The year 2019 will be the 200th anniversary of Gottfried Keller’s birth. Keller is the most important Swiss German writer of the 19th century. He lived and worked mainly in Zurich.
Keller’s novel DIETEGEN is less known, maybe because its subject is neither romantic, nor heroic. But it seems to be one of the most contemporary (or timeless) stories he wrote.
We transfer its plot into the future, into a world after the ecological collapse. The self-justice of mafia gangs is ruling even in Switzerland, and the hero is a young gunslinger, an ego shooter and a killer in fact. He and his girl, his stepsister, do not love each other, but they stay together. Visions of freedom or love, which are the occasion for operatic arias do not exist.
Usually, an opera is a well-defined work, set up to the smallest musical detail. Its performance consists of a faithfully interpreted score. Only the staging has an extended freedom today, and the singers, the chorus, the ballet and the orchestra are groups of highly specialised artists.
In contrast, we produce an opera without sheet music. Larger parts of it are improvised. We are working with a company that is not divided into groups with specific functions. There is an ensemble similar to the chorus in Greek tragedy, being the choir, the orchestra and the ballet at the same time, commenting on the events via their mobile phone screens. The smart phone is the stage character's means of communication, and it is our main musical instrument at the same time.
Music and Musical Conception: Bruno Spoerri
Bruno is a pioneer of Swiss Electronical Music, computer music and jazz. He has contributed music to numerous audiovisual productions, from commercials to movies up to experimental films. In 2015, the Rapper Jay Z used one of Bruno’s compositions but admitted this plagiarism. In 2017, Bruno was honoured with the Swiss Jazz Award.
Production and Direction: Mathias Spohr
After a training as actor, composer and musicologist, he continued his formation as theatre and media scientist and became an opera expert. He worked as author, editor, dramaturg, producer and director in various music theater productions. Furthermore, Mathias led the Bern Drama School’s degree programme.
Cinematics: Ivan Engler
After studies of filmmaking at the School of Art and Design Zurich, and activities as Visual Jockey, he founded his own film production company. His films „Nomina Domini“ (2000) and „Cargo“ attracted international attention.