The Irrfahrten (Odysseys) trilogy comprises three independent,
self-contained performances that are motivically interwoven into a
compelling whole through a great variety of references. Various artistic
genres - music, theater, dance and video - are fused into an original form
of music theater that could very well point to the future. The trilogy was
conceived by Joachim Schlömer, a noted dancer, choreographer and director.
He sees his project as the "odyssey of an artist from external control to
self-determination." (Schlömer) This concerns not only Mozart himself, but
also the artist in general, and, by extension, everyone who has overcome a
crisis in their life to achieve their personal freedom.
At the beginning of the trilogy is the twelve-year-old Mozart's first opera
buffa, "La finta semplice" (The Make-Believe Simpleton), a full-length
opera with commedia dell'arte-style characters. "The music," says Schlömer,
"tells of wanting something - even if the characters still don't really
know what they want." The second Odyssey, "Abendempfindung" (Evening
Sensation), a pasticcio of Mozart arias, songs, instrumental pieces
(including some for the rare and evocative glass harmonica) and letters.
The great Ann Murray is the featured performer here. The third Odyssey,
"Rex tremendus" presents a thought-provoking combination of two opera
buffa fragments, "Lo sposo deluso" and "L'oca del Cairo," along with
various unfinished pieces and fragments from Mozart's last work, the
Requiem. It represents the artist's ultimate liberation from the
restrictions and conventions of society, his farewell from the world, in
Schlömer on his Odysseys: "It is about the path the artist follows from his
entrance into adult life to a period of artistic crisis, comparable to the
midlife crisis we all go through, and on to a fragmentation and liberation
from all interpretation of the artist's activity." Irrfahrten / Odysseys
is one of the most illuminating productions of the Mozart 22 cycle, one
that makes Mozart's genius shine in all of its facets.