1984 Past, Present, Future

Direction and libretto Ela Baumann
Composition and keyboard Christian Klinkenberg

Kl-Ex Ensemble:
Singers Jean Bermes and Claire Parsons
Violin Paul Pankert
Bass Pol Belardi
Percussion Stephan Klinkenberg

Stage and costume Dagmar Weitze
Lighting and video Krischan Kriesten
Graphic score Marc Kirschvink
Programming of the software Autoconductor Lothar Felten

“All the national movements everywhere […] seem to take non-democratic forms, [….] and to adopt the theory that the end justifies the means. […] With this go the horrors of emotional nationalism and a tendency to disbelieve in the existence of objective truth because all the facts have to fit in with the words and prophecies of some infallible fuhrer. Already history has in a sense ceased to exist, ie. there is no such thing as a history of our own times which could be universally accepted, and the exact sciences are endangered as soon as military necessity ceases to keep people up to the mark. [….] I think, and have thought ever since the war [against fascism] began, in 1936 or thereabouts, that our cause is the better, but we have to keep on making it the better, which involves constant criticism. Yours sincerely, Geo. Orwell” Letter by George Orwell to Noel Willmett, 18 May 1944

Orwell’s “1984” was one of the most prophetic books of the 20th century and is now, in 2023, close to reality. Permanent observation of people, analysis of habits and buying behaviour, “adaptation” of facts in the media and much more has now become reality. In Orwell’s vision of the future, the entire civilisation suffers from control madness. The whole world is one big prison, without freedom, without truth and without individuality. The opera 1984 interweaves Orwell’s material with our present and plays with possible variations of our present future. Christian Klinkenberg’s composition plays with sound spaces between jazz, microtonality and contemporary music and achieves – also through its special form of graphic notation – an intensity in performance that no ear can escape.

Performance dates:

Kasemattentheater on 14. 15. 16. 17. 20. and 21. June 2023.
24 June Alter Schlachthof Eupen at 8 pm