In the beginning may have been the word – in the end, the musical dimension of language remains as its new content. This works almost unnoticeably and reaches such perfection that people who were still talking just a moment ago seem to be singing the next.

Helmut Mauró, Süddeutsche Zeitung

Twenty years after its first performance, ›The Cave‹ has lost none of its timeliness, presumably because it refuses to settle on any one [...] issue or clearly identifiable current events.

Tim Caspar Boehme, taz

[Steve Reich] distils melodies and rhythms, extracting pure music. The perfection with which this works is incredible, the way the musicians embrace the constantly changing rhythms, the precision of Brad Lubman’s conducting along with the film projection, and Norbert Ommer’s mixing of the microphone-enhanced sounds.

Andreas Bomba, Frankfurter Neue Presse

The Cave

Video-Oper von Steve Reich und Beryl Korot

In their joint production ›The Cave‹, first performed at the Wiener Festwochen in 1993, composer Steve Reich and video artist Beryl Korot follow the trail of the relations between Jews and Muslims. ›The Cave‹ recalls the 4000-year-old Biblical story of Abraham, his wives Sarah and Hagar and his sons Ishmael and Isaac, and also recounts the political situation in the Middle East during the years 1989–1993, when the piece was created – an issue that has become disturbingly topical again as a result of the latest developments.

›The Cave‹ is based on videotaped interviews with Israelis, Palestinians and Americans. The answers to the five same questions posed in all the interviews – »Who was Abraham? Who was Sarah? Hagar? Ishmael? And Isaac?« – reflect the diverging views of the different cultural groups and create a kaleidoscope of memories and reflections. Beryl Korot fragmented this video material and added computer-printed quotations from the Bible and the Koran. The picture sequences are multiplied and presented on five large video screens, simultaneously superimposed and intertwined by means of time-shift. These image and voice documents provide the basis for the instrumental music: Steve Reich takes the speech melodies as a musical foundation, redoubling and harmonising them. With ›The Cave‹, Steve Reich and Beryl Korot have established a »new genre of musical theatre« in the form of a »video opera« that combines music with (multiple) videos of a documentary nature.