Debut of The Last Conspiracy by Eggert

Debut of The Last Conspiracy by Eggert

Moritz Eggert is a German composer who feels at home in all genres. As an author of cultural and socio-political contributions, and president of the Deutscher Komponistenverband (German Composers’ Association) he deals offensively, and often provocatively, with questions of contemporary musical theatre, and stands up for the interests of living composers. His latest “myth-operetta” Die letzte Verschwörung (The Last Conspiracy) is dedicated to the topic of those conspiracy theories which were not only eminent during the Corona period, but have taken on a new dynamic in recent years. “That which was previously believed amongst small circles is now experiencing an insane spread. The more bizarre the theories, the more they spread. Moreover, governments such as that of Putin are using this more consciously and duplicitously than was previously possible,” says Eggert.

Commissioned by the Volksoper Wien with support from the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, the piece celebrated a scorching premiere under the artistic direction of Lotte de Beer with musical direction from Steven Sloane.

About The Last Conspiracy

With the onset of the 2020 pandemic, the world experienced an unprecedented conspiracy theory renaissance. Since the storming of the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. in January 2021, it became clear that such distorted perceptions of the world can cause violence and subversion when they reach mainstream society.

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picture of Eggert's Die letzte Verschwörung
World premiere of The Last Conspiracy

I have long been fascinated by this topic because these conspiracy theories are surreal or dadaistic – they cannot work. What sense is there, for example, in a conspiracy that for thousands of years – and at great effort – would fool people into believing that the Earth is round?
Conspiracy theories are, then, new fairy tales and folk stories like those of the Brothers Grimm, only more bizarre and more dangerous. The big bad wolf has many guises, be it the “New World Order” or the “Great Reset”. It seems there are people who need these simple constructs because they are overwhelmed by reality itself.

Read full composer's note

picture of Eggert' Die letzte Verschwörung
World premiere of The Last Conspiracy

Press quotes

"Admittedly he could not have elicited so much from the large ensemble if Eggert hadn’t put on his stand a score that combines great musical diversity with a remarkable feel for gauging effects and for timing.... Perhaps this operetta-Gesamtkunstwerk’s greatest contribution is that it doesn’t turn into a Lehrstück, a “learning play”, but helps to grant exciting extra time to a genre that’s already been so often dismissed."
Die Deutsche Bühne, 26.03.2023

picture of Eggert's Die letzte Verschwörung

World premiere of The Last Conspiracy

"When someone drops the term “operetta” in Vienna and, moreover, is referencing the long-stultified Volksoper, then the mix of overheated waltzes, jaunty though never kitschy musical numbers and playful rehashes of serious- and light-music history, as well as lots of noise from the orchestra, all that is surely for many like a smack in the face. And rightly so!... Psychological this one isn’t, nor really even socially critical, but it is rather entertaining and, thanks to the stupendous stagecraft, a – genuine – spectacle! Scenes and scenery change in the blink of an eye – for Christof Hetzer’s sets and Jorine van Beeks’s costumes there clearly were no limits as to content or monetary outlay. Musically, too, it made a potent impression. Conductor Steven Sloane set the score – generously coated in sugar (and maybe some other substances as well) – sparkling and bubbling."
BR Klassik, 26.03.2023

"The music also is eclectic, but effective: zany elements that concentrate the dramatic and gruesome qualities such as little pop songs and spooky chorus are also elegantly woven in. It’s a colourful mix, which always adapts a style to the intended expression... The orchestra under Steven Sloane was good. Everything sounded highly cultivated (as did the offstage narrator’s voice, which belonged to Eggert) without washing out the variegated colours of the styles. Much applause, few boos, which may have come from proponents of the hollow earth theory. That world view was ignored in the piece."
Der Standard, 27.03.2023

"Eggert at the buffet of music history does not make the mistake of constantly piling everything and too much of everything on his plate. He keeps the order of courses light and digestible, scoring extra points with the tempo; and director Lotte de Beer’s service never lags on Christof Hetzer’s adaptable revolving stage. Eggert tucks in with relish to film-music strategies to generate tension and suffers neither from tonality intolerance nor from a dissonance allergy... The orchestra, chorus and ballet under Steven Sloane are clearly enjoying the heady cocktail-party atmosphere that ascends (or descends?) into gibberish in a UFO, a virtual reality game and even, in the end, on the stage of the Volksoper. Nonetheless, Eggert’s score sounds more homogeneous than this description might suggest. However: operetta this is not, musically at any rate. He forgoes playing ironically with the traditional themes of the genre in favour of a predominantly through-composed contemporary opera in readily intelligible parlando, which admits entertainment à la Hollywood."
Die Presse, 27.03.2023

"Moritz Eggert has succeeded in writing an enthralling piece of science-fiction music theatre with apocalyptic fantasies and a gentle sprinkling of socially critical humour."
Oberösterreichische Nachrichten, 27.03.2023

Eggert’s music is a masterclass in assurance (he has written a raft of stage works); it is also important for him that his music is not, as he put It, exclusively for an audience ‘who know the secret codes of contemporary music’. Initially appealing, once one moves below the surface, layer upon layer appears (much like the plot’s layered search for a conspiracy). In addition to a riff on conspiracy theories, this is a love story, a comedy, and science fiction. Eggert’s music touches on pop music, Muzak, Broadway choruses, jazz, and Minimalism. A chameleon score – less ironic post-modernism, more exploration of memory (as Mozart and his contemporaries, did – think Don Giovanni).
Rhinegold, 30.04.2023

Photos: Barbara Pálffy
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