Today, the new opera composed by Volker David Kirchner, Gutenberg, with a libretto by the composer, will be performed in Erfurt.
Volker David Kirchner has already composed several operas, including Belshazar (Munich, 1985), Gilgamesh (Hannover, 2000) and Savonarola (Kiel, 2011).
Who was Johannes Gutenberg ? He is a symbol of permanent strugle against church authorities and princes. Until now, he is mainly famous for inventing the printring press with movable type. It revolutionized the terms of knowledge and power. Five centuries later, the digital technologies made the world a village, broadened our horizons to infinity and unleashed unexpected treasure of human creativity. Ultimately, the opera ends with an 'epilogue in (cyber)Heaven' where Gutenberg meets Apple founder and Internet guru Steve Jobs. (freely adapted from the Theater Erfurt website)The cast includes baritone Siyabulela Ntlale (Gutenberg), tenor Julian Freibott (Probst), baritone Nils Stäfe (Becher), tenor Won Whi Choi (Drizehn), mezzo Katja Bildt (Haushälterin) and actor Mark Pohl (Steve Jobs). Samuel Bächli conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Theater Erfurt. Martina Veh directs. The first part of the evening consists of Digitale Revolution, excerpts from Johann Sebastian Bach's St John Passion and Mass in B minor combined with electronic sounds by Gunnar Geisse.
In 2011, Philippe Manoury already composed an opera about Gutenberg : La Nuit de Gutenberg, first performed in Strasbourg on September 24th.