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Johannes Kalitzke: Pym premiere in Heidelberg

(May 2016)

Johannes Kalitzke’s new opera Pym, premiered at the Heidelberg Theater in February, is a surreal voyage into the unknown.

Johannes Kalitzke’s new opera Pym draws on Edgar Allan Poe’s only complete novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. This was a source book for Melville’s Moby Dick and Hollow Earth science fiction writers such as Jules Verne, starting as an adventure on the high seas and taking a decidedly surreal turn in its final pages as Pym disappears into a world beyond the South Pole.

The premiere production at the Heidelberg Theater by Johann Kresnik, blending opera and dance, featured a remarkable performance by countertenor Kangim Justin Kim in the title role.

"Johannes Kalitzke and his librettist Christoph Klimke have found a theatrically compelling shape… The score includes ever more surreally distanced sounds, enriched with electronics and a vocal quartet enveloping the dramatic singing with an aura of meanings…"
Die Deutsche Bühne

"Kalitzke’s music evokes not facts but fictions, not reality but, by means of sampled sounds used in a consciously dramatic way, the surreal within psychotic worlds of desire and delusion."
Opernwelt

"As Pym disappears at the end of the final ‘maelstrom’ scene into the outstretched wings of the ominous white figure, Kalitzke allows his sweeping, expansive music to disappear as if into a black hole. Before that, over the course of 90 minutes, a hellish trip has unfolded with such considerable orchestral energy and varied diversions that it could be a musical representation of the world of Hieronymus Bosch… With its strong pull, it’s clear how effective this music is."
Online Musik Magazin


> Further information on Work: Pym

Photo: Heidelberg Theater/Annemone Taake

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