Following the catastrophe at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, the Parisian Opéra Comique commissioned the famous French composer Philippe Manoury to write the opera Kein Licht. based on the 2011 text of the same name by the Austrian writer Elfriede Jelinek, Nobel Prize winner for literature. Jelinek’s text was selected by the German director Nicolas Stemann, who adapted it for the stage with the French composer Manoury. The opera goes beyond the Fukushima tragedy; it is a global, metaphorical reflection on individual and collective responsibility for political and environmental issues, and humans’ relationship with technology. In this case it is about the dangers of using nuclear power. In collaboration with the Parisian IRCAM, composer Philippe Manoury, one of their members, creates a musical piece involving computer music systems and music programming, which is his preferred composing medium. The text and the music of the work will be closely linked, creating a contemporary Singspiel, a German version of the opéra-comique genre – alternation of spoken and sung scenes. Kein Licht. is a piece with a European dimension, since it takes inspiration from traditional music styles, popular on both sides of the Rhine. The Singspiel is literally a sung play, and Mozart’s operas were its founding masterpieces. At the same time accessible, innovative and daring, this operatic form will be reborn in a contemporary way in order to communicate with a modern audience, to speak about our failures and our achievements. This co-production with several European musical theaters marks the continuation of the international collaborations of the CNT in Zagreb.
JULIEN LEROY is a French conductor who in 2014 was named the most talented young French conductor. His wide repertoire includes works from the 18th century as well as contemporary music, which he conducts with great European and world orchestras, chamber ensembles and soloists.
NICOLAS STEMANN, is a German director born in Hamburg, where he studied Philosophy and Literature, but then went on to graduate in theatre direction at the Theatre Academy. Since 1995 he has collaborated with numerous German theaters, directing noted dramatic works, and since 2010 he has also been directing operas, with an emphasis on contemporary works.