mask music theatre (2019)


Familie Flöz
and Musicbanda Franu

after music by

Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann,
Gustav Mahler, Anton Webern u. a.

Recommended for ages 12 and up

»We long for home. And don’t know where to go?« (Joseph von Eichendorff). People can be dead without realising it. »Himmelerde« tells the tale of a yearning for life, an encounter with death and our own transience. Central themes and motifs from German Romanticism form the starting point for the opera’s development.

»If you play a funeral march at four times the tempo, you have a polka.« (Franui). The inimitable funeral marches and dance hall pieces by Musicbanda Franui from the East Tyrol region of Austria and the virtuosic masquerades of the Familie Flöz theatre collective provided the material for the piece »himmelerde«, which the two groups developed together. Franui describe themselves as a »transformer at the intersections of classical music, folk music, jazz and contemporary chamber music «. Newly arranged song compositions by Franz Schubert, Gustav Mahler, Johannes Brahms and Robert Schumann are not only celebrated in their beauty, but also sometimes turned upside down, stripped down to their bare bones, augmented, covered with additional layers, and rethought. These adaptations blur the boundaries between interpretation, editing, composition and improvisation. In a completely different artistic context, the internationally renowned Familie Flöz has been masterfully combining physical theatre, masquerade, artistry, improvisation and acts since 1996. The group’s distinctive aesthetic is shaped by masks that they created themselves and by their omission of language as a means of communication. In keeping with the musical repertoire, the two ensembles engage with the early nineteenth century phenomenon of German Romanticism, humorously conjuring the images of this era that fascinate us to this day. Episodic stories feature contemporary characters who identify with the wishes and dreams of the Romantics.