MTTW 2023 / PANDORA, (c) Christopher Sturmer


A Cyber-Reanimation of the Baroque Opera Torso by Royer and Voltaire


The new opera by Matthias Kranebitter is a cross-genre revival attempt of the baroque opera torso "Pandora" based on lost music by Joseph-Niclas-Pancrace Royer and a libretto by Voltaire. A multifaceted, unbridled fantasy about enlightenment, revolution, harpsichords and guillotines. Following the music-theatrical algorithm of the underlying myth of creation and progress, the result is an opera for the posthuman age that gradually comes apart at the seams and develops an exciting life of its own. What does Pandora's Box release or preserve?

In 1748, the libretto "Pandora" by the French star enlightener and optimist of progress Voltaire was published. In it, the Titan and human creator Prometheus steals fire from the Olympian gods and awakens the creature he loves, Pandora, to life. As a result, the separation of heaven and earth and the end of the Golden Age are accomplished and human history is set in motion. The setting by the Baroque composer Pancrace Royer is a failure; after a mere fragmentary performance, all the musical material has disappeared.

Just as the artificial woman Pandora is brought to life by her creator, Matthias Kranebitter's music now breathes new life into the opera torso. The algorithms of a musical decomposition process of Royer's insane harpsichord works let baroque debris and broken harmonies merge with noisy avalanches of sound, the composer Royer himself becomes Prometheus, the history of the opera its material. This gives rise to a cross-genre live happening that mutates into a circling chaos of colour, form and sound. The music-theatrical algorithm of this creation and progress myth brings forth humanity in the same way that humanity is transcended: The opera becomes a work of art of the posthuman age.

A co-production of BLACK PAGE ORCHESTRA, Passion :SPIEL at the Nationaltheater Weimar and MUSIKTHEATERTAGE WIEN.

  • All screenings
  • Credits

Composition, Concept: Matthias Kranebitter | Staging: Michael Höppner | Conductor, Musical Director of Studies: Vinicius Katta | Scenography, artistic direction: Christopher Sturmer | 3D animations, visualisations: Patrik Lechner | Sound direction: Christina Bauer | Assistant Director: Ruben Michael | WithGeorg Bochow (countertenor), Heike Porstein (soprano), Andreas Jankowitsch (baritone), Astrid Schwarz (narrator); BLACK PAGE ORCHESTRA: Iva Kovač (flutes), Magdalena Lucia Puschnig (oboe), Florian Fennes (clarinets), Spiros Laskaridis (trumpet), Juan Pablo Marin Reyes (trombone), Samuel Toro Perez (electric guitar), Alfredo Ovalles (keyboard), Igor Gross (percussion), Fani Vovoni (violin), Eirini Krikoni (viola), Irene Frank (cello), Juan Pablo Trad Hasbun (double bass), Matthias Kranebitter (electronics) | Production: BLACK PAGE ORCHESTRA, Passion :SPIEL at the Nationaltheater Weimar, MUSIKTHEATERTAGE WIEN | Funded bySKE austromechana, Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation


Matthias Kranebitter (AT) / Christopher Sturmer (AT) / Michael Höppner (DE) / Patrik Lechner (AT) / BLACK PAGE ORCHESTRA (AT)


Odeon Theater
Taborstraße 10, 1020 Vienna
  • Preis: € 25 Full / € 15 Reduced / € 10 CARE / Available in the ODEON Combiticket and in the cycle "BLACK PAGE ORCHESTRA" of the Musikverein Vienna.
  • Sprache: German, French. With German surtitles.