Project Description

Flying Carpet 2013 – Odyssey

Three composers were invited by Konstantia Gourzi to take inspiration from Homer’s “Odyssey” for a contemporary opera, and refigure it for today’s world.

The Project

Narrative and musical traditions are passed on from generation to generation and thus form a cultural self-concept. To transfer these messages and their wisdom into the contemporary music is the main goal of the project fliegender teppich (flying carpet): Traditional legends, myths or fairytales are sources of inspiration for a contemporary opera composition for children, young people and adults.

The first opera production fliegender teppich 2013 is based on Homer’s epic “Odyssey”. The Odyssey depicts the adventures of King Odysseus of Ithaka and his companions on their homecoming from the Trojan War. In many cultures, the Odyssey became a synonym for long wanderings. The term “wanderings” gains in importance as we observe the social, political and ecological problems of the present. While many urgent questions of our time remain unanswered, while anxiety about the future and fatalism seem to paralyse our society, Odysseus was always capable to free himself from hopeless situations and return home.

In this opera production, the leading figure Odysseus represents the connection to current topics. Three composers were invited to engage themselves with central concepts of the Odyssey: migration – integration / victory – arrogance – humility / homecoming. The three compositions eventually formed a big picture from different perspectives.

When chosing the composers, it was important to Konstantia Gourzi, to bear reference to the Odyssey by bringing together the cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean:

– the Turkish-Ottoman culture with compser Sinem Altan, born 1985 in Ankara (Turkey), living in Berlin
– the Jewish culture with composer Amos Elkana, born 1967 in Tel Aviv (Israel)
– the Greek culture with composer Giorgos Koumendakis, born 1959 in Athens (Greece)

Performances

World premiere: 4 October 2013, Carl-Orff-Saal, Gasteig, Munich
Further performances: 5 and 6 October 2013
World premieres by Sinem Altan, Amos Elkana and Giorgos Koumendakis
Orchestra: ensemble opus21musikplus, children’s choir of the Bavarian State Opera, soloists: Anna Stylianaki, Susanne Drexl, Aco Biscevic, Raphael Sigling
Director: Martina Veh, stage design and costumes: Alexander Polzin, conductor: Konstantia Gourzi

Press reviews

“(Das Format) spricht bei Kindern eine intellektuelle und emotionale Reife an, die bisher nur selten ernsthaft in Betracht gezogen wurde. Die Uraufführung der drei explizit dafür konzipierten Kurzopern bestätigte, dass es möglich und inspirierend ist, alle Generationen zu einem kulturellen Ereignis zu vereinen.” neue musikzeitung, 7 October 2013