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multimedia opera // Libretto nach Jari Niesner (jari.)

Videodesign: KLARA

Text: jari.

The multimedia opera shibboleth enters the mysterious world of the Internet––as a virtual doubling of the world, as a new kind of living space, as opportunity and danger. In a dreamlike allegory, we accompany the avatars of the musical piece into the branching corridors of an infinitemhotel on their search for a secret room, through which they can modify their identities. However, this secret room can only be entered with a correct passport. The hackers Frank*5 and Guy1605, who get to know each other at a masked ball in a virtual club, only manage to find their own identities through a game of identity confusion. Chance encounters, hidden clues, unexpected abilities, and impenetrable fate enter into a game of transformation with one another, raising questions of privacy and illuminating the potential of anonymity. "shibboleth" traces its etymology to a story from the Book of Judges. Originally a linguistic feature instrumentalized to identify and isolate social groups, the Hebrew word is now synonymized with "code word."

Modern usage of the term includes its use as a password that allows a community to access a resource without the individual user having to reveal their identity. In the digital world, codes open or deny entry into other spaces, demarcate certain groups from others, and effect a kind of information monopoly for those who know the code.

Codes as a mark of identity? As a cloak of invisibility? Hacking as a redefinition of identity and virtual extension of real possibilities? What other possibilities arise in the ocean of the Internet? Today's world is hardly imaginable without the Internet. Reality gets lost in virtuality, virtuality becomes more and more reality. Because of the possibility to communicate online, usernames and profiles become more and more important. For many chat partners and group members, the real identity of the other person remains largely unknown. We have long been accustomed to recognizing usernames and profiles as 'persons'. So are we ourselves still 'real' even in chats and forums? For the protagonists in shibboleth, too, the boundaries between the virtual and the real are blurring.

cast //

Sonja Boskou | AltRebecca Frese | Mezzosopran Freja Sandkamm | Sopran Lukas Anton | BaritonJoël Vuik | Counter-Tenor


David Bui | Musikalische Leitung

Lin Chen | Percussion Fanis Gioles | Percussion Elman Mecid | Percussion Ferec Akbarov | Klarinette Arsen Zorayan | Violine Nariman Akbarov | Cello Tair Turganov | Kontrabass

Steffen Lohrey | Elektronik

Hinter der Bühne

Aigerim Seilova | Komposition

jari. (niesner) | Regie

KLARA (Janina Luckow) | Videodesign

Caroline Packenius | Kostüme

Nora Ebneth | Dramaturgie

Photo: Nils Jöhnk

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