“Yours is my whole heart, where you are not, I cannot be…” – Can you still say (sing) that today if you are serious about love? How much sentiment, nostalgia, even kitsch is still possible before it becomes ridiculous? Lisa simply tries it out. She wants to know, the thing with love, the dreams that can be big, the sound of operetta. Sure, some would say Lisa is a bit special. But what does that mean in Berlin, the world capital of diverse lifestyles? So Lisa is more into Lehár than techno. And she likes the thrill of the so-called stranger(s). In a dating app, she finds what she is looking for, the big draw: “Sou Chong” (who actually has a completely different name and ticks differently), a native of China and student in Berlin, who seems very similar to Sou Chong from Lehár’s operetta and can also sing magnificently! Sounds like the beginning of a crazy love story. Only: in real life, without the net and operetta, everything is different and sometimes more complicated…
And strangely: do the questionable and criticisable clichés of the foreigner in the operetta live on today in dating apps and the staging of its users? At the invitation of the Neuköllner Oper, Abigél Varga (music) and Elisabeth Pape (lyrics) have looked at Lehár’s world-famous operetta about the meeting of two cultures from two worlds for its contemporary relevance and bring the original plot into today’s polyglot Berlin. The young author and Kleist Prize winner Elisabeth Pape lovingly and stringently slims down the original to a quartet of young people in search of love and an idea of themselves, and encompasses this with Lehár’s famous music. But can we still meet each other with these melodies today? The Hungarian composer Abigél Varga undertakes a special work: she comments on Lehár’s original arias, duets and orchestral compositions with her own artistry and rearranges them for a colourful and multifaceted ensemble, which also includes the guzheng, the Chinese arched-board zither.
MUSIC Abigél Varga TEXT Elisabeth Pape STAGE DIRECTION Ansgar Stephan Weigner STAGE/COSTUME DESIGN Christian Müller IDEA AND DRAMATURGY Bernhard Glocksin VIDEO Valle Döring
Marie Sofie Jacob (Lisa), Nicholas Malakul (Sou-Chong/Prince), Luca Schaub (Tobias/Gustl), Vivian Yau (Mi/Sister) and the musicians Kristjana Helgadóttir (Flöte), Lixue Lin-Siedler (Guzheng & Koto), Christian Vogel (clarinet/bass clarinet), Florian Juncker (trombone), Silke Lange (accordion), Anne Müller (violoncello), Sabrina Ma (vibraphone/percussion)
Shows on Saturdays and Sundays with English and German subtitles for your smart phone (OPERA ACCESS)
Performance rights with Rowohlt Theater Verlag, Hamburg