Love & Hydrogen

Realized by

July 2014
at Ballhaus Rixdorf Berlin

Music: Jeffrey Arlo Brown
Text after the novel by Jim Shepard

Conductor: Taepyeong Kwak

Soloists: Anna Schors ; Georg Bochow ;
Jeongwhan Sim

Sound installation: Martin Lutz
Ensemble Essenz

Stage director: Franziska
Guggenbichler Beck

Set designer: Sandra Hanschitz

Costume designer: Carine Kuntz,
Robin Hildisch

Graphics: Laura Knoops

Light: Frank Kwiatkowski

Camera: Gloria Gammer
In collaboration with
Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler
BER Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH
Stadler Form

Music turns into movement, turns into space.

The novel “Love and Hydrogen” is about the love of Meinert and Gnüss, crew members of the Hindenburg zeppelin. But jealousy and misunderstandings make them lose control about their feelings and the borders between their inner world as the outer reality seem to implode.

The opera is about the outer catastrophe of the majestic Hindenburg as well as the catastrophe between two people.

The microtonal composition is working with a combination of musical elements that Jeffrey Arlo Brown calls ‘relativity music’ : “ ‘Relativity music’ is music in which one pitch becomes different pitches through motion, specifically through the Doppler Effect- and because the Doppler Effect occurs relative to the position of the listener, members of the audience perceive different music according to their position in space.“
Additional instruments like pendulums and fans seem to let the music take off. „The instruments will be used in a way that explores the impossibility of true communication between people.“

As the opera is about the losing control of the own senses, in my concept I wanted to reinforce exactly this. In the staging I played with the the idea of reconstructing the zeppelin in a so-called atmospheric way. I put the focus on the sensual „going through an experience“ rather narrating it. The wind of the fans, as lights, shadows and mobiles played an important role in this staging. In Love and Hydrogen I saw a story about three people going to their limits. Their lives, in a very short moment, take completely new directions and we shall all take a part in it.
Who will survive the desaster? Who shall you trust, once you have lost everything? What remains after the fire?

Joseph Conrad: „We live, as we dream, alone.“

“We live, as we dream, alone.”