S.S. Belgenland

 

Revue Ravage

 

Terms of
Embarrassment

 

FES ft.
Ernst Reijseger

 

Boat & Berg

 

R.I.P. Funeral songs

 

HEARSEE

 

FES with John Watts

 

Answer Songs

 

Zilke

 

Modernski

 

FES meets Jimi Tenor

 

The Oyster Princess

 

FES ft. Uri Caine

 

Heliogabal

 

The Armstrong Mutations

 

Minoes

 

Larf

 

CONTINUOUS REPERTOIRE

Answer Songs

 

 

The Ruhr Triennial commissioned Peter Vermeersch and his Flat Earth Society the music for the opera Heliogabal. Heliogabal starts as a new libretto by the young German author Thomas Jonigk. He has drawn hisinspiration from the historical figure with the same name – a child-emperor who met a gruesome end – and has written a contemporary
text about power and mass hysteria, love and narcissism, insanity and calculation.

 

Thomas Jonigk: 'Just as Michael Jackson once counted his fans in the millions, the 14-year old boy emperor Heliogabalus took Rome by storm. But after only a short while, he became to the Romans what Marlene Dietrich was to the common Germans: public enemy nr 1. What was he accused of? Blasphemy, provocation, arrogance, political betrayal, graft, sexual excesses, prostitution and homosexuality. The border between historical facts and devastating fiction blurs. But this much is clear: the emperor of those times was what is today a super-star. Someone who conveys nothing, but who people can say a lot about. But also a yes-man who appeals to everyone. He becomes foil to the people and creates a sense of identity. Yet he walks a thin line: dull average is too little for the community of fans, citizens or voters, too everyday, too similar, but flamboyant exceptions are too intimidating, too much, too frustrating in the long term. The superstar may allow the possibilities of the extraordinary to shine through only occasionally so that the normality of his or her worshipers not only appears bearable, but even desirable. Britney Spears, both a steadfast virgin and a tongue-rolling sex slut, can sing along to that tune. And she does not even need a voice: the industry loans her one. But being a powerful person, she is at the same time an instrument of power, whose right to speak can also be revoked if she becomes too old or does not sell enough. Heliogabalus' situation was no different. It is the same everywhere for everyone'.

 

The opera is not only performed by the 17 musicians of FES, but alsoby a mix of opera singers and a group of fine Belgian actors. This international splendid cast with Wim Opbrouck (B), Livia Budai (H), Pieter Embrechts (B), Laurence Janot (Fr), Bernard Van Eeghem (B), Esmé Bos (B), Sara de Bosschere (B), Wim Willaert (B) etc is directed by Roy Faudree. Tomas Jonigk's libretto although based on a historical event in fact becomes a contemporary tale of a ridiculous clash between politicians and celebrities marketed to an all consuming and defenceless community. Heliogabal is a wild musical ride that at times speeds recklessly through the familiar territory, takes you through the dirt tracks behind the scenes and finally dances on a tight rope right back to where it started. The opera is site-specifically designed & staged by No Theater under the direction of the American Roy Faudree for the Gebläse Halle at the Landschaftspark in Duisbourg.

 

Heliogabal premiered on May 8th 2003 as part of the Ruhr Triennial and started a second life as a concertante with a new cast under the direction of Josse De Pauw, touring through Flanders in September & October 2005.
Heliogabal was registered and released on a double cd by the Flemish classical radio Klara.

 

-------------------

 

Libretto: Thomas Jonigk

Music: Peter Vermeersch

Direction: Roy Faudree (Josse De Pauw)

Cast: Livia Budai (Madiha Figuigui), Larence Janot (Sylvie De Pauw), Ursula Hesse von den Steinen (Annique Burms), Esmé Bos, Sara De Bosschere, Stephan Bootz (Keith Tillotson), Wim Opbrouck, Bernard Van Eeghem, Pieter Embrechts, FES

Production: Rurh Triennale (Het Toneelhuis)

 

 

 

Photos

 

Reviews

 

 

Past dates

 

Resuming

01 October 2005

Stadsschouwburg Brugge, Belgium

30 September 2005

Heliogabal - Vlaamse Opera, Ghent, Belgium

29 September 2005

KC Vooruit, Ghent, Belgium

26 September 2005

Stadsschouwburg Kortrijk, Belgium

25 September 2005

Bourla, Antwerp, Belgium

24 September 2005

Bourla, Antwerp, Belgium

23 September 2005

Bourla, Antwerp, Belgium

21 September 2005

Bourla, Antwerp, Belgium

17 September 2005

Kaaitheater, Brussels, Belgium

16 September 2005

Kaaitheater, Brussels, Belgium

15 September 2005

Bourla, Antwerp, Belgium

13 September 2005

Bourla, Antwerp, Belgium

10 September 2005

Bourla, Antwerp, Belgium

08 September 2005

Bourla, Antwerpen, Belgium (première)

 

Premiere

25 May 2003

Duisburg, Rühr Triennale, Germany

23 May 2003

Duisburg, Rühr Triennale, Germany

21 May 2003

Duisburg, Rühr Triennale, Germany

18 May 2003

Duisburg, Rühr Triennale, Germany

16 May 2003

Duisburg, Rühr Triennale, Germany

13 May 2003

Duisburg, Rühr Triennale, Germany

10 May 2003

Duisburg, Rühr Triennale, Germany

8 May 2003

Duisburg, Rühr Triennale, Germany