Micro Oper München
Micro Oper München was founded by singer and voice-artist Cornelia Melián in 1991. Micro Oper München’s intention is to be a laboratory for interdisciplinary musical experiment. For its productions of dramatised music, Micro Oper München invites artists from the fields of experimental music, multimedia arts and visual art.
Katrin Dollinger (dramaturg): “With the Micro Opera Munich, Cornelia Melián has created her own universe. She is its creative director, organizer and principal performer, all in one. She is at the heart of a small but powerful machine which works to rejuvenate a century-old genre with theatrical and acoustic excursions, far away from the mainstream but always right up to the minute.„A criticism of the most expensive current art form? Yes, but moreso a statement for a lively development within Contemporary Music. For years, the Micro Opera Munich has been developing contemporary music theatre on a shoe string. How does it work? Founder Cornelia Melián concentrates on the music she is interested in. No ensemble flown in from overseas, no gigantic stage machinery, no big orchestra or promotional functions – it’s the music which plays the most important role. From the music the space and all the other elements develop. This could be considered a luxury. But maybe it’s as vital a process as the creation of the „opera-scape“ serving mainly the repertory of the 18th and 19th century, which regards innovation with scepticism. The Micro Opera Munich sees itself as a laboratory. It tests what can be produced from a sound. Cornelia Melián often integrates visual artists and the stylistic elements of complementary disciplines such as dance or video. Artistic freedom is encouraged where forms can be developed beyond the boundaries of public expectations. The pieces of the Micro Opera take on today’s themes and like to throw a satirical and grotesque light on contemporary social attitudes.“
Cornelia Melián is a specialist for early and contemporary music; she has cooperated with numerous artists and ensembles , among them David Moss, Phil Minton, Ernst Reijseger, Ensemble Reconsil Vienna and the ensembles for early music Sarband, Sequentia and Estampie. CD recordings, TV and radio recordings. Premières and first performances in contemporary music. Lecturer for voice at Leipzig Conservatory and University for Music Mozarteum/Salzburg. Music Award granted by the city of Munich.
2018 • Panic & Paradise / Songs and Soundscapes
The new project of the Micro Opera Munich combines the musical highlights of the two previous pieces, “You never know” and “Now the paradise”. Half seriously, half humorously, it questions modern life with all its contradictions. It shows us bumbling through our daily lives with ever-increasing speed. Musisicans and singer use fragments of original chansons. Noise meets New Electronica meets Experimental Voice Technique meets Everything Else. All the material is turned upside down. Not a note is left unturned. And the result is by no means certain. But it is certain to be played on a minimal stage made of light.
Notes on the original material:
„You never know (Man kann nie wissen, 2011)“ is a piece of grotesque performance following an insurance broker’s road into total exhaustion, driven by her ambition and need for security. The office space develops an inner life and interacts mysteriously with digital signals and melodies of panic. Redemption appears unexpectedly. In the sequel, „Now the paradise (Jetzt das Paradies, 2013)“, the fallen protagonist returns to the stage, on a direct journey from the executive suite to rehab. In the end, she nevertheless and miraculously manages to free herself from the contradictions of modern life. Both pieces were created under the direction of vocalist Cornelia Melián, in cooperation with the Hamburg-based composer Ernst Bechert and with a team of musicians and video-artists.
1.3.2019 / 20:00 Uhr / Westwerk Hamburg
30.11. and 1.12.2018 / Schwere Reiter, München
Cornelia Melián voice, bass recorder, performance / Ernst Bechert composition, electronics, performance / Gunnar Geisse laptop-guitar, performance / Krischa Weber cello / Anton Kaun, aka Rumpeln noise-art, video DJ, performance / Goran Budimir lights / Maja Bechert artwork / Regine Heiland photos
2017 • WINTER
Dramatised Music free after Franz Schubert’s Winter Journey.
The Winter is back. You can feel it in the living rooms and streets of Germany as a new social cold raise. Schubert’s lonely wanderer has been on the road for 200 years. He encounters us in electro-acoustic soundscapes, video projections and text collages.
2013 • Now the Paradise – A Rehab-Opera
Everywhere you hear the small sighs of exhausted people burning out in the hamster wheel of their daily grind. Pending To-Do-lists undermine their power. Now the Paradise – A Rehab Opera is new music theatre for the meritocracy. Grete A., the fallen carreerist from You never know – New Music Theatre about Angst returns to the big stage. Brought directly from the executive suite to the rehab clinic, her weak body gets phantastically revitalised.
2013 • Short Cuts – a showcase
“Short Cuts is more than just a showcase exemplifying with what virtuosity the split between spoken and musical dramatic forms can be mastered, how easy the exchange between art forms or the crossing of musical boundaries can be. Short Cuts shows how Cornelia Melián manages to re-invent herself in each of her productions. So, if this at first sight is a „Best-of“-compilation it is also more than that. In Short Cuts, Cornelia Melián re-examines her Micro Operas, dissects and re-assembles them – non chronologically – and creates something new …” Dr. Michael Emmanuel Bauer
2011 • You Never Know – music theatre about fear
You Never Know is an experimental music theatre piece – a humorous grotesque about anxiety for one singer and a versatile orchestral accompaniment: sampler, cello, piano and noise. This surrealistic musical creepy cabinet invites you to experience one of the the scariest human feelings: fear. Music by Ernst Bechert (Hamburg) and Micro Oper Munich
2010 • AMOR remixed
Compositions, arrangements, remix, coverversions based on ‘Lamento della Ninfa’ by Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643). A concert program combining early Baroque music, improvisaton, experiment and song. Monteverdi: Sometimes lyrical, sometimes brutal, sometimes sophisticated. Music by: Ulrike Haage, Helga Pogatschar, Fritz Keil, Thomas Meadowcroft, Carl Oesterheld, Christoph Reiserer, Axel Singer
2009 • Somehow Different
Played and sung by 15 school children, 2 adult musicians and an actor also performs magic. Somehow Different tells the story of a friendship and is a plea to being different, not least in New Music. Original action is combined with the magical poetry of sound into a blend that especially arouses the curiosity and fascinates children of primary school age.
2008 • One-Woman-Opera
Music theater piece in 4 scenes, a journey through female worlds. The stories of these four Solos for Voice deal with the everyday experiences of our existence. Compositions by Irinel Anghel, Carola Bauckholt, Juliane Klein und Charlotte Seithers (commissioned by the Munich Biennale).
2007 • Play away
A music-play for three, music by Carola Bauckholt, Markus Schmitt, Ernst Bechert
2006 • Listen Up
Staged music with silently roaring music by George Crumb, Carola Bauckholt, Olga Neuwirth, Ernst Bechert
2004 • Ariadne
A musical investigationby Helga Pogatschar
2002/2004 • Cage Up and Cage Up 2
John Cage performances
1999 • Vex
A media opera by the visual artists Brunner/Ritz
1996 • Dirt
A musical theatre installation experiment by Ernst Bechert (commissioned by Munich Biennale and Kampnagel Hamburg)
1992 • Satierikon
Dramatised music, composed by Erik Satie
1991 • From SatiesFactory
A tribute to Erik Satie
Jetzt das Paradies
Kulturvollzug.de: … Munich is the home of a great new music theater company: the Micro Oper Munich.
Sueddeutsche Zeitung: … a wicked performance, … wonderfully fearless and imaginative … a perfectly fitting sound-costume … a frightening side splitting spectacle …
Münchner Merkur: … an exciting evening. An experiment with many nuances, an electrifying excursion into contemporary music.
Süddeutsche Zeitung: … modern and compassionate: a philosophy for children, showing them how diversity can enrich their lives.’
Standard Wien … the great singer and performance artist Cornelia Melian portrays the turbulences of growing older in an impressive show.
Hamburger Abendblatt: … Anyone who would like to be entertained by the way that sound, movement, expression, subtle humour, gentle exaggeration and – very simply – concentrated poetic charm originating from an intelligently restricted choice can melt into an unforgettable event should do the two musicians the honour of attending their concert …
Süddeutsche Zeitung: … Cornelia Melián and Sabine Liebner succeeded in staging something like the ideal Cage Performance with their carefully chosen Cage program …
Loves Labour Lost
Nürnberger Nachrichten: … The exactly hit on the subtle distinction between serious and clownesque, filigree and bulky, soft and shrill; the piano parts are
played sharply defined and delicately, and Cornelia Melián’s singing is downright fabulous …
One Woman Opera
Stuttgarter Zeitung: … The way of performing fascinated mind and soul, turned the music into a perfect performance. Simply wonderful!
Sueddeutsche Zeitung: … Since years Micro Oper Munich covers a niche between theatre and music with great virtuosity and unrivalled humour, often in made to order costumes and designed stages that are minimal in style and achieve a maximum effect. Satie or Cage, pop music or Schoenberg, Messiaen or Weill as well as premieres are the focus of their programs. And each and every work is something new, something original that has not been seen or heard before.“