Musical Hell

Off the beaten track – Marc Schnittger’s »Musical Hell« convinces with rapid-fire images and mastely puppetry.

 The Opera House audience accompanied Georg Schnittelbach, the main character created by Marc Schnittger, on an »odyssey through time, space and sound«. (…) The (audience) rewarded the world premiere of this ethereal and darkly grotesque trip to hell (…) with thunderous applause.

Schnittger’s puppets crouch there, bathed in the outstanding Sonar Trio’s tonal shadows (…). The audience quickly becomes accustomed to the company of the characters Schnittger presents so masterfully (…).

 Marc Schnittger and director Nele Tippelmann have created a rapid and gripping sequence of images, couched in delicate, sometimes humorous dialogue seaoned with quotations. We feel with the characters, agonise with Georg Schnittelbach (…). We are left with an achieved sense of discomfort, and are happy to be able to set off home in terrestial fresh air.

Kieler Nachrichten, 3 September 2012

That music can be a gateway to heaven …

… is something mankind has known for centuries, and it is agreed that music is made in heaven. But what about hell? There are a few impressive settings of the Dies irae that are loud but still edifying. Marc Schnittger finds another answer: musical hell is a Kafkaesque environment. It pretends to be a musical instrument repair business, but it is a place of despair.

 Four composers, one jazz musician, one new-style musician, a king of schmalz and an heir to classicism slowly lose their feelings and their reason there. Fürst (Prince), the musical instrument maker who is never there seems to be the prince of hell. They have lost their instruments to him, they are thrown back on themselves and their music in his labyrinthine house with no way out of it and come to grief through this situation.

This musical hell really is a terrible place, but the gloomy play that takes a look at it is excellent. Above all because Marc Schnittger is outstanding as always in terms of language and puppetry on the large Opera House stage, and has this time found a worthy partner in composer Jan-Peter Pflug. The composer himself contributes atmospheric live electronic sound from the orchestra pit, combined with string trio pieces by him and after Handel, also played live by the Sonar Trio.

Marc Schnittger is continuing his trilogy based on the mysterious tritpych by painter Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516) with this piece (…). The pieces are inspired by Bosch, but they are not a puppet theatre presentaton of the paintings. You have to find the link first. That’s a good thing, says CGB.

Christoph Gockel-Böhner, Kulturamt Paderborn (8 October 2012)


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