Anna Clementi

Anna Clementi

© Federica Tuzi

Music Theatre

Kassandra

Monodrama for actress, instrumental ensemble and electronics (1993/1997)
based on the story by Christa Wolf (adaptation Gerhard Wolf)

Music Theatre

“Kassandra” is the story of an outsider in a state at war. In Greek mythology she prophecies the fall of her hometown Troy, which at first no one believes. Bound socially to the ruling elite and emotionally to her father, she fights for her autonomy until her death.

At the beginning of the 1980s, during the Cold War between East and West which culminated in the nuclear arms race, German author Christa Wolf (1929-2011) took up the myth of this tragic figure in her story titled “Kassandra”. The emblematic story, which was able to be published simultaneously in both the German Federal Republic and the German Democratic Republic in 1983, suddenly catapulted the author to fame. In an encrypted form she related the antique myth to the authoritarian patriarchal conditions in her country.

Swiss composer Michael Jarrell placed the inner monologue of the intellectual “soothsayer” at the centre of his dramatic musical production. The grueling self-analysis, spoken by the charismatic Anna Clementi, is incorporated into the exciting music of a “miniature orchestra” that includes electronics and in which the drums play a prominent role.

“I have always found myself more drawn to images than to words, I suppose that is strange and a contradiction to my calling. The end will be an image, not a word. Images die before words”, says Kassandra.

The new staging of the monodrama takes up these thoughts. The imagery of Christa Wolf’s texts is emphasized using video sequences that give speaker Anna Clementi the opportunity to “enter” via live camera.

Anna Clementi, Cassandra

Michael Jarrell, composition
Pamela Hunter, direction
Dalibor Pyš / Vox MultiMedia Ostrava, film
Andre Bartetzki, live electronics

ensemble unitedberlin
Andrea Pestalozza, conductor
Nimrod Opera Zurich, production

A production of Nimrod Opera Zurich, organized by media arts productions, Zurich in collaboration with Berliner Festspiele / MaerzMusik and Radialsystem V. With support of Pro Helvetia