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Music Text

Libretto by Christoph Klimke based on the novel „The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket“ by Edgar Allan Poe, with original texts by Walter Benjamin and Fernando Pessoa (G)


CT,4T,2B,2Bar; additional vocal quartet (SATB);

Abbreviations (PDF)



This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

For full details on this stagework, including synopsis and roles, please visit our Opera section.

World Premiere
Theater, Marguerre-Saal, Heidelberg
Johann Kresnik, director / Theater der Stadt Heidelberg / Elias Grandy
Programme Note
Press Quotes

“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.”

“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


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