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Photo: Marina Naprushkina

Des Menschen Unterhaltsprozess gegen Gott (The people’s maintenance payments case against God)
A ‘Funkoratorium’ by B.A. Zimmermann based on Calderón
main stage

Drama, Music

In a translation by Franz Lorinser / Hubert Rüttger

Zero hour? A court case is held. Everywhere, guilty man is on trial. Now too in this theatre! What are the historical sources of the commercialisation of terror & tribunal in front of an audience? (evident today in Schirach & Rau) The Sing Academy Berlin rediscovers an unknown Funkoratorium by Bernd Alois Zimmermann – one which reverses the roles: Here God himself is on trial. Adam, the first man, demands his payments upon his expulsion from paradise. The Funkoratorium references Calderón de la Barcas allegorical Auto Sacramental Los alimentos del hombre (1676). This procession music – which was only played once on Corpus Christi Holiday 1952 in Northwest German radio and then disappeared amongst the archives – was meant to serve the de-nazification and recatholization of the German youth in Rhineland. Zimmermann, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday in 2018, is now known as „an essential and prophetic voice in the history of 20th-century music“ (The Guardian). In his early Funkoratorium he experiments with the gargantuan Choir and orchestra of totalitarian systems and contrasts them with jazz and world music, French Impressionism, electronic music and early processes of Collage and Dècollage. The allegories of the seasons rush to Adam’s aid with hammer and sickle. The world theatre of the Renaissance meets Soviet ‘Agit-court-theatre’ of the twenties (Trial against God, Rezvuskin) and the Nürnberger Trials of the post-war era. How vigilante justice of social networks is reflected here? This will be depicted by the ‘spherical shape of time’: ‘Future, Present and Past will become interchangeable’.

Co-production with the Sing Academy Berlin and Deutschlandfunk Kultur


With: Kenan Abouaasi, Nauras Ali, Georg A. Bochow, Jonathan Boudevin, Margarita Breitkreiz, Samia Dauenhauer, Magnús Hallur Jónsson, Aniol Canet Kirberg, Ariel Nil Levy, Meredith Nicoll, Benjamin Popson, Emma Rothman, Elias Schockel, Mex Schlüpfer, stefanpaul, Sirje Viise, Hubert Wild, Eva Zwedberg, Ensemble PHØNIX16, Haupt- und Mädchenchor der Sing-Akademie zu Berlin, Männer des Staats- und Domchors Berlin, Kammersymphonie Berlin, Chor der Neuen Nachbarschaft Moabit, Faleh Khaless (Oud)

Director: Christian Filips
Musical director: Kai-Uwe Jirka
Costumes: Christian Filips, Kostüm-Abteilung
Collaboration on the book / conception: Luise Meier
Sound director : Bo Wiget
Musical rehearsal: Timo Kreuser, Friederike Stahmer
Video: Hanna Francisco
Dramaturgy: Sabine Zielke


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Mex Schlüpfer as God

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