Scenic Concert

Heiner Goebbels: “Liberté d’action”

David Bennent, Hermann Kretzschmar, Ueli Wiget

Heiner Goebbels’ new work focuses on freedom of action – Liberté d’action – on stage as in life. Based on texts by the painter and poet Henri Michaux (1899 – 1984), it is a staged concert, a contest between the performer David Bennent and the pianists Hermann Kretzschar and Ueli Wiget. Celebrating its German premiere at the Musikfest Berlin.

David Bennent in: Heiner Goebbels “Liberté d’action”, performance at Kunstfestspiele Herrenhausen, May 2021

David Bennent in: Heiner Goebbels “Liberté d’action”, performance at Kunstfestspiele Herrenhausen, May 2021

© Helge Krückeberg

Past Dates

“I no longer travel. Why should travel interest me?” says the clear, brittle voice of David Bennent, and we are involuntarily touched to the heart. Sounds of prepared piano, a voice and live electronics, the bodies of the actor and two pianists. “Liberté d’action”, freedom of action, is strictly limited on stage – as in life.

Central to this new piece by the theatre-maker and composer Heiner Goebbels is the work of a non-conformist loner and outsider: Henri Michaux (1899 – 1984). Both outstanding painter and a highly modern and eloquent poet, his incantatory and explosive texts are a kind of exorcism of himself and the world.

Michaux’s fundamental mistrust of language is represented in this concert by the voice of David Bennent, which operates with multifaceted virtuosity in both French original and German translation. But its position is continually contested by the musical actions of the pianos.

Concert Programme

Heiner Goebbels (*1952)
Liberté d’action (2021)
Scenic concert
with texts by Henri Michaux (1899 – 1984)


David Bennent performer
Hermann Kretzschmar piano
Ueli Wiget piano

Heiner Goebbels music, direction, stage design
Paul Jeukendrup sound design
Heiner Goebbels, Marc Thein lighting design
Florence von Gerkan costume design
Diego Ramos Rodríguez musical assistance, transcription

Lisa Schettel assistance
Sóley Sigurjónsdóttir trainee

A production by Théâtre National de Luxembourg / KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen with Wiener Festwochen, deSingel Antwerpen, Ensemble Modern

Events by Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin, funded by Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung

Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung