to the laboratory

Opera Lab Berlin believes in a multifaceted approach to contemporary musical theatre, producing large scale works, organising co-operative projects with other artists, and most recently launching the experimental drama series IM FELD (IN THE FIELD). IM FELD brings together a composer, a director and a small ensemble in Berlin’s Acker Stadt Palast for one week of rehearsals and performances, providing an open space for the creation of new experimental musical theatre where artistic creativity can meet open-minded, curious audiences in an intimate setting. Meanwhile, annual larger scale productions at Ballhaus Ost have already been planned for the coming years.
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New Production


Im Feld #8

The human being is basically a wild animal and appalling. We know only tamed and subdued by what we call civilization.

(A. Schopenhauer)

Lunch break. The office drones are gathered at the regular spot. However under the facade of civility something stronger is brewing. The obsessive maintenence of this cover is finally broken down into its components parts, the cracked surface shockingly reveals that which is unexpected. The transformation begins.

Entitled "herd instinct," we are embarking on musical field research, a theatrical examination of the fine line that divides our thoughts from our emotions, our social norms from our animal instincts. The limits of human interaction and the absurdity of our everyday phrases will come to light and show the shortcomings of our spoken language, which as a communication system is heading into the void.

In Carola Bauckholt works the known is the special: That through regular daily use - the incidental, suddenly appears alien and bizarre. Inspired by the sounds of nature, industry and technology - all equally important as instruments and voices – the work brings into stark relief, the elements of daily life separate from their natural environment and combined into new unexpected forms.

Performances on 10th, 11th and 12th March 2017 

at 8pm

Acker Stadt Palast Berlin

Ackerstraße 169/170

Tickets: 8-15 € (nach Vermögen)

unter: karten@ackerstadtpalast.de und an der Abendkasse

Composition: Carola Bauckholt

Stage direction: Eva-Maria Weiss

Stage design and costumes: Lisa Fütterer

Musical director: Antoine Daurat

Artistic director: Evan Gardner

with: Victor Barceló, Thorbjorn Bjornsson, Angela Braun, Sophie Catherin, Evdoxia Filippou, Bettina Gfeller, Magnús Hallur Jónsson, Timotheus Maas

New Production


Almost half of a century after the premiere of Mauricio Kagel's Staatstheater (Hamburg State Opera, 1971), Opera Lab Berlin focuses on a new, modern production of this groundbreaking musical theater work.

The titles of the nine sections ("Repertoire", "Recordings", "Ensemble", "Debut", "Season", "Schedule", "Kontra-Danse", "Free ride" and "Flooring") leads one to suspect that Kagel set Staatstheater with the concept of musical theater itself, its conditions and possibilities. This is typical of Kagel's black-humored, partly grotesque, partly absurd approach but it also leaves room for interpretations and even new conceptualisations of the piece. The only formal requirement is that it must be no longer than 100 minutes duration.

For our new production at Ballhaus Ost we therefore take one step further than Kagel:

In a bespoke Opera Lab Berlin „occupation“ consisting of 8 musicians and 8 singers, we create a musical theater parcours. For 5 nights we transform the Ballhaus Ost into a fictional State! Our viewers are invited to embark on an interactive journey through our mini-state and to stand together with us and ask the question: What is the State allowed to do do? What should it do? What can it do? And what does that mean for our lives? How do we do we deal with it or´encounter the State in everyday life? How can we lead an independent, individual life in any given state / society? What is the role of the state in current issues, crises and conflicts? And, last but not least: What are the alternatives to our form of government, which we rarely question in everyday life?

Five performances in Ballhaus Ost

from 2nd May 2017

with singers and musicians of Opera Lab Berlin

Composition: Mauricio Kagel

Composer of the performed version: Evan Gardner

Director: Michael Höppner

Financed by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds