“Obsessions” is now entering its second round at the Wuppertal Opera. Last week there was a rehearsal, today work began with the soloists, and the premiere is on 3 December.
There was actually nothing to “build” at the rehearsal – the play is performed on an empty stage. According to the original concept, Wuppertal’s revolving stage was to be an essential element of the performance, but after the flooding of the opera house last year it will not be operational for some time. As in Bremen, the instrumentalists are integrated into the stage action: In Bremen’s small house they had to sit at the left side, here, on the large stage, other possibilities arise, several have now been tested visually and acoustically.
Matthieu Svetchine from the Bremen ensemble has come to the Wupper. Apart from him and the actors from Oblivia, these are new actors. The multi-part form that the project took on in Bremen, both musically and theatrically, now serves in Wuppertal as a basic grid to be filled anew with the Wuppertal performers’ own input. So for the newcomers, too, it is now a matter of deriving individual theatrical actions from the improvisational preoccupation with the theme of “obsessions”.
It cannot be just a “rehearsal” because of the completely different dimensions of the stage space. Wuppertal’s stage is now not only much wider, but also much deeper, which, unlike in Bremen, suggests thinking in terms of foreground and background. The number of instrumentalists has increased, but the number of performers remains the same – the individual is much less absorbed into the group in this larger space, so individual actions appear more prominent, more exposed.
Yran Zhao has reworked her composition to suit the larger ensemble and at the same time created a new system of notation. Through more flexible instructions, the musical performance should be able to be adapted to the scenic even more than in Bremen.