Whose Afraid of Pop Culture?

Supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. 

Pop meets opera: The experimental music theater Opera Lab Berlin is turning five of the greatest pop hits of all time into a visionary new opera project: “Who’s Afraid of Pop Culture?” Each video features a hit pop song as a basis not just for a cover, but for a new, fully realized work with original music informed by and reacting to the original material. The cinematic treatments for Who’s Afraid of Pop Culture? are as important as the music itself. Five directors were chosen to shoot in strategic, decidedly “non-operatic” locations around Berlin. The resulting films evoke drama and intrigue with lysergic visual treatments. “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child becomes a moving love story under the big top of Circus Mond, while Rihanna’s “Work” and “Birthday Cake” features pseudo-woke mustached Berlin hipsters fulfilling their real destinies as gentrifiers. Later, two warring gangs find love on a skatepark’s quarter pipes and decks in “Bad Romance.” The anthemic "Seven Nation Army" soundtracks a mythical matriarchal cult born in a church. And once the lights go out in a Berlin supermarket a ghostly treatment of "Smells like Teen Spirit" begins. Opera Lab Berlin is an independent, free ensemble dedicated to creating interdisciplinary music theater. A laboratory of voice and instrumental playing that aims to be useful and entertaining, without being limited in terms of artistic processes, production and presentation methods.

Smells Like Teen Spirit


MUSIC

Words & Music: Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic, David Grohl

Composer & Artistic Director: Evan Gardner

Musical Director: Francesca Verga

Recording & Mixing: Tadklimp

Mashup Material: Sonic Voyeur I by Evan Gardner

.

PERFORMERS

Caretaker/Countertenor: Georg Bochow 

Cheerleader/Viola: Louis Bona

Metalhead/Violin: Davis West

Skater/Guitar: Flavio Virzi

Football Player/Vioncello: Guilherme Rodrigues

Hippie/Basoon: Florian Bensch

Nerd/Melodica: Paul Gladys

.

FILM CREW

Written & Directed by Samuel Chalela Puccini

Director of Photography: Mats Meisen

Assistant of Photography: Emmet Holmes-Boyes

Gaffer: Oliver Nies, Felix von Dohlen

Production Design: Cristina Lelli, Isabelle Kaiser

Production Design Assistant: Zera Insun Hwang

Make-Up Artist: Daria Andreeva

Set & Equipment Manager: Felix von Dohlen

Producer: Rabea Peter

Production Manager: Georg Steker

Production Administration: Julie Kurzke

Production Assistant: Patrick Franke

Editing & Color Grading: Samuel Chalela Puccini

Sound Design & Foley: Felix von Dohlen

Title & Credit Design: Sophie Pischel

.

Catering: Frank Hofacker

Location: Bring Supermarkt

Kindly supported by Viseo GmbH

Technical Supplier: Tranzept GmbH

Props Supplier: FTA Fundus Berlin

Logo Reveal Photography: Michael Krüger

Logo Reveal Compositing: Salvatore Costa

Marketing Campaign: Will Roseliep, Louise Knauer

Grafic Design Campaign: Sophie Pischel

Funding: Fonds Darstellende Künste


Survivor


MUSIC

Words and Music: Beyoncé Knowles, Anthony Dent, Matthew Knowles

Composer & Artistic Director: Evan Gardner

Musical Director: Francesca Verga

Recording & Mixing: Tadklimp

Recorded at: Das Labor

.

MASHUP MATERIALS

Piano Sonata No. 14, Op.27 No.2 “Moonlight Sonata” 

 by Ludwig van Beethoven

String Quartet No.10 Op.74 No.1 by Ludwig van Beethoven

.

PERFORMERS

Soprano: Gina May Walter

Countertenor: Georg A. Bochow

Alto: Sophie Catherin

Soprano: Kristín Anna Guđmundsdóttir

Violin 1:Davis West

Violin 2: Julia Brüssel

Viola: Louis Bona

Violoncello: Guilherme Rodriques

Syntheziser: Giovanni Zaniol

.

FILM CREW

Written & Directed by Dominique Preusse

Director of Photography: Richard Marx

1st AC: Michael Krüger 

Set & Equipment Management: Felix von Dohlen

Production Design: Cristina Lelli, Isabelle Kaiser

Production Design Assistant: Zera Insun Hwang

Seamstress: Lisa Simpson

Make-Up Artist: Daria Andreeva

Make-Up Assistant: Anastasia Tritzkan

Choreographer: Anna Knapp

Hip Hop Choreographer: Son-Young Ramert, Backstage – Das Tanzstudion der Trainerhelden

Producer: Rabea Peter

Production Manager: Georg Steker

Production Administration: Julie Kurzke 

Production Assistant: Patrick Franke

Editor: Naomie-Elena Böneker

Assistant Editor: Aurélien Barnabet

Animation VFX: Adrian Lestrat

Color Grading: Richard Marx

Sound Design & Foley: Felix von Dohlen

Title & Credit Design: Sophie Pischel


Bad Romance


MUSIC

Words and Music: Stefani Germanotta, Nadir Khayat

Composer & Artistic Director: Evan Gardner

Musical Director: Francesca Verga

Recording & Mixing: Tadklimp

Recorded at: Das Labor

.

MASHUP MATERIALS

Automata: Evan Gardner

The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Music: Evan Gardner

.

PERFORMERS

Soprano: Gina May Walter

Alto: Sophie Catherin

Tenor: Christopher Fischer

Baritone: Jonathan Boudevin

Flute: Shin-Joo Morgantini

Clarinet: Kymia Kermani

Percussion: Paul Gladys

Violin: Julia Brüssel

Viola: Louis Bona

Violoncello: Guilherme Rodriques

Syntheziser: Jack Adler-McKean

.

FILM CREW

Written & Directed by Lotta Schwerk

Director of Photography: Fion Mutert

1st AC: Julien Meyer 

Set & Equipment Management: Felix von Dohlen

Production Design: Cristina Lelli, Isabelle Kaiser

Production Design Assistant: Zera Insun Hwang

Make-Up Artist: Daria Andreeva

Make-Up Assistant: Anastasia Tritzkan

Choreographer: Anna Knapp

Producer: Rabea Peter

Production Manager: Georg Steker

Production Administration: Julie Kurzke 

Production Assistant: Patrick Franke

Location Scout: Michael Rosen

Editor: Lotta Schwerk

Color Grading: Fion Mutert

Sound Design & Foley: Felix von Dohlen

Title & Credit Design: Sophie Pischel

.

Catering: Frank Hofacker

Location: Skatepark Bernau

Technical Supplier: Tranzept GmbH

Props Supplier: FTA Fundus Berlin

Logo Reveal Photography: Michael Krüger

Logo Reveal Compositing: Salvatore Costa

Marketing Campaign: Louise Knauer, Will Roseliep

Graphic Design Campaign: Sophie Pischel

Funding: Fonds Darstellende Künste


Work (Cake) 


Music

Words and Music: Robyn Fenty, Jahron Brathwaithe, Allen Ritter, Aubrey Graham, Matthew Samuels, Monte S. Moir, Richard Stephenson

Composer & Artistic Director: Evan Gardner

Musical Director: Francesca Verga

Recording & Mixing: Tadklimp

Recorded at: Das Labor

.

Mashup Materials

Sonic Voyeur II by Evan Gardner

Etude No. 12, Opus 25 by Frédéric Chopin

Birthday Cake by Robyn Fenty, Marcos Palacios, Ernest Clark, Terius Nash

.

Performers

Soprano: Gina May Walter

Alto: Sophie Catherin

Countertenor: Georg A. Bochow

Flute: Shin-Joo Morgantini

Clarinet: Jone Bolibar Núñez

Percussion: Paul Gladys

Piano: Alba Gentili-Tedeschi

Violin: Davis West

Viola: Louis Bona

Violoncello: Guilherme Rodriques

.

Film Crew

Written & Directed by Marco Vallini

Director of Photography: Richard Marx

Set & Equipment Management: Felix von Dohlen

Production Design: Cristina Lelli, Isabelle Kaiser

Production Design Assistant: Zera Insun Hwang

Seamstress: Lisa Simpson

Make-Up Artist: Daria Andreeva

Make-Up Assistant: Anastasia Tritzkan

Gaffer: Pawel Józwicki

Choreographer: Anna Knapp

Producer: Rabea Peter

Production Manager: Georg Steker

Production Administration: Julie Kurzke 

Production Assistant: Patrick Franke, Gabor Csongradi

Editor: Marco Vallini

Color Grading: Richard Marx

Sound Design & Foley: Felix von Dohlen

Title & Credit Design: Sophie Pischel

.

Catering: Frank Hofacker

Location: Kneipe der Brotfabrik

Technical Supplier: Tranzept GmbH

Props Supplier: Fundus Adlershof

Logo Reveal Photography: Michael Krüger

Logo Reveal Compositing: Salvatore Costa

Marketing Campaign: Louise Knauer, Will Roseliep

Graphic Design Campaign: Sophie Pischel

Funding: Fonds Darstellende Künste


Seven Nation Army


Music

Words and Music: Jack White

Composer & Artistic Director: Evan Gardner

Musical Director: Francesca Verga

Recording & Mixing: Tadklimp

Recorded at: Das Labor

.

Performers

Soprano: Ruth Rosenfeld

Oboe: Kelsey Maiorano

Saxophone: Pedro Pablo Camara

Bassoon: Florian Bensch

Tuba: Jack Adler-McKean

Guitar: Flavio Virzi

Percussion: Paul Gladys

Viola: Louis Bona

Violoncello: Guilherme Rodriques

.

Film Crew

Written & Directed by Helena Herb

Director of Photography: Alana Smithee

1st AC: Alexander Bahr

Gaffer: Adam Lynch, Akito Ruhl, Jana Peuckmann

Set & Equipment Management: Felix von Dohlen

Production Design: Cristina Lelli, Isabelle Kaiser

Production Design Assistant: Zera Insun Hwang

Dressmaker: Franziska Müller

Make-Up Artist: Daria Andreeva

Make-Up Assistant: Anastasia Tritzkan

Gaffer: Pawel Józwicki

Choreographer: Anna Knapp

Producer: Rabea Peter

Production Manager: Georg Steker

Production Administration: Julie Kurzke 

Production Assistant: Patrick Franke

Editor: Toni Puig

Sound Design & Foley: Felix von Dohlen

Title & Credit Design: Sophie Pischel

.

Catering: Frank Hofacker

Location: Kirche zum guten Hirten

Technical Supplier: Tranzept GmbH

Props Supplier: Fundus Adlershof, FTA Fundus Berlin

Logo Reveal Photography: Michael Krüger

Logo Reveal Compositing: Salvatore Costa

Marketing Campaign: Louise Knauer, Will Roseliep

Graphic Design Campaign: Sophie Pischel

Funding: Fonds Darstellende Künste

Whose Afraid of Pop Culture?

Supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. 

Pop meets opera: The experimental music theater Opera Lab Berlin is turning five of the greatest pop hits of all time into a visionary new opera project: “Who’s Afraid of Pop Culture?” Each video features a hit pop song as a basis not just for a cover, but for a new, fully realized work with original music informed by and reacting to the original material. The cinematic treatments for Who’s Afraid of Pop Culture? are as important as the music itself. Five directors were chosen to shoot in strategic, decidedly “non-operatic” locations around Berlin. The resulting films evoke drama and intrigue with lysergic visual treatments. “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child becomes a moving love story under the big top of Circus Mond, while Rihanna’s “Work” and “Birthday Cake” features pseudo-woke mustached Berlin hipsters fulfilling their real destinies as gentrifiers. Later, two warring gangs find love on a skatepark’s quarter pipes and decks in “Bad Romance.” The anthemic "Seven Nation Army" soundtracks a mythical matriarchal cult born in a church. And once the lights go out in a Berlin supermarket a ghostly treatment of "Smells like Teen Spirit" begins. Opera Lab Berlin is an independent, free ensemble dedicated to creating interdisciplinary music theater. A laboratory of voice and instrumental playing that aims to be useful and entertaining, without being limited in terms of artistic processes, production and presentation methods.

Whose Afraid of Pop Culture?

Supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. 

Pop meets opera: The experimental music theater Opera Lab Berlin is turning five of the greatest pop hits of all time into a visionary new opera project: “Who’s Afraid of Pop Culture?” Each video features a hit pop song as a basis not just for a cover, but for a new, fully realized work with original music informed by and reacting to the original material. The cinematic treatments for Who’s Afraid of Pop Culture? are as important as the music itself. Five directors were chosen to shoot in strategic, decidedly “non-operatic” locations around Berlin. The resulting films evoke drama and intrigue with lysergic visual treatments. “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child becomes a moving love story under the big top of Circus Mond, while Rihanna’s “Work” and “Birthday Cake” features pseudo-woke mustached Berlin hipsters fulfilling their real destinies as gentrifiers. Later, two warring gangs find love on a skatepark’s quarter pipes and decks in “Bad Romance.” The anthemic "Seven Nation Army" soundtracks a mythical matriarchal cult born in a church. And once the lights go out in a Berlin supermarket a ghostly treatment of "Smells like Teen Spirit" begins. Opera Lab Berlin is an independent, free ensemble dedicated to creating interdisciplinary music theater. A laboratory of voice and instrumental playing that aims to be useful and entertaining, without being limited in terms of artistic processes, production and presentation methods.

Smells Like Teen Spirit


MUSIC

Words & Music: Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic, David Grohl

Composer & Artistic Director: Evan Gardner

Musical Director: Francesca Verga

Recording & Mixing: Tadklimp

Mashup Material: Sonic Voyeur I by Evan Gardner

.

PERFORMERS

Caretaker/Countertenor: Georg Bochow 

Cheerleader/Viola: Louis Bona

Metalhead/Violin: Davis West

Skater/Guitar: Flavio Virzi

Football Player/Vioncello: Guilherme Rodrigues

Hippie/Basoon: Florian Bensch

Nerd/Melodica: Paul Gladys

.

FILM CREW

Written & Directed by Samuel Chalela Puccini

Director of Photography: Mats Meisen

Assistant of Photography: Emmet Holmes-Boyes

Gaffer: Oliver Nies, Felix von Dohlen

Production Design: Cristina Lelli, Isabelle Kaiser

Production Design Assistant: Zera Insun Hwang

Make-Up Artist: Daria Andreeva

Set & Equipment Manager: Felix von Dohlen

Producer: Rabea Peter

Production Manager: Georg Steker

Production Administration: Julie Kurzke

Production Assistant: Patrick Franke

Editing & Color Grading: Samuel Chalela Puccini

Sound Design & Foley: Felix von Dohlen

Title & Credit Design: Sophie Pischel

.

Catering: Frank Hofacker

Location: Bring Supermarkt

Kindly supported by Viseo GmbH

Technical Supplier: Tranzept GmbH

Props Supplier: FTA Fundus Berlin

Logo Reveal Photography: Michael Krüger

Logo Reveal Compositing: Salvatore Costa

Marketing Campaign: Will Roseliep, Louise Knauer

Grafic Design Campaign: Sophie Pischel

Funding: Fonds Darstellende Künste


Survivor


MUSIC

Words and Music: Beyoncé Knowles, Anthony Dent, Matthew Knowles

Composer & Artistic Director: Evan Gardner

Musical Director: Francesca Verga

Recording & Mixing: Tadklimp

Recorded at: Das Labor

.

MASHUP MATERIALS

Piano Sonata No. 14, Op.27 No.2 “Moonlight Sonata” 

 by Ludwig van Beethoven

String Quartet No.10 Op.74 No.1 by Ludwig van Beethoven

.

PERFORMERS

Soprano: Gina May Walter

Countertenor: Georg A. Bochow

Alto: Sophie Catherin

Soprano: Kristín Anna Guđmundsdóttir

Violin 1:Davis West

Violin 2: Julia Brüssel

Viola: Louis Bona

Violoncello: Guilherme Rodriques

Syntheziser: Giovanni Zaniol

.

FILM CREW

Written & Directed by Dominique Preusse

Director of Photography: Richard Marx

1st AC: Michael Krüger 

Set & Equipment Management: Felix von Dohlen

Production Design: Cristina Lelli, Isabelle Kaiser

Production Design Assistant: Zera Insun Hwang

Seamstress: Lisa Simpson

Make-Up Artist: Daria Andreeva

Make-Up Assistant: Anastasia Tritzkan

Choreographer: Anna Knapp

Hip Hop Choreographer: Son-Young Ramert, Backstage – Das Tanzstudion der Trainerhelden

Producer: Rabea Peter

Production Manager: Georg Steker

Production Administration: Julie Kurzke 

Production Assistant: Patrick Franke

Editor: Naomie-Elena Böneker

Assistant Editor: Aurélien Barnabet

Animation VFX: Adrian Lestrat

Color Grading: Richard Marx

Sound Design & Foley: Felix von Dohlen

Title & Credit Design: Sophie Pischel


Bad Romance


MUSIC

Words and Music: Stefani Germanotta, Nadir Khayat

Composer & Artistic Director: Evan Gardner

Musical Director: Francesca Verga

Recording & Mixing: Tadklimp

Recorded at: Das Labor

.

MASHUP MATERIALS

Automata: Evan Gardner

The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Music: Evan Gardner

.

PERFORMERS

Soprano: Gina May Walter

Alto: Sophie Catherin

Tenor: Christopher Fischer

Baritone: Jonathan Boudevin

Flute: Shin-Joo Morgantini

Clarinet: Kymia Kermani

Percussion: Paul Gladys

Violin: Julia Brüssel

Viola: Louis Bona

Violoncello: Guilherme Rodriques

Syntheziser: Jack Adler-McKean

.

FILM CREW

Written & Directed by Lotta Schwerk

Director of Photography: Fion Mutert

1st AC: Julien Meyer 

Set & Equipment Management: Felix von Dohlen

Production Design: Cristina Lelli, Isabelle Kaiser

Production Design Assistant: Zera Insun Hwang

Make-Up Artist: Daria Andreeva

Make-Up Assistant: Anastasia Tritzkan

Choreographer: Anna Knapp

Producer: Rabea Peter

Production Manager: Georg Steker

Production Administration: Julie Kurzke 

Production Assistant: Patrick Franke

Location Scout: Michael Rosen

Editor: Lotta Schwerk

Color Grading: Fion Mutert

Sound Design & Foley: Felix von Dohlen

Title & Credit Design: Sophie Pischel

.

Catering: Frank Hofacker

Location: Skatepark Bernau

Technical Supplier: Tranzept GmbH

Props Supplier: FTA Fundus Berlin

Logo Reveal Photography: Michael Krüger

Logo Reveal Compositing: Salvatore Costa

Marketing Campaign: Louise Knauer, Will Roseliep

Graphic Design Campaign: Sophie Pischel

Funding: Fonds Darstellende Künste


Work (Cake) 


Music

Words and Music: Robyn Fenty, Jahron Brathwaithe, Allen Ritter, Aubrey Graham, Matthew Samuels, Monte S. Moir, Richard Stephenson

Composer & Artistic Director: Evan Gardner

Musical Director: Francesca Verga

Recording & Mixing: Tadklimp

Recorded at: Das Labor

.

Mashup Materials

Sonic Voyeur II by Evan Gardner

Etude No. 12, Opus 25 by Frédéric Chopin

Birthday Cake by Robyn Fenty, Marcos Palacios, Ernest Clark, Terius Nash

.

Performers

Soprano: Gina May Walter

Alto: Sophie Catherin

Countertenor: Georg A. Bochow

Flute: Shin-Joo Morgantini

Clarinet: Jone Bolibar Núñez

Percussion: Paul Gladys

Piano: Alba Gentili-Tedeschi

Violin: Davis West

Viola: Louis Bona

Violoncello: Guilherme Rodriques

.

Film Crew

Written & Directed by Marco Vallini

Director of Photography: Richard Marx

Set & Equipment Management: Felix von Dohlen

Production Design: Cristina Lelli, Isabelle Kaiser

Production Design Assistant: Zera Insun Hwang

Seamstress: Lisa Simpson

Make-Up Artist: Daria Andreeva

Make-Up Assistant: Anastasia Tritzkan

Gaffer: Pawel Józwicki

Choreographer: Anna Knapp

Producer: Rabea Peter

Production Manager: Georg Steker

Production Administration: Julie Kurzke 

Production Assistant: Patrick Franke, Gabor Csongradi

Editor: Marco Vallini

Color Grading: Richard Marx

Sound Design & Foley: Felix von Dohlen

Title & Credit Design: Sophie Pischel

.

Catering: Frank Hofacker

Location: Kneipe der Brotfabrik

Technical Supplier: Tranzept GmbH

Props Supplier: Fundus Adlershof

Logo Reveal Photography: Michael Krüger

Logo Reveal Compositing: Salvatore Costa

Marketing Campaign: Louise Knauer, Will Roseliep

Graphic Design Campaign: Sophie Pischel

Funding: Fonds Darstellende Künste


Seven Nation Army


Music

Words and Music: Jack White

Composer & Artistic Director: Evan Gardner

Musical Director: Francesca Verga

Recording & Mixing: Tadklimp

Recorded at: Das Labor

.

Performers

Soprano: Ruth Rosenfeld

Oboe: Kelsey Maiorano

Saxophone: Pedro Pablo Camara

Bassoon: Florian Bensch

Tuba: Jack Adler-McKean

Guitar: Flavio Virzi

Percussion: Paul Gladys

Viola: Louis Bona

Violoncello: Guilherme Rodriques

.

Film Crew

Written & Directed by Helena Herb

Director of Photography: Alana Smithee

1st AC: Alexander Bahr

Gaffer: Adam Lynch, Akito Ruhl, Jana Peuckmann

Set & Equipment Management: Felix von Dohlen

Production Design: Cristina Lelli, Isabelle Kaiser

Production Design Assistant: Zera Insun Hwang

Dressmaker: Franziska Müller

Make-Up Artist: Daria Andreeva

Make-Up Assistant: Anastasia Tritzkan

Gaffer: Pawel Józwicki

Choreographer: Anna Knapp

Producer: Rabea Peter

Production Manager: Georg Steker

Production Administration: Julie Kurzke 

Production Assistant: Patrick Franke

Editor: Toni Puig

Sound Design & Foley: Felix von Dohlen

Title & Credit Design: Sophie Pischel

.

Catering: Frank Hofacker

Location: Kirche zum guten Hirten

Technical Supplier: Tranzept GmbH

Props Supplier: Fundus Adlershof, FTA Fundus Berlin

Logo Reveal Photography: Michael Krüger

Logo Reveal Compositing: Salvatore Costa

Marketing Campaign: Louise Knauer, Will Roseliep

Graphic Design Campaign: Sophie Pischel

Funding: Fonds Darstellende Künste

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