'Slaughterhouse 5' (UA) based on the novel by Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut tells about the horror of war and at the same time makes remembrance itself a subject. His novel 'Schlachthof 5' is a collage, satire, biography, science fiction and everything at the same time: the novel narrative wanders through different time levels in a fragmentary, excerpt-like manner, allowing personal experience and lessons learned to merge with fiction. Vonnegut was taken prisoner of war as a young American soldier in 1944 and was brought to Dresden. In the cellars of Schlachthof 5 he survives the heavy bombing raids of 13 and 14 February 1945. His novel, published in 1969, becomes a cult book. How do we remember the war? Which experiences become part of our cultural memory? 75 years after the end of the Second World War, the questions raised by 'Schlachthof 5' are more topical than ever. Already during the Nazi and GDR times, the events of the night of bombing became the plaything of a varied instrumentalization by various political actors and camps. And even today the 'Dresden myth' is constantly being continued. A broad alliance of civic engagement has formed across various population groups, parties, institutions and civil society organisations to counter the bombing raids by (neo)nationalist and right-wing populist groups.
Against this background, the Russian theatre director Maxim Didenko is designing a new stage version of 'Schlachthof 5', which will premiere in September in HELLERAU – European Centre for the Arts Dresden. Didenko, who has received many awards and is internationally known for his visually powerful choreographic-theatrical stage language, is looking for new possibilities for a contemporary view of Vonnegut’s text, the local commemorative culture and the 'Dresden myth' with his production. The production is conceived as a multimedia music theatre project at the interface of theatre, dance, music and performance, with performers, dancers and singers acting on stage. The music by Vladimir Rannev, composed especially for the piece, will be performed live by AuditivVokal Dresden. For the choreographic realisation with a nine-member performers’ ensemble, Didenko works closely with the choreographer Vladimir Varnava. For the spatial realisation of 'Schlachthof 5' the artist and lighting designer AJ Weissbard uses the natural light concept from the founding years of the Festspielhaus Hellerau and Oleg Michailov creates the video art.
Maxim Didenko, Vladimir Rannev, Johannes Kirsten, AJ Weissbard, AuditivVokal Dresden (RU/DE)
September 24 - 27, 2020
HELLERAU – European Centre for the Arts Dresden
About AUDITIVVOKAL DRESDEN
Founded in 2007 by Olaf Katzer, AUDITIVVOKAL DRESDEN advanced within a few years to one of the most distinguished vocal ensembles of contemporary music, which is emphatically documented by more than 100 world premieres, guest performances at numerous festivals and radio recordings. The Original Sound Ensemble of Modern Music stands for anything.but.ordinary concerts. One of the ensemble's main focuses is the search for new expressive possibilities in vocal ensemble singing as well as for novel contexts by linking science, politics and art. In addition to new vocal and expanded sound production techniques and their establishment, AUDITIVVOKAL DRESDEN places an additional emphasis on the interpretation of early and early music. The artistic activities cover an enormous range of contemporary repertoire and event forms, from small-scale a cappella concerts to large-scale concerts with orchestras.
Olaf Katzer and the ensemble are sustainably committed to social and cultural policy through the mediation and promotion of contemporary vocal music. In addition to educational projects with students, seniors and citizens, the work of AUDITIVVOKAL DRESDEN has been documented since 2017 within the framework of a cooperative documentation center on contemporary choral and vocal music creation Neue Dresdner Vokalschule with the Saxon State Library - Dresden State and University Library. In close cooperation with composers, the Neue Dresdner Vokalschule sees itself as a living instrument for performing existing, complex and advanced works and equally emerging compositions.
The singers of AUDITIVVOKAL DRESDEN, who work together in small and large ensembles, have mastered new microtonal sound worlds as well as the entire spectrum of vocal multiphonics. They have undergone classical vocal training and have usually already familiarized themselves with the specifics of new vocal techniques during their studies.