When the mountain changed its clothing

Halles de Schaerbeek

4, 6/05 – 20:30
5/05 – 18:00
EN > FR / NL
1h 20min

Heiner Goebbels, the German master of music theatre, is returning to the Kunstenfestivaldesarts! For his new work, he plunges thirty-five young singers from the magnificent Carmina Slovenica vocal ensemble into a rich and diverse musical and literary forest. When the mountain changed its clothing has at its heart the theme of change: the personal change of these young girls in the process of becoming women, but also the social and political change in their region. Texts by Rousseau, Gertrude Stein and Abramović are intermingled with lieder by Schönberg and Brahms, patriotic songs and religious music. Exploring childhood’s rites of passage, between innocence and latent violence, this show which has something of a Bildungsroman about it tells of the transformation in the Balkans by playing with viewpoints of history. A stunning composition of voices, a political and poetic harmony that produces a meditation on the human condition. Beauty in its pure state.

Concept, direction & music
Heiner Goebbels

Artistic director Carmina Slovenica
Karmina Šilec

Vocal Theatre Carmina Slovenica
Maja Ambrož, Ana Arnejčič, Tia Kaja Benčič, Tamara Bočnik, Saša Borec, Mojca Borko, Neža Borkovič, Barbara Breznik, Špela Brvar, Jasmina Črnčič, Danaja Dvornik, Eva Germ, Anja Gostenčnik, Staša Gostenčnik, Kaja Gril Rogina, Sintija Habjanič, Nina Hanžič, Nastja Anastazija Karlovčec, Nika Kralj, Alja Lačen, Alenka Lavrenčič, Petra Lazar, Maja Lorber, Mojca Merc, Ana Novak, Sergeja Pavalec, Nika Pečovnik, Nina Pušenjak, Aina Reljič, Sara Ritonija, Ana Sandrin, Ana Studen, Jera Topolovec, Neža Vasle, Anja Vinkovič, Mojca Zidarič, Anja Žnidar

Text
Jean-Jaques Rousseau, Joseph Eichendorff, Adalbert Stifter, Gertrude Stein, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Marlen Haushofer, Marina Abramović & Ian McEwan

Music
Johannes Brahms, Arnold Schönberg, Karmina Šilec, Sarah Hopkins, Lojze Lebič, Heiner Goebbels

Scenography & light design
Klaus Grünberg

Costumes
Florence von Gerkan

Choreography
Florian Bilbao

Dramaturgy
Matthias Mohr

Sound design
Willi Bopp

Direction assistant & production manager
Fanny Frohnmeyer

Scenography assistant
Monika Morsbach

Costume assistants
Julia Wannek, Barbara Carbonell

Manager Carmina Slovenica
Minja Lednik

Assistant Carmina Slovenica
Barbara Eva Vilčnik

Technical direction
Martin Rudolph

Technicians
Konrad Anger, Alexander Luhn

Props
Melanie Alsdorf

Tour manager
Monique Stolz

Presentation
Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Halles de Schaerbeek

Production
Ruhrtriennale (Bochum)

Co-production
Kunstenfestivaldesarts, steirischer herbst (Graz), Maribor Theatre Festival - Festival Borštnikovo srečanje in the framework of Maribor 2012 European Capital of Culture (Maribor), Festival d'Automne à Paris, Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg, Holland Festival (Amsterdam), Kunstfestspiele Herrenhausen (Hannover)

Supported by
Verein der Freunde und Förderer der Ruhrtriennale e.V.

Publishing
G. Ricordi & Co. Bühnen- und Musikverlag GmbH München

Performance in Brussels supported by
Goethe-Institut Brüssel

Created at the Ruhrtriennale in Bochum in September 2012

Back to top

With When the mountain changed its clothing Heiner Goebbels brings a new music-theatre piece, a piece about departure. It is a collaboration with a choir of 35 girls from the Slovenian town of Maribor, aged from 11 to 20. Under the direction of Karmina Šilec, the Carmina Slovenica Vocal Theatre has, over the last 25 years, become one of the most famous musical groups in the region, earning international acclaim. Their vast and impressively varied repertoire, embracing music from the Middle Ages, folk, and the present day, has brought them in great demand. An initial enquiry about a possible commissioned composition provided the opportunity for Heiner Goebbels to visit to their rehearsals in Maribor, where he was immediately impressed, not only by their outstanding musical and choreographic precision, but also by the self-assured ease of the young singers. Out of this encounter came the idea of a full-length music-theatre production.

In this production, the creative team - Klaus Grünberg (set design and lighting), Florence von Gerkan (costume design), Willi Bopp (sound), and Matthias Mohr (dramaturgy) continue their longstanding collaboration with Heiner Goebbels. Together with the singers, they developed the scenes, texts, music, and action, which constantly oscillate between the singers' striking childish innocence and their dangerous unpredictability. One of Goebbels's first music-theatre pieces (Die Wiederholung, 1995) ends with a question-and-answer game: "What do little girls dream about? - Knives, and blood." And this is where this latest piece begins. Its central theme deals with radical change: the change that the young singers confront as they speak and sing texts and stories about the end of childhood, and the change they experience during the political and social upheaval in the region, on which their own music and the musical culture of the choir is based. The aim is to invert the spectator's gaze - drawn naturally to the singers - and to focus it on the spectators themselves, making us aware of our own perspective and viewpoint. Much like the Mountain Kanin, which appears in a traditional Slovenian song, the music changes its clothing and includes antiphons from the Middle Ages as well as political songs from the Tito era and Pop music.

Back to top

Heiner Goebbels (b. 1952) is a German composer and director who has lived in Frankfurt am Main since 1972 where he studied sociology and music. He creates musical theatre, staged concerts, radio works and compositions for ensembles and large orchestras. As a composer he has collaborated with the finest ensembles and orchestras (Ensemble Modern, London Sinfonietta, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Berliner Philharmoniker) and conductors (including Lothar Zagrosek, Sir Simon Rattle, Peter Eötvös and Peter Rundel). Since the early 1990s, he has composed and directed unique and celebrated works for musical theatre such as Black on White (1996), Max Black (1998), Eislermaterial (1998), Hashirigaki (2000), Landscape with distant relatives (2002), Eraritjaritjaka (2004), Stifters Dinge (2007), Songs of Wars I have seen (2007) and I went to the house but did not enter (2008) among many others, most of which have been produced by Theatre Vidy in Lausanne and invited to the most prestigious international theatre and music festivals in Europe, the USA, South America, Australia and Asia. He has also released a number of CDs with ECM Records, for which he has received two Grammy nominations, alongside a career in writing and giving lectures. He has won a number of international record, radio, theatre and music awards. He is composer-in-residence at the Lucerne Festival and for the Bochumer Symphoniker, a member of several academies of arts, an honorable fellow of Dartington College of Arts and of the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, a fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Berlin (2007-2008) and artist-in-residence at Cornell University in Ithaca, USA. Heiner Goebbels is a professor at the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies at the Justus-Liebig University in Gießen and since 2006 has been President of the Theatre Academy of Hesse. In 2012 he was appointed artistic director of the Ruhrtriennale international arts festival, a position he will hold until 2014. In 2012 Heiner Goebbels was awarded one of the world’s most prestigious theatre prizes: the International Ibsen Award.

Slovenian vocal ensemble Vocal Theatre Carmina Slovenica, led by artistic director Karmina Šilec, is noted for its innovative programming which explores works at the forefront of the contemporary music scene. With Choregie – vocal theatre or theatre of voices Carmina Slovenica introduces a concept that incorporates contemporary music, drama, movement and other stage elements. Using this concept of vocal theatre, the ensemble has performed on stages worldwide, including at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Space, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall, the Teresa Carreño Theatre in Caracas, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the San Francisco Symphony Hall and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. Carmina Slovenica has been invited to perform at highly prestigious music events such as the World Music Days (organised by the ISCM), the Moscow Easter Festival, the Dresdner Musikfestspiele and the World Symposium on Choral Music (organised by the IFCM). The main aim of the ensemble and its artistic director is to search continually for new music and new fields of work. This has already borne fruit in its wide repertoire today, from early and ethnic vocal music to the latest avant-garde compositions. Carmina Slovenica’s characteristic sound and wide-ranging virtuosity makes it the ideal ensemble for different repertoires, from a cappella music of all genres to vocal instrumental projects.

Back to top