Muziektheater Transparant [Antwerp]

Jakob Lenz

Jakob Lenz
Jakob Lenz

15.03 – 19.03.2006

The expression of an obsession in sound is possibly the best way to summarise the opera Jakob Lenz by the German composer Wolfgang Rihm (1952). 

With his plays Der Hofmeister and Die Soldaten the poet Jakob Lenz (1751-1792) was one of the most important theatre innovators in the early Romantic Movement. During his life he clashed furiously with the literary authority of Goethe, which had by then become unassailable. A failed attempt to start an affair with Goethe’s sweetheart, Friederike Brion, developed into an obsession with this woman, thereby also bringing his schizophrenic nature to light. After a long period of wandering, Lenz managed to find shelter, thanks to the efforts of Christoph Kaufmann, with Father Johann Friederich Oberlin. The family looked after the poet, who was extremely ill, until he departed again. 

Georg Büchner described the time spent with the Oberlin family in detail in his novella Lenz, in which he concentrated mainly on the poet’s state of mind. In its turn, this ‘psychiatric reconstruction’ by Büchner formed the basis for the composition by Wolfgang Rihm, whose passionate music manages to touch on the deepest chasms of Lenz’ character.


Jakob Lenz (bariton) Hagen Matzeit
Oberlin (bas) Marek Gasztecki
Kaufmann (tenor) Lorenzo Carola
choeur CETC Teatro Colon Patricia Douce, Vanesa Tomas, Mónica Sardi, Cintia Velásquez, Norberto Marcos, Pol González
orchestre Beethoven Academie
direction musicale Alejo Perez

mise en scène Caroline Petrick
éclairage Alejandro Le Roux
costumes Marcelo Salvioli
production Muziektheater Transparant
coproduction Centro de Experimentación Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires), deSingel et Beethoven Academie