ZKM Events May 2005
The George Gruntz Octet:
»The Magic of a Flute«
A Jazz Opera
Sat, 05/07/2005, 8pm
ZKM_Media Theater, tickets Ä 30
[no reductions since benefit concert]
Bookings only at the ZKM_Info counter
[=> Information auf Deutsch]
A business magnate has his daughter followed. A prince appears and falls in love with the girl, whose mother is the madam of a brothel. Many will find this situation familiar from The Magic Flute.
In The Magic of the Flute, composer George Gruntz and librettist Peter O. Chotjewitz have created a new jazz opera. Title and cast might be based on Mozartís famous work, but this new opera makes no other reference to it. For this is an entirely autonomous work, with elements of twelve-tone, jazz, calypso, and funk, which unlike many other attempts at jazz opera, really does deserve the name. As well as the written parts, the instrumentalists have plenty of opportunities to play solos.
Premiered with a big orchestra (NDR Big Band) at the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad, Switzerland, in 2003, the work has now been transcribed and reduced to give a pared-down chamber recital of arias. But this is no quiet and contemplative piece: steeped in jazz, it can crackle and steam as well.
Singers and instrumentalists are drawn from the original cast, and the four vocalists are outstanding.
»Gruntz has composed a riveting jazz opera, not some trivial musical but grand opera with a swing.« (Hamburger Abendblatt)
George Gruntz (CH), Renee Manning (USA), Sandie Wollasch (D),
Lauren Newton (USA/D), Marcelino Feliciano (USA), Sal Giorginanni (USA), Arie Volinez (USA), Danny Gottlieb (USA)