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A Free-Shot for the Freischütz: A World Premiere of a Work by Jan Müller-Wieland in Berlin

The new “Freischütz” under the title “Der Freischuss” by Jan Müller-Wieland will receive its world premiere on 20 January 2011 at the Neuköllner Oper Berlin together with Luise Rist’s play of the same name. The composer has undertaken a free adaptation of “Der Freischütz” by Carl Maria von Weber, probably the most famous German romantic opera, for a small ensemble of singers and instrumentalists (to his own text).

It is not the first time that the composer Jan Müller-Wieland, an academy professor now living, working and teaching in Munich, has had recourse to well-known models of music history – not only in order to adapt them, pour them into new moulds or build on them, but also to develop entirely new ideas and subjects based on them. Thus he composed a chamber version of Beethoven’s “Egmont” Overture for the special septet ensemble of Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale. Together with his wife, author and librettist Birgit Müller-Wieland, he recently retold Wagner’s “Ring” cycle in a musically new version suitable for children entitled “Der kleine Ring.” He very deliberately refrained from using even a single Wagner quotation in this work.

The contents:

Linn, a girl from Berlin-Mitte, is on her way to the opera. Max, a young man from Neukölln, who is waiting for something to happen. Three minutes to wait until the underground comes. Three minutes are long enough to fall in love. At least for Max. He’s not the type who thinks things over for very long. What he sees makes an impression on him. A gesture, a glance a word. He has the gift of seeing through people, looking into the depths behind their eyes. What he sees in Linn attracts him. He will see her again. And not give her up. Max has lost his mother, but he’ll watch out for his girlfriend.

Max starts training to be a policeman. His colleagues recognise his criminological sense; he could soon climb the career ladder – if he can manage to become free of his past: old friends, especially his friend Tom. Max distances himself more and more from his former life, mistrusts everyone, especially himself. He is afraid of failing in his new life and clings to it tightly – until he finds out that what he is clinging to is wrong and that he must fight what is protecting.

20 January 2011
Berlin, Neuköllner Oper, 8 PM
World premiere: Jan Müller-Wieland
“Der Freischuss“ for vocal ensemble and 5 instrumentalists
Ein Stück Gegenwart by Luise Rist (text parts) and Jan Müller-Wieland (music parts)
after “Freischütz“ by Carl Maria von Weber
Production: Gustav Rueb
Direction: Hans-Peter Kirchberg / Lam Tran Dinh


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