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Elisabeth Pape and Abigél Varga, Marie Kilg and Eva Kuhn: two young text-music tandems are shaping the programme in the hall in the first third of 2024 with their world premieres. We are thus following our tradition of promoting talent through practice, practice, practice. The multi-talented Moritz Eggert – much sought-after composer (also for the NKO), Professor of Composition at the Munich Academy of Music, President of the German Composers’ Association – writes about this:

You can’t learn how to compose operas from books. You have to know the smell of sweat on the rehearsal stage, you have to develop a feel for the stage situation, for timing, for theatricality, for distinguishing the important from the unimportant. You can’t get caught up in academic musical antics, you have to keep your eye on the big picture. But even then, details are important: How do singers think? How can I tell with music what the text can’t tell? How do I communicate my ideas with a team, with dramaturges and directors? Can I also engage with the ideas of others? Opera has always been teamwork from the very beginning, and teamwork has to be learnt. All the great female opera composers of the past have gained theatre experience in one way or another, had to learn to deal with failure and failure (just think of Richard Wagner), but were then also able to reap the rich rewards of their experience. All this can only be learnt in practice. It is therefore impossible to emphasise often enough how important the work of the Neukölln Opera is. Here we have a venue that is decidedly and resolutely committed to young talent, without blinkers, without stylistic dogmas and without arrogance. Where else do young opera composers not only get the opportunity to perform their first works, but also receive intensive coaching and support? The Neuköllner Oper ensures that opera has a future.

I am extremely grateful that many of our young students have been able to contribute to this future and I hope that this will also be possible in the future. With this in mind: good luck for a great new season!

This text appeared in the January/February/March 2024 programme booklet.

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