Heiner Goebbels by ISCI8UCB


									                                  "In the mountains the throats become free!
                                  It is a wonder that we don't burst into song."
                                  (Franz Kafka: "Excursion into the mountains").

Heiner Goebbels
"I went to the house but did not enter"
A Staged concert in three tableaux.

Already the title of this staged concert, developed with the world
famous Hilliard Ensemble, suggests that nothing much will happen
during the piece. Therein lies perhaps the secret to the music-
theatre-works of Heiner Goebbels: Despite (or perhaps because of)
the lack of spectacle, his works have an extraordinary effect on the
attention of the spectator. The uniquely intense performances of the
Hilliard Ensemble – whose voices are trained in the music of the
Middle Ages – are based on a wonderfully restrained presence that
is strikingly different from the pomp often characteristic of the
singing style found on the operatic stage. This fascination for vocal
insistence is the starting point for Heiner Goebbels´ latest
composition developed at the Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne with the
same creative team with whom he has collaborated on most of his
recent music-theatre works: Klaus Grünberg (stage design and
lighting), Florence von Gerkan (costume) and Willi Bopp (sound).

"I went to the house but did not enter" is a staged concert of three
tableaux. Each tableau is a separate entity dedicated to a different
20th century literary text. Although markedly separated these
various texts do share one theme: each lends the fragmented and
anonymous "I" a multitude of voices and features, that deny the
reader the possibility of clearly defined roles and characters. Their
language – varied as it is – promises no security. Despite offering a
lot of stories, each text demonstrates a mistrust of the linear
narrative form, and the often paradoxical meaning of the story only
finds its value, when we as listeners complete the act of
storytelling. "I went to the house but did not enter" is perhaps a
journey on which the un-heroic protagonists – "a pack of nobodies"
as Kafka puts it – never embarks. It is a journey in three time
frames in no particular place – everywhere and nowhere.

"The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock" is one of the young T.S
Eliot´s most famous poems. The title hints at the sadly doomed
undertaking – such a pernickety and correct use of initials is hardly
the stuff of love songs… And while this love song does begin with
the best of intentions - "Let us go then, You and I" – it is uncertain
whether Prufrock actually ever leaves his room. These
contradictions are also the main thread of the other texts of the

"Tell us exactly what happened!" Who says this in Maurice
Blanchot´s "The Madness of the Day"? Is it a policeman? Or a
patient, a doctor, the nurses, or the law? If it is a confession or an
interrogation, then who is guilty? And who threw a glass into
whose face? A story? No, never again.

Finally, the vortex of Samuel Beckett´s "Worstword Ho!" most
radically challenges and questions our language, words and signs;
which could indeed go horribly wrong, if it weren´t for Beckett´s
"better failure" with his tight-knit poetic language – the utopia of
the aesthetic form.

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