A staged musical work, as a signal against child abuse

Seven Stations
For two sopranos, two mezzo-sopranos, male voice choir, children’s choir, seven instrumental soloists, dancers, and audience

Quotes by Angela Moonlight and texts/lyrics by Konstantia Gourzi
Dedicated to everyone affected by abuse

op. 76, 2018

I. Prologue: Isolation und Affinity
II. Eruption
III. First Wounding
IV. Second Wounding
V. Third Wounding
VI. Fourth Wounding
VII. Transformation

Instrumentation: tarogato/clarinet/bass clarinet, violin, viola, violoncello, three percussionists, two sopranos, two mezzo-sopranos, male choir, children’s choir, and ten dancers
Duration: ca. 70 min.

Commissioned by the Archdiocese Munich and Freising as part of the opening ceremony of the Licentiate in Safeguarding offered by the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome

World premiere: 6 October 2018, Sant’Ignazio di Loyola in Campo Marzio, Rome

Instrumental soloists of the orchestra of the Bavarian State Opera: violin: Felix Key Weber, viola: Adrian Mustea, cello: Benedikt Don Strohmeier, tarogato/clarinet/bass clarinet: Slava Cernavca (guest)
Percussion: Claudio Estay, Carlos Vera Larrucea, Maxime Pidoux
Singers: Anna-Lena Elbert, Elisabeth Rauch, Eva Maria Summerer, Kathrin Walder
Children’s choir and Male choir of the Bavarian State Opera
Dancers from independent dance groups: Federica Aventaggiato, Matteo Carvone, Sophie Colindres, Pedro Dias, Chris-Pascal Englund Braun, Simon Gunnarsson, Peter Jolesch, Marcelina Liebner, Valerio Porleri, David Russo
Choir rehearsal: Stellario Fagone
Choreography: Pedro Dias
Light design: Nikolaus Pirchtner
Concept, Musical Director: Konstantia Gourzi

Composer’s notes

The multiple and upsetting cases of child abuse deeply disturbed me, as they did many others. Because the topic is more current than ever, a musical contribution to this topic is needed. Music can encourage us emotionally and artistically, finally to bring about change together.

Transformation, a staged musical work, as a signal, unfurls the problem of child abuse in seven parts. It gives a powerful sign that the time has come to examine this subject as a community.

The composition gives a voice to and a visual representation of the outrage, the helplessness, the speechlessness, the abuse of power, the horror and the hurt. The heart and soul are looking for explanations, a connection, a resolution of the conflicts, and at the end of the piece set a musical light alight.

The roles of the performing artists are so chosen, that they mirror these issues in a staged musical form. They engage with the roles of perpetrators, victims, warning voices, observers, and society. Transformation, a staged musical work, as a signal against child abuse renders the part played by society visible, and is a reminder of our collective responsibility during this period of change.

In conclusion, everybody strengthens one another with the Transformation Song, which says that the time has come to change. The apex of the event is when performers and audience set off on this new path, singing together.

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World premiere of Transformation on 6 October 2018 in Rome, photo: Robert Kiderle