Ten more or less erotic encounters – from all walks of life. Celebrating the composer’s 80th birthday, Oper Stuttgart presents Philippe Boesmans’ REIGEN, based on Arthur Schnitzler’s play LA RONDE. As at the premiere in 1993, the performance is conducted by Sylvain Cambreling.
REIGEN consists of ten more or less erotic encounters between men and women – like partners in a round dance, they all meet for quick ‘get-togethers’: first the prostitute and the soldier, then the soldier and the chambermaid, the chambermaid and a young man, until finally the count meets up again with the prostitute.
Against all social differences and throughout all of these encounters, the participants’ motives and behavioural patterns are alike in the most alarming way: first, there is slight hesitance and coy urgency on one side, because frankly – one would not normally do ‘such a thing’. Afterwards, there is, on the other side, some rudeness and general withdrawal behind trivial comments: sexual acts take place every single time – true encounters, however, are the exception.
Arthur Schnitzler himself imposed a performance ban on his LA RONDE, which he wrote in 1920. The double moral standards that characterise Schnitzler‘s drama seem to be out-dated. But are they really a thing of the past? Or have they rather given way to new insecurities, lies and tensions?
In her production, director Nicola Hümpel traces the important questions of today: When does eroticism result in closeness and when does closeness result in eroticism? When is closeness destroyed by sex and when is sex destroyed by closeness?