05.04.2020 | Opera

A Letter and Christ on the Mount of Olives

One of the first major works that Beethoven premiered after realizing that he was going deaf was the oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives. Manfred Trojahn will compose a prologue to a staged performance of Christ on the Mount of Olives. Titled A Letter, the prologue opens the work with the creative context of doubt and despair, opening up new biographical perspectives on this pivotal period of Beethoven‘s life. Directed by Reinhild Hoffmann.

One of the first major works premiered by Beethoven following his discovery of the onset of deafness, was the oratorio CHRIST ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES (op. 85), which premiered on 5 April 1803 at the Theater an der Wien. The form of the oratorio was chosen because Beethoven was in the permanent employ of the house as a composer, but no operas were to be performed during Holy Week. So one might assume that theatrical ideas were maybe the basis. This fact alone is already suffices to conduct a survey on the opera stage. The (fictitious) "Letter of Lord Chandos to Francis Bacon" by Hofmannsthal, in which a young poet addresses his mentor and speaks of being plagued by doubts as to whether he is capable of the performances expected of him after his early publications, is similar to the "Heiligenstadt Testament" written shortly before it. Manfred Trojahn, one of Germany’s most internationally renowned composers of the present day, who has made major contributions to music theatre with works such as ENRICO or OREST, will compose a prologue to a scenic performance of CHRIST ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES on the basis of the former text, placing the creative background of doubt and despair at the beginning and thus dissolving the pure substance of the oratorio out of its placidity. The combination of the well-known Hofmannsthal text with the biographical situation of the creator of CHRIST ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES op. 85 at the time of its creation opens up new, biographical perspectives on this radical phase of Beethoven's life. The choreographer Reinhild Hoffmann is the director for the project A LETTER / CHRIST ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES, whose innovative view of materials in unison with an unmistakable scenic language will give the evening an extraordinary artistic status.



Opernhaus Bonn
Boeselagerhof 1
53111 Bonn

Admission prices

114,40 € (PG1) - 11,-€ (PG V)


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