© © Thomas Ruttke

Offene Wunden

Zwei Songspiele von Helmut Ohering und Kurt Weill an einem Abend

The production ›OPEN WOUNDS‹ of the Ensemble Modern juxtaposes two Songspiels in one evening: ›Mahagonny-Songspiel‹ (1927) by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht and the new composition ›Die WUNDE Heine‹ (2008/09) by Helmut Oehring.

Stefanie Wördemann’s libretto for ›Die WUNDE Heine‹ is based on poems by Heinrich Heine which are disturbingly up to date. One hundred years before ›Mahagonny-Songspiel‹ was written, these poems were already prophesying »the end of the art period« and the emergence of a new kind of art. The zeitgeist of Weill's Music is thus emphasized and a bridge to the present built.

Not only in terms of content, but also in instrumentation, vocal cast, working method and form, ›Die WUNDE Heine‹ is intended as a continuation of the Brecht/Weill Mahagonny-Songspiel idea in a contemporary context. Oehring himself describes his composition as »response music« to ›Mahagonny-Songspiel‹. A two-part video by Hagen Klennert containing both graphic and real elements is part of the stage design and forms a visual connection between the Songspiels.

Ensemble Modern plays Weill with a racy swing and relentlessly sharp-edged transparency, and the ensemble of vocalists delivers an exemplary feat of historically informed performance practice to match.Frankfurter Rundschau, Hans-Jürgen Linke
Oehring and his librettist Stefanie Wördemann use several of Heine’s poems in order to make their text more musical, whether by spherically delicate and colourful sounds or cheerfully noisy rock rhythms.Frankfurter Rundschau, Andreas Bomba