Die Arabische Nacht

Chamber Opera (2007)

Music and text by

Christian Jost after the eponymous play by Roland Schimmelpfennig

The water isn’t running although there are rushing sounds everywhere. And the lift is stuck, yet again. Seemingly ordinary problems in a tower block; fixing them is the responsibility of Lomeier, the building’s caretaker. But tonight, everything is different: in the sticky summer heat, the residents of the house descend into a world between dreams and reality in which their everyday secrets, hidden passions and longings are exposed.

An exceptional night that brings together people who are essentially strangers despite living in the same building. For various reasons, all of them are drawn into the apartment of the ever-sleeping Franziska Dehke and her resolute flatmate Fatima Mansur, which soon becomes a venue of erotic adventures, jealousy and vengefulness. In overlapping monologues, Roland Schimmelpfennig’s play is a theatrical fantasy of escaping the anonymous urban jungle, which speaks to the parallelism of encounters and dreams that send the building’s residents into the kingdom of the Arabian Nights. Christian Jost underscores this loosely woven, somnambulant narrative structure with a shimmering, levitating, iridescent soundscape in his chamber opera, which had its world premiere in 2008 in Essen. This genuine ensemble piece is played by the members of the International Opera Studio at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden. With »Arabian Night«, the LINDEN21 series is also conquering a brand new space, the Staatsoper’s Rehearsal Stage 1.



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