Zelle: Wenn es dunkel wird

Friday 16 September 2022
Palau de Les Arts Teatre Martín i Soler
LOD muziektheater (Gant, Bèlgica)

Zelle: Wenn es dunkel wird (2021) Jamie Man (1987)

It is winter. A woman is found alone in a small hut high up in the mountains. She is suspected of having killed her children. The interrogator questions the woman and in doing so, receives no answers, leading her instead to reflect on her own state of mind. As time passes, the fog thickens and clarity dissipates as it becomes harder and harder to find what was never lost.

A mind in a body in a room in a story in a mind in a body in the world. One by one, the layers fall away in a ritual of unravelling and we are immersed in darkness, in light, in sky, as we follow the transformative power of letting go of the need for answers to our questions.

For her new chamber opera Zelle: Wenn es dunkel wird the British-Chinese composer and director Jamie Man 文珮玲 joins forces with the Swiss writer and librettist Peter Stamm. What binds them is the quest for what is real, for the truth beneath the reality. With influences including the dark surrealism of David Lynch, the narrative montage techniques of Jean-Luc Godard and Japanese Nō theatre, Zelle: Wenn es dunkel wird explores the boundaries of what is visible, audible and knowable.

Production LOD muziektheater
Coproduction Theater- und Musikgesellschaft Zug (CH), deSingel Antwerp (BE), Asko Schönberg (NL), Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía (ES), De Munt / La Monnaie Bruxelles (BE), Festival Aix-en-Provence (FR) & Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (PT)
With the support of ENOA.


The enoa network, of which LOD music theatre is a member, arose out of the desire felt by several institutions in the opera world to join forces to support young artists so that they are able to set to work as professionals and achieve their artistic ambitions. With the support of the European Union’s Creative Europe programme, enoa has set up a new project for young creators and performers, called Young Opera-Makers.The purpose of this programme is to offer young artists an outstanding course of training based on a multidisciplinary and contemporary approach to opera, and also to enable them to gain stage experience. The intention is also to guide the development and distribution of new opera projects that may contribute to audience renewal.

Artistic sheet

Stage direction and composition, Jamie Man
Text, Peter Stamm
Scenography and lighting, Ezra Veldhuis
Costume, Fredrik Tjaerandsen
Dramaturgy, Tomas Serrien
Countertenor Steve Katona
Noh, Ryoko Aoki
Throat Singer, Jackie Janssens
Musical performance, Asko|Schönberg
Electric guitar, Wiek Hijmans
Percussion. Joey Marijs
Electronic music, Tatiana Rosa

More information
Les Arts
Educative project
World premiere
Young public