Quartett speaks German

Quartett speaks German

The new fall season at the Staatsoper in Berlin opened on October 3, with the premiere of Luca Francesconi’s Quartett (2010) in German. Daniel Barenboim will be conducting this new production by director Barbara Wysocka. Scenery by Barbara Hanicka, costumes by Julia Kornacka. Starring Mojca Erdmann as Marquise de Merteuil, and Thomas Oliemans as Vicomte de Valmont.

The composer had this to say about the second genesis of the opera: “Berlin, Heiner Müller, Daniel Barenboim with all his generosity and enthusiasm, and the historic Staatsoper, IRCAM, which has always provided me with support for the Quartett adventure all over the world, 90 performances and counting! It’s a thrill to be here, with the beautiful words of Müller in his language, in his city. With all the admiration I have for him, this is really an overwhelming sensation. And the quality of the performers is phenomenal.” Francesconi continues his stint in Berlin in the weeks to come, at the Boulez Saal, with the world premiere of Jeu di Musica, as well as the German premieres of Moscow Run, Sans and Insieme II. All performances conducted by Daniel Barenboim.

Quartett (2010)

Opern nach Heiner Müller
Orchestra grande nascosta - Orchestra in buca - Coro - Elettronica Orchestra grande: 2.2 (II anche Cor.i.).2 (II anche Cl.b.).2 (II anche Cfg.) / 4.2 (I anche Trb. in Sib).3.1. / Timp. Perc. (3) / Archi Orchestra piccola (in buca): 2 Fl./Ott. Ob./Cor.i. Cl. Cl.b. Fg. Cor in Fa 2 Trb. Trbn. Perc.(2) A. Pf.-Cel. 2 Tast.elettr. 2 Vl. Vla 2 Vc. Cb
1 hr 20 min

View the score on nkoda

Watch the excerpt from the new production

Press quotes

Barbara Wysocka, who sends cold shivers down the spine in the face of the current ecological, economic and social dystopias of our world, staged this ex-couple in such relatable normality that makes Müller's verbal lashes almost unbearable. The emotional horror even overflows and floods further when Francesconi's quietly collapsing relationship turn carnal. 
Roland H. Dippel, Concerti

Let's just say this right now: The Quartett premiere on Saturday evening at the Staatsoper Berlin was the best I've seen in a very long time on stage in Berlin, no matter whether it was on an opera or theatre stage. 
Holger Jacobs, Kultur24

Director Barbara Wysocka has reinforced the interpretation so that the action only takes place in the head of the marquise. The whole decadent, perverse, cynical battle of words is just the final vision of someone so psychologically shattered she decays into ruins from the boredom of her privileged existence.
Frederik Hanssen, Der Tagesspiegel


Photo: Mojca Erdmann (Marquise de Merteuil) und Thomas Oliemans (Vicomte de Valmont) / © Monika Ritterhaus