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.