Orangerie Herrenhausen, Hannover

Premiere: 31 mar 2022

1 + 2 apr 2022, 7.30 pm Orangerie Herrenhausen

Following the invitation of Berlin soloist ensemble Kaleidoskop and the Hanover State Opera, Ben J. Riepe will take over directorial and choreographic duties for the musical theatre production Beginn which will premiere at the Herrenhausen Orangerie on March 31st, 2022. In a shared artistic process, he will bring the six Kaleidoskop soloists* together with six musicians* overall from the side of the State Orchestra of Lower Saxony Hanover to form a temporary performance ensemble which will act not only musically, but also in action and movement on stage. Together with the musicians* and Icelandic composer Bára Gísladóttir, he will pursue the question what a new beginning could look like in the face of drastic upheaval, ecological challenges, and the consequences from the pandemic.

“We find ourselves at the turn of an era between two crises, in a transformational process in which everything moves. What could our role as humans be in this? For generations, we believed ourselves to be the crown of creation, but now, the moment seems to have arrived to arrange ourselves less hierarchically, anew, and differently, as a creature among many others, into nature. I would like to envision, together with the musicians* as stage performers and with all the artistic means at my disposal, a beginning: How and what could this “new world” be? What baggage, what archive, which impediments, perhaps, yet also possibly: what opportunities do we carry on from our past to shape the future? What things do we need to dismiss once and for all, and which traditional ideas and qualities could lead to new things, to necessary changes? We will make this “baggage” visible in a true sense of the word through the set decorations, because we are going to work with boxes including various contents which can readily permit many formal associations: Time capsule, archival boxes, instrument cases. The question for sustainability, for the upcycling of that which is already there, also drives us concerning costuming: We will consciously refrain from producing new clothing; we have rather trawled through our fundus for days on end to create new silhouettes from existing and skewed parts, and they appear so eclectically that they refute any ascriptions regarding either epoch or content, or even traditional semantics at first. As regards substance, my starting point and basis for my rehearsal work has been breath, as an instrument and a common practice, because it binds us together both with one another as well as with nature, and it is simultaneously originating sound as well as marking community and communality in music.” (Ben J. Riepe)

The contrasts between bowed string instruments and wind instruments, between freelance musicians* and the members* of a state orchestra, between notated as well as freely improvised sounds will deliver the grounds on which this musically performative new creation will come up. Percussion instruments are especially relevant in Bára Gísladóttir’s composition for Beginn. Stage decorations and the musicians’* bodies will also be examined for sound possibilities.

Direction, Choreography: Ben J. Riepe
Stage Design, Costumes: Ben J. Riepe, Gwen Wieczorek
Composition: Bára Gísladottír
Musical Direction: Richard Schwennicke
Lightning: Fabian Grohmann
Dramaturgy: Julia Huebner
Dramaturgy Ben J. Riepe: Janine Blöß
XChange: Keith Bernard Stonum

Beginn marks the second part of the co-operational project NEUN by soloist ensemble Kaleidoskop with HELLERAU – European Centre for the Arts and the Hanover State Opera, with support from the Fonds Doppelpass of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.