The Outcast: Olga Neuwirth 50.2

Wednesday, 14. November 2018, 19:30

Wiener Konzerthaus, Großer Saal
Lothringerstraße 20
1030 Wien

Olga Neuwirth © Lukas Beck

Olga Neuwirth’s major music-installation theatre with video, »The Outcast«, will receive a complete new staging at Wien Modern 2018: to mark the composer’s 50th birthday, Wien Modern, the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, the Wiener Konzerthaus and the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra (with the kind support of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation) will stage one of Neuwirth’s central works in a revised edition and an exemplary new production. British artist and director Netia Jones will be responsible for video, sets and costumes. Described by The Independent as a true »lighting-magician «, Jones’ fusion of stage and video »can be summed up in three words: brilliant, brilliant and brilliant«. (The Guardian) 

Olga Neuwirth has been fascinated by the author of »Moby Dick« for over 10 years. A former sailor on a whaling ship, Herman Melville paints an astonishingly topical allegory of life, casting an unblinking and razor sharp gaze on power, authority, alienation and exploitation. His multi-layered drama about an unwinnable hunt for a white whale is the ideal literary inspiration for Olga Neuwirth’s unusual piece of music theatre: »Melville examined the effects of industrialisation on the oceans and the transformation of labour in the 19th century. That’s why he’s fascinated me so much since 2007. Most stories about the sea are allegories about power. In this respect alone, politics are never very far away. And it’s as true today as it was then: sea-faring is a metaphor for life. Melville’s central concern was a critique of exploitation and alienation, and nothing has changed today, which is why he remains so modern. He combines references to the historical tales of Shakespeare, sea epics and travelogues immortalizing the culture of sea trade, with economic theory. In ‹The Outcast› I wanted to make visible the ruthless exploitation of resources that forms the basis of the myth of never-ending progress. Melville’s father was one of the victims of the first Wall Street Crash …« (Olga Neuwirth)

»Was this an arts events totally infused with the spriti of a place, or a place transfigured by the power of art? Such all-encompassing artworks make what normally goes on in concert halls, theatres and galleries look tame and prehistoric.« (Richard Morrison / The Times on Netia Jones) 

»Netia Jones is the most imaginative director of opera working in Britain today«. (The Observer)


Susanne Elmark, Ishmaela (Sopran)

Johan Leysen, Old Melville, der Schriftsteller (Sprecher)

Steve Karier, Father Mapple (Sprecher)

Otto Katzameier, Ahab, Kapitän der Pequod (Bariton)

Andrew Watts, Queequeg, erster Harpunier (Countertenor)

Georgette Dee, Bartleby, der Schreiber (Chansonnier)

Johannes Bamberger, Starbuck, Erster Maat (Tenor)

Matthias Helm, Stubb, Zweiter Maat (Bariton)

Joel Beer, Pip (Knabensopran)

Münchner Knabenchor, Chor Ralf Ludewig, Chorleitung Münchner Knabenchor

Company of Music, Chor Johannes Hiemetsberger Company of Music

Gilbert Nouno, Klangregie

ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, Orchester

Netia Jones, Design, Video Lightmap

Ilan Volkov, Dirigent Maayan Franco, Assistenz Ilan Volkov

Georg Klüver-Pfandtner, Maske

Gerd Schneider, Licht

Jasmina Eleta, Lichtassistenz

Sukie Kirk, Kostüme

Sigrid Dreger, Kostümassistenz

Tatiana Bereza, Kostümassistenz

Ian Winters, Videotechnik

Arno Waschk, Korrepetition

Kristin Okerlund, Korrepetition

Bernhard Günther, Dramaturgie

Gerda Saiko, Produktionsleitung


Olga Neuwirth

The Outcast. Homage to Herman Melville. A musicstallation-theatre (Revidierte Fassung) (2008-2010/2012) UA

Konzertante Aufführung auf Englisch mit Video


Produktion Wien Modern, ORF RSO Wien (mit freundlicher Unterstützung der Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung), Elbphilharmonie Hamburg und Wiener Konzerthaus / Medienpartner Ö1 Club


Wien Modern
Lothringerstraße 20
1030 Vienna

Tel.: +43 1 24200

Wien Modern

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With kind support

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