Very great opera

Opera is a musical total artwork: as outworn this set phrase may be, as little it is transferred into reality. And when it happens, it is an uplifting experience. This is proven by a premiere in the Erholungshaus in Leverkusen, of all places. Announced as a “breathtaking evening of dance”, the performance is quick to prove itself to be a total artwork. Everything fits perfectly, and the audience is enchained for an hour and a half.

Choreographer Tamir Ginz does not intend to show a ballet d’action, he carves out major emotions like affliction and grudge, betrayal and grief. At the same time, as an Israeli Jewish choreographer, son of Holocaust survivors, he aims to build a bridge through this choreography between nations and religions. “In this new world, where everyone is Jesus and Jesus is one of us”, he says. And he succeeds, wonderfully.

Adam Keller does an impressive job with the stage design: after all, he needs to accommodate quite a number of people on a relatively small stage. (…) In the background, one can see the movement of the dancers as shadows on the white wall. This increases the drama exquisitely, as does the sensational lighting which Yaron Abulafia uses to tell a story of his own, building suspense and images of quiet intensity. It is extraordinary how he can build effects with the few means given by the limited stagecraft, without falling into cheap showmanship. The costumes created by Limor Hershko-Dror are both elegant and sophisticated.

In the meantime, Ginz depicts the whole drama of events and feelings in dance. Free of ballet conventions, he shows the course of the story, persists here and there in individual dances, always demanding highest physical exertion from his dancers and in this manner conveying suspense, which is without difficulty and always in correspondence to the music for over an hour and a half.

After that, the audience in the almost sold-out house no longer bears to remain seated. A stormy, standing ovation follows for more than ten minutes as tribute to all parties involved. And after an exorbitantly successful performance you can also see contended and pleased faces on the stage.

You only have two more opportunities to experience this total artwork: on the 31st of March in Leverkusen and on the 2nd of April at the Opera in Wuppertal. It is incomprehensible why no more than three performances are possible, after such a great input.


Michael S. Zerban, “O-Ton Culture Magazine”