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PHOTOS © Pedro Malinowski 2015


fantastic opera by Isidora Žebeljan
libretto by Borislav Čičovački
after the Serbian poem „Nahod Simeun“
and the novel „Der Erwählte“ by Thomas Mann
(in Serbian language with German surtitles)

Musiktheater im Revier Gelsenkirchen
intendant: Michael Schulz
world première on 31 May 2015

conductor: Valtteri Rauhalammi
stage director / set design: Michiel Dijkema
costume design: Jula Reindell
light design: Andreas Gutzmer
dramaturgy: Anna Melcher / Juliane Schunke

Simon: Piotr Prochera
Junge Anna / Vogel: Dimitra Kalaitzi-Tilikidou
Abt: Dong-Won Seo
1. Mönch: Georg Hansen
2. Mönch: Oliver Aigner
3. Mönch: Apostolos Kanaris
4. Mönch: Jerzy Kwika
Vorsänger der Mönche / Hund / 1. Arbeiter: E. Mark Murphy
Amme / Frau des Fischers: Anke Sieloff
Junger Simon: Jan Malewski
Sohn der Amme: Nils Hilberseimer
Frau des Automechanikers / Bäckereibesitzerin: Marie-Helen Joël
Automechaniker / 1. Bäcker: Jacoub Eisa
Ein unbekannter Reisender: Joachim G. Maaß
Ein altes Weib: Noriko Ogawa –Yatake
1. Sohn / 2. Bäcker: Philipp Werner
2. Sohn / 2. Arbeiter / Fischer: Michael Dahmen
3. Sohn: Christian Henneberg
Fabrikaufseher: William Saetre
Anna: Gudrun Pelker

opera chorus and extra chorus of the Musiktheater im Revier Gelsenkirchen
Opern-Kinderchor der Chorakademie Dortmund
Neue Philharmonie Westfalen
extras of the Musiktheater im Revier Gelsenkirchen


“the magic of the unusual”

“The story is like a blend of a miracle play and a “road opera”, of a religiously tinted fairy-tale and sharp social criticism [...] The director builds entirely on the magic of the unusual and the fantastic, but also the harsh reality leaves deep moral cuts.”

Theater Pur

“a coherent narrative”

“Michiel Dijkema has wisely decided not to produce Balkan romantic. He is mounting the many short sequences of the piece as film images. [...] A coherent narrative that emphasizes the contrasts of the piece. [...] Perhaps this production would also be interesting to spectators who normally go to the cinema or musicals. The audience in Gelsenkirchen thanked with much acclaim.”

Deutschlandradio Kultur


“bizarre blend of hard realism and religious elevation [...] Enthusiastic applause for all involved”

Der Westen

“a flood of captivating images”

“Michiel Dijkema stages this Serbian sung drama [...] in a flood of captivating, also nightmarish images, which often light up behind a gauze curtain for only a few seconds.”

Recklinghäuser Zeitung

“extra applause for the technicians”

“Michiel Dijkema brings the story in fast light-image scenes on the stage [...] At the end there is even extra applause for the technicians. [...] lots of cheering and jubilation during the final applause”

Der Opernfreund

“the applause was unanimously”

“Now the world première took place, with a huge cast and enormous stage-technical achievement - and the première audience did not stop being amazed [...] The applause for the unusual work was unanimously”



“As far as the production is concerned, the stage director, in this case Michiel Dijkema, has to tackle the difficulty that this opera is divided into ten pictures and frequent scene changes are necessary. Dijkema, who is also responsible for the set design, solves this problem with a kind of screen, which one can’t see through when it is illuminated from the front, and which allows a view on the stage when it is illuminated from the stage: this makes it possible for the stage workers , who have to accomplish a lot during this evening and also get an extra applause, without time-consuming pulling up and bringing down the curtain, to create very fast scene changes [...]
The Banda is dressed folkloristic and colourful, which sometimes creates associations with characters of the Commedia dell’arte [...] turbulent and variegated scenes”

M. Lode-Gerke
Das Opernglas
edition 07-08 / 2015