Jörg Widmann (*1973)
Opera in seven scenes
Sung in German, with surtitles
Text: Peter Sloterdijk
World premiere (revised version): 2019 in Berlin
"I believe that, in many ways, we are living in Babylonian times. Our coexisting cultures, the language challenges, the many advantages and disadvantages of our modern civilisation... it is so fascinating, I simply had to compose a Babylon opera. I couldn't help it!". One of the most important composers of our time, Jörg Widmann's "Babylon" was first performed at the Bavarian State opera in 2012, followed by a second premiere in its revised version at the Berlin State Opera in 2019. The new Wiesbaden production constitutes the first performance of the new version since its premiere.
With its monumental orchestration, the work includes two choruses and an array of unusual instruments such as the shofroth, glass harmonica and an array of gongs. Widmann and his librettist, the well-known philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, convey a tale of biblical proportions, fusing the conflict between the Babylonians and Israelites with a story of two lovers. In a variation of the Orpheus myth, they only find each other after she, Inanna, has brought him, Tammu, back to life from the underworld. In the end, love conquers all, and Widmann brings his "Babylon" into the present day, into a time teeming with Babylonian complexity – a time in which unifying sentiments are, nevertheless, stronger than ever before.
Daniela Kerck makes her Wiesbaden debut as director and set designer of "Babylon", as well as the drama "Admissions".
PREMIERE 1 May 2021