Austrian Music Export at Operadagen Rotterdam

Operadagen Rotterdam

Operadagen Rotterdam are dedicated to the field of music theatre, presenting major music theatre productions, showcases and presentations to a circle of international producers. For the first time, three works by Austrian composers will be represented at the presentations on May 24, 2018.

The works emerged from a call for proposals and have been selected by an expert panel. The jury, consisting of Veronica Kaup-Hasler, Thomas Desi and Guy Coolen, chose “The Beautiful Square” by Sabine Maier and Klaus Lang, “Dingen” by Peter Jakober and Paul Wenninger and “The Fifth Cardinal Direction” by Cao Thanh Lan and Gregor Siedl. These three works will also be presented at a producers’ meeting at the Musiktheatertage Wien on June 16, 2018.

The 13th edition of Operadagen Rotterdam, runs from Friday 18 through Sunday 27 May 2018. Operadagen Rotterdam presents more than 100 performances in major theatres, unusual venues, and outdoor locations in Rotterdam.

Peter Jakober and Paul Wenninger: „Dingen“

In DINGEN choreographer Paul Wenninger and composer Peter Jakober follow the trail of an archaeological find: of a chordophone – an “enormous string instrument” – that was discovered during an excavation in 1835 in Aksum, present-day Ethiopia. A few sketches and ancestral history describe the form and use of the musical instrument, which was played exclusively by two men and was said to bring divine love and purity. For DINGEN, the two artists have reconstructed the instrument using present-day materials in order to stage it in a situation between concert and performance in various structural conditions, and from the perspective of various artistic positions. The compositions, performance, spatial acoustics and choreography written specially for the instrument mutually influence, generate and condition one another in a work with archaeological traces that develops with and through the body.

Cao Thanh Lan and Gregor Siedl: „The Fifth Cardinal Direction“

The Fifth Cardinal Direction – in German “Die fünfte Himmelsrichtung” – can be found in ancient Asian-, Native American- and Indo-European cultures and represents the center, the here and now, the inner self. Based on this knowledge, this composition is an introspective journey to the inner self and its transformations during a person’s lifetime: birth, maturity, love, work and creation, (self)destruction and re-birth. The two composers – also known as Duo Siedl/Cao – have been inspired by symbolism, rituals and music of the ethnic minorities of North Vietnam and expanded their artistic language by the means of contemporary expression. The fact that the canto is based on a fantasy language enhances the conceptual intention so that the audience can focus on the musicality and the expressiveness of the language rather than focusing on the text’s meaning.

Sabine Maier and Klaus Lang: „The Beautiful Square“

In “the beautiful square”, composer Klaus Lang and media artist Sabine Maier try a microscopy of music theatre: a space-sound composition that always deprives of one of the senses in order to deepen and sharpen another. With veiled eyes, the audience listens and perceives hazy light changes. Watching the room and the musicians playing soundlessly, the only acoustic impressions are random noise and micro fragments of sound caused by the playing movement. Aspects of contemporary music, composition and the fine arts initiate a dialogue without overlapping however the interpretations and intellectual backgrounds of the other individual.

Links: Klaus Lang, Sabine Maier

About Operadagen Rotterdam

Operadagen Rotterdam is an international opera and music theatre festival with contemporary, innovative, and ground-breaking productions, created by young and adventurous makers from all over the world. Operadagen Rotterdam presents stories about pushing boundaries and the search for a new identity under the overall festival theme, Lost & Found, which runs from 2017 through 2020. The first instalment in 2017 was called Departures. 2018 sees the next part, Heroism. For more information about the next edition go to

Please have a look at the full Festival Programme

Operadagen Rotterdam
Musiktheatertage Wien

Austrian Music Export at Operadagen is supported by Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs