Programme Guide

Everyone knows the Greek myth of Theseus, who set forth to kill the terrible Minotaur on the isle of Crete. Ultimately, it was about the life of innocent Athenians: the Cretan king Minos demanded the sacrifice every year of seven youths and seven maidens because his son had fallen to his death through deceitfulness in Attic territory, Every year, the unlucky ones disappeared into the impenetrable labyrinth of the Minotaur to appease the monster – half bull, half man. The charismatic hero got not only a sword but also a ball of thread from Minos’s daughter Ariadne; he attached the end of it at the cave entrance. He wandered about for a long time until he came upon the monster and struck it down with all his might; thanks to the thread, he found his way out to freedom.

The British composer Jonathan Dove, particularly known for his choral music and operas (and television operas like When she died... that reached millions of spectators), brought Theseus’s adventures into the concert hall as a commission from the Berliner Philharmoniker and the London Symphony Orchestra – in the form of a children’s opera, in which, besides the vocal soloists, several choirs and an orchestra made up of members of the Berliner Philharmoniker and many young instrumentalists participated. The battle between the Minotaur and Theseus is of course played on the stage; the latter in fact survived the dangers he went through, but his father Aigeus did not come to know of it, which is why he jumped in desperation into the sea, which from then on was called the Aegean. But that’s another story...

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