MITTWOCH AUS LICHT / WEDNESDAY FROM LIGHT
The day of reconciliation and collaboration
MITTWOCH / WEDNESDAY.
An opera by Karlheinz Stockhausen
A commission for the London 2012 Festival, produced by Birmingham Opera Company
August 22nd, 23rd, 24th 25th 2012 at 4pm
Argyle Works, Great Barr Street, Birmingham B9 4EX
Graham Vick directed the world premiere of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s opera Mittwoch aus Licht for Birmingham Opera Company. Comprising a string quartet performing in helicopters, electronic and acoustic music and a dancing camel, it the first time the opera, often thought to be unstageable, has been performed in its entirety.
In August 2012 Mittwoch aus Licht/Wednesday from Light finally hit the stage – or rather a former chemical works in the middle of Birmingham. Internationally acclaimed opera director Graham Vick assembled an outstanding artistic team with his unique Birmingham Opera Company featuring some 150 performers.
Under the musical direction of Stockhausen’s long-time collaborator, Kathinka Pasveer the line-up included Birmingham’s Ex Cathedra and London Voices with an array of virtuoso orchestral soloists as well as local performers recruited and trained through the company’s award-winning participation programme. Radio 1 DJ Nihal was Moderator.
This landmark event will took place in the extraordinary Argyle Works, a former chemical plant and venue for Birmingham Opera Company’s production of Verdi’s Othello.
Of his monumental achievement Licht, (Light) a cycle of 7 operas, one for each day of the week, Mittwoch (Wednesday) is the only part of the cycle that Stockhausen never saw staged.
“We have individual scenes from Mittwoch aus Licht in very good concert performances. But all attempts to stage Mittwoch aus Licht have not been successful. I do not want the opera performance to be incomplete” Stockhausen
Stockhausen: a revolutionary figure in 20th century music. His innovation moved composition into new territory embracing the new technology of electronic music and breaking the barriers between musical genres. His influenced permeated pop, rock and electronic music through artists such as Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, The Beatles and, more recently, Björk. His appeal to a very broad young audience sells out the Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican as well as large concert halls in Europe, America and the Pacific Rim.