17 January 2011

±0 – plus minus zero – Christoph Marthaler meets Greenland

The Bergen International Festival has joined forces with a number of other European cultural institutions to create a new musical theatre performance with Greenland as the starting point. This production has been titled ±0, and will be staged by Swiss director Christoph Marthaler.

±0 – plus minus zero – is the point where solid and liquid meet, where solid ground becomes thin ice. Few places have more experience of this grey area than Greenland, where extreme natural conditions and social isolation dominate everyday life, and the difference between plus and minus can be the difference between life and death.

The forgotten stories
In spring 2011, director Christoph Marthaler will head for Greenland to find out what the ±0 condition actually feels like. Over the past 20 years, he has established a position for himself as one of Europe’s most respected dramatic artists, and he is well-known for productions that combine warmth, humour and music. Together with his own troupe of actors and local artists from Nuuk and Uummannaq, he will carry out a theatrical project on the world’s biggest island. Far from Europe’s centres of culture, Marthaler’s expedition will come into contact with Greenland’s forgotten stories, forgotten people and forgotten music.

The world premiere is in Nuuk 30 April 2011, after which the production will travel to Wiener Festwochen before coming to the Bergen International Festival on 4–7 June. In fall, the performance will be shown in Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen and Stockholm, with more venues to be added.

The inland ice is melting
With Greenland’s mythical world and traditions as a backdrop, this musical production will be a new arena in which different experiences and perspectives on the future meet and merge.
– To most Europeans Greenland is a magical place of eternal ice and true nature. In general, people know little about Greelanders and the island’s long and difficult history. Greenland is also the place where the inland ice is melting, and where the catastrophic consequences of the climatic changes are manifesting themselves and becoming visible as something other than an abstract phenomena, says Christoph Marthaler.

These conditions of life are what interest the Swiss director, and the unique sounds and conversations from this part of the world will form the core of this production.

A co-production between Bergen International Festival, Wiener Festwochen, the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen, Volksbühne am-Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Stockholm’s Stadsteatern, Napoli Festival Teàtro Italia, Théàtre de la Ville in Paris and others.

Supported by Nordic Culture Point and Freedom of Expression Foundation

01 January 2011

Your greatest Wagner experience in 2010?

Happy New Year to all Wagner lovers! My greatest Wagner experiences in 2010 were the new productions of Tannhäuser (Stefan Herheim in Oslo) and Lohengrin (Hans Neuenfels / Andris Nelsons in Bayreuth).

What was your greatest Wagner experience in 2010?