21 / 22 / 23 / 24 september 2016
We are living in a global crisis. But how should we deal with it? Philosopher Peter Sloterdijk warns us of “the ghost of religion” and tells us to change our lives ourselves without waiting for God’s help. Slavoj Žižek, on the other hand, compares our thinking and actions now at the end of time to a grieving process in which we have to work through several stages, from rejection and anger before finding acceptance. The music theatre work ‘Earth Diver’ directed by Wouter Van Looy seeks to immerse itself in this mood, combining philosophical ideas through music, literature and images.
The works of baroque composer Heinrich Schütz gave suffering religious meaning and promised immortality in times of pestilence and war. Now, contemporary composer Nikolaus Brass responds to him with new compositions which attempt to both question and extol the utopian power of tradition in a period which no longer has a musical mainstream. In an interior monologue, Belgian writer Paul Verrept challenges our view of the world and of our own deeds – embodied, set to music and lent variations by the vocal artist Phil Minton. And the images of film artist Wim Catrysse cast a dark and visionary perspective on a society which has reached a terminal industrial stage. Footage of a Russian mine, isolated in the polar landscape of Spitzbergen, where mining long ceased to be economic and God dissolves into a daily battle with the elements, stone and work. And yet one persists as in a state of denial: digging ever deeper, heading towards total exhaustion.
Choir — ChorWerk Ruhr Speaker — Phil Minton Continuo — B'Rock Orchestra
Composer — Heinrich Schütz, Nikolaus Brass
Author — Paul Verrept
Musical direction — Florian Helgath
Concept and Direction — Wouter Van Looy
Film — Wim Catrysse
Light — Peter Quasters
Stage design — Peter Quasters, Wim Catrysse, Wouter Van Looy
Soundscapes — David Van Bouwel
Costume — Johanna Trudzinski
A production of Muziektheater Transparant and ChorWerk Ruhr for the Ruhrtriennale. Coproduced by Klarafestival, Operadagen Rotterdam, MAfestival, B’Rock Orchestra and Escautville. Escautville is supported by Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds (VAF).