Hacks) in the decommissioned Bitterfelder Kulturpalast and his transcription of Wagner’s Parzival performed at the former V2 research area in Peenemünde. In 2011 he won the audience award at the theatre of Dortmund. So far, he has staged works by Georg Büchner, Bertold Brecht, J.W. Goethe, Rainald Goetz, Peter Handke, Elfriede Jelinek and Heiner Müller and several music theatres by the Swiss composer Daniel Mouthon. Aartistic research on “Disembodied Voice” at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK / Swiss National Science Foundation) together with Germán Toro Pérez.

Vokalensemble Zürich       www.vokalensemblezuerich.ch

The professional vocal ensemble founded by Peter Siegwart has been staging selected productions beyond the established repertory for 20 years. In addition to historical rarities the ensemble also dedicates itself to contemporary music. So far, a number of composers such as Dieter Ammann, Daniel Glaus, Hans-Jürg Meier, Thomas Müller, Andreas Nick, Philipp Racine, Alfred Zimmerlin have written for the Vokalensemble Zürich. The ensemble has been invited to numerous festivals and cooperated with the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, the L’Orfeo Barockorchester, the Ensemble Contrechamp and the Ensemble Recherche. The Vokalensemble Zürich has been awarded the «Year for Musical Interpretation 2007» by the City of Zurich.

PHACE    www.phace.at

PHACE has been active in the contemporary music scene for many years, and is one of the most innovative and versatile Austrian ensembles for new music. Alongside the focus on classical contemporary chamber music, the artistic range reaches from music theatre productions all the way to multidisciplinary projects comprising dance, theatre, performance, electronics, video, DJs, turntablists, installation art and many more. Since 2010, PHACE has placed a special focus on staged productions (dance theater, music theater). The ensemble, currently comprised of eleven active members, regularly invites musicians and guests from a variety of artistic backgrounds for collaborative performances.

Since the mid-1990s, the ensemble has appeared in the most renowned concert halls and festivals in Austria and abroad, including Wien Modern, Klangspuren Schwaz, deSingel, rainy Days Luxembourg, Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam, Festival d’Avignon, Le Parvis Scène nationale Tarbes Pyrénées, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Salzburger Festspiele, King’s Place, Carinthischer Sommer, Philharmonie Luxemburg, Osterfestival Tirol, Osterfestival Krems, Wiener Festwochen, generator, Wiener Konzerthaus, Transart Bozen, Berliner Festspiele, Ultraschall Berlin, Salihara Festival Indonesien, SonEMUS Festival, Bludenzer Tage zeitgemäßer Musik, Festival Musica Strasbourg, Thaliatheater Hamburg, MarchMusicDays Ruse, etc.

Since the 2012-13 season, PHACE has produced its own concert cycle at the Wiener Konzerthaus. Beginning in 2015, the ensemble releases recordings under a label of the same name, PHACE.

Event Dates

May 2017
  • Date
    Project
    Location
  • 16.May.2017 19:30

    Reise nach Comala

    Zürich

    Das Musiktheater Reise nach Comala von German Toro Perez ist ein Theater der Stimmen. Erzählt wird aus einer Perspektive jenseits des Todes. Die Zuschauer befinden sich in einem Grabsystem. Aus benachbarten Gräbern erklingen Stimmen und Echos von Stimmen und erzählen die Geschichte des Dorfes. Comala ist Stimmspeicher und Resonanzraum für diese Stimmen.

    Read more
  • 20.May.2017 19:30

    Reise nach Comala

    Zürich

    Das Musiktheater Reise nach Comala von German Toro Perez ist ein Theater der Stimmen. Erzählt wird aus einer Perspektive jenseits des Todes. Die Zuschauer befinden sich in einem Grabsystem. Aus benachbarten Gräbern erklingen Stimmen und Echos von Stimmen und erzählen die Geschichte des Dorfes. Comala ist Stimmspeicher und Resonanzraum für diese Stimmen.

    Read more
  • 19.May.2017 19:30

    Reise nach Comala

    Zürich

    Das Musiktheater Reise nach Comala von German Toro Perez ist ein Theater der Stimmen. Erzählt wird aus einer Perspektive jenseits des Todes. Die Zuschauer befinden sich in einem Grabsystem. Aus benachbarten Gräbern erklingen Stimmen und Echos von Stimmen und erzählen die Geschichte des Dorfes. Comala ist Stimmspeicher und Resonanzraum für diese Stimmen.

    Read more
  • 18.May.2017 19:30

    Reise nach Comala

    Zürich

    Das Musiktheater Reise nach Comala von German Toro Perez ist ein Theater der Stimmen. Erzählt wird aus einer Perspektive jenseits des Todes. Die Zuschauer befinden sich in einem Grabsystem. Aus benachbarten Gräbern erklingen Stimmen und Echos von Stimmen und erzählen die Geschichte des Dorfes. Comala ist Stimmspeicher und Resonanzraum für diese Stimmen.

    Read more

 

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