The Belltower

NOVOFLOT
in co-production with Sophiensæle

ERNST KRENEK: THE BELLTOWER

Opera in one act, based on Herman Melville’s novel of the same name.

Premiere: 13th September 2002 at the Sophiensæle, Berlin

Krenek’s opera The Belltower, composed 1956, is based on a story by Herman Melville. It evolves around a romantic ‘mad scientist’, who does not hesitate to murder in order to pursue his obsessive plan and eventually gets buried and killed by his own construction. In Krenek’ short opera emotional and dramatic moments are piled on top of one another in almost ironic intensification: love, madness, murder, betrayal of the father, mortal accident, triumph of technology, sex, magic, and false conclusion. In its production Novoflot traced the question symbolised by the image of the giant bell: its statesmanlike chiming, uniting society in time and the space of sound is the result of the secret and obscure alchemic technique of bell-foundry – providing, of course, the bell-founding is successful. Publicity is based on secrets – a longstanding contradiction, the more explosive the more modern and enlightened a society perceives itself to be.


Realised through support by Hauptstadtkulturfonds and the Fonds Darstellende Künste e.V. aus Mitteln des Bundes.