The second production of Irmin Schmidt's fantasy opera Gormenghast based on the Mervyn Peake trilogy, premiered at the UNESCO World Heritage Site Völklinger Hütte on the 2nd of June 2004.

The production is directed by Andreas Baesler and produced by Joachim Arnold.

The opera is the work of German composer Irmin Schmidt, founder of the legendary rock group Can. Duncan Fallowell's libretto tells the tale of the rise and fall of the young kitchen hand Steerpike, whose deeds ultimately lead to the downfall of the whole reigning family Groan, all of whom live in the castle Gormenghast. It is a parable about power and seduction, about the ever present return of tyranny which turns young, rebellious dreams of a better world into terror, intoxication with power and destruction.

The music combines both electronically generated and orchestral sounds. The orchestra is pre-recorded, edited and played from tape for the performances, only a string quartet performs live. The singers' voices are be amplified but not modified in any way.

Premiere at the
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Völklinger Hütte
2nd of June 2004

Gormenghast Production 2004
for Völklingen & Luxembourg:
Produced by: Joachim Arnold,
Musik & Theater Saar GmbH

Can-Management Hildegard Schmidt
Les Rossignols, F-84220 Roussillon
fn +33/490 056 552, fx +33/490 057 004

All rights reserved
Messer Music Ltd. London,
represented by Bucks Music Ltd. London
fn +44.207 221 4275 fx +.44.207 229 6893

Steerpike: Stefan Vinzberg
Fuchsia: Lea Sarfati
Lord Sepulchrave: Peter Graham
Lady Gertrude: Gerda Maria Knauer
Twin Cora: Debra Fernandes
Twin Clarice: Sabine Schnitzer
Swelter: Matthias Widmaier
Barquentine: Paul Erkamp
Dr. Prunesquallor: Peter Rehkop
Titus: Glaub da Silva
Flay: Wolf-Dirk Vogeley
Nanny Slagg: Marion Freundorfer
String Quartet: Nicolai Streichquartett
Directed by Andreas Baesler
Musical Director: Koen Schoots
Set Design: Karel Spanhak
Costume: Ulli Kremer
Choreography: Glaub da Silva
Video Projections: Jürgen Schnetzer
Pre-recorded material includes
performances by:
Brandenburger Symphoniker
conducted by Irmin Schmidt
recorded by Jono Podmore
assisted by Gerd Nesgen and Ricky Ojijo
Percussion: Jaki Liebezeit
Guitar: Michael Karoli
Cello: Matthias Lorenz
Voice: Jessica Wynne
Boys choir:
Hampstead School, London
directed by Diedre Broadbent

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