Back to All Events

La niña helada (chamber opera) - International Music Theatre Competition - Staatstheater Darmstadt/IMD (Germany)

  • Staatstheater Darmstadt Georg-Büchner-Platz 1 64283 Darmstadt Germany (map)

Results Music Theatre Competition

For the first time Staatstheater Darmstadt has launched a music theatre competition. The aim of the International Music Theatre Competition Darmstadt is to give composers with an interest in music theatre the possibility to test and realize their ideas in close collaboration with the Darmstadt state theatre. With more than 150 applications there was a good response to the call. A jury has now selected the following composers: Sivan Cohen Elias (Israel), Marta Gentilucci (Italy), Carsten Hennig (Germany), Patricia Martínez (Argentina),Abel Paúl (Spain).

All of these five composers will get a commission by Staatstheater Darmstadt for a 15-20 minutes music-theatrical scene all of which will be premiered on one evening during the International Summer Course for New Music 2016.

The jury: Chaya Czernowin (composer), wanting castle Hum (conductor,GMD Staatstheater Darmstadt), Sergej Newski (composer), Samir Odeh-Tamimi (composer), Peter Ruzicka (composer / director), Thomas Schäfer (director IMD, International Summer Course for New Music), Karsten Wiegand (director Staatstheater Darmstadt).

Press Release Staatstheater Darmstadt (PDF, German)

From over 150 submissions for the International Music Theatre Workshop, a jury has chosen five composers to write short...

Posted by Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt (IMD) on miércoles, 28 de octubre de 2015

Saturday, 30 July 2016 | 19:30 | Staatstheater Darmstadt (Großes Haus)

Staatstheater Reloaded


Patricia Martínez
The frozen little girl
Kammeroper in XIX Bildern (Auszug), Libretto von Mariano Saba
Chamber opera for five voices, ensemble, video and electroacoustic sounds.

Marta Gentilucci
(On) The Other Side of The Skin. Lullaby

für Soli, Chor, Orchester und Elektronik

Sivan Cohen Elias

Musiktheater für Sänger, Instrumentalensemble, Video und Elektronik

Abel Paúl
gyre and gimble

für Stimmen, Instrumentalensemble und Elektronik

Carsten Hennig

Musiktheater für einen Schauspieler, zwei Sänger und Orchester

A production by Staatstheaters Darmstadt

For the first time, the Darmstadt State Theater has held a competition for music theater compositions. In cooperation with the State Theater, five short pieces by Sivan Cohen Elias (Israel), Marta Gentilucci (Italy), Carsten Hennig (Germany), Patricia Martínez (Argentina) and Abel Paúl (Spain) will be presented. A jury selected the composers in September 2015. All compositions will be premiered in a workshop format during an evening at the 2016 Darmstadt Summer Course.
Following the premiere, the State Theater will give one of the five composers a commission for a full-length music theater piece. After a preview performance, the Darmstadt audience will also award an audience prize.




Kind in "The frozen little girl" Susan Lee
Stenografin Cloto in "The frozen little girl" Aki Hashimoto
Stenografin Láquesis in "The frozen little girl" Katja Stuber
Stenografin Átropos in "The frozen little girl" Isabelle Rejall
Mann in "The frozen little girl" David Pichlmaier

Sopran in "(On) The Other Side of The Skin. Lullaby" Aki HashimotoKatja Stuber
Sopran (Doppelstimmenquartett) in "(On) The Other Side of The Skin. Lullaby" Jana BaumeisterAriane Ganser
Mezzosopran (Doppelstimmenquartett) in "(On) The Other Side of The Skin. Lullaby" Anja Bildstein
Mezzosopran in "(On) The Other Side of The Skin. Lullaby"
Tenor (Doppelstimmenquartett) in "(On) The Other Side of The Skin. Lullaby" Minseok KimKhvicha Khozrevanidze
Bass (Doppelstimmenquartett) in "(On) The Other Side of The Skin. Lullaby" Myong-Yong EomNicolas Legoux

Schauspieler in "(On) The Other Side of The Skin. Lullaby"Stefan Paul
Medusa in ".onion" Katja Stuber
Gunthahar in ".onion" Mark Adler
Hacker (Gitarrist, auf der Bühne) in ".onion" Steffen AhrensJosef Mücksch

Alice 1 in "gyre and gimple" Jana BaumeisterAriane Ganser
Alice 2 in "gyre and gimple" Anja BildsteinAmira Elmadfa
Alice 3 in "gyre and gimple" Khvicha KhozrevanidzeMinseok Kim
Alice 4 in "gyre and gimple" Nicolas LegouxDavid Pichlmaier

Schauspieler in "selbstversuch" Stefan Paul
Mezzosopran in "selbstversuch" Isabelle Rejall
Tenor in "selbstversuch" Mark Adler


Musikalische Leitung Johannes Harneit

Regie Dirk Schmeding , Isabel Ostermann

Bühne und Kostüme Christoph Ernst

Dramaturgie und Produktionsleitung Katharina Ortmann

Video Vincent Stefan


Chaya Czernowin , Will Humburg , Sergej Newski , Peter Ruzicka , Thomas Schäfer ,Karsten Wiegand


Sivan Cohen Elias , Marta Gentilucci ,Carsten Hennig , Patricia Martínez , Abel Paúl

La niña helada (The frozen little girl)

The frozen little girl was built up based in recent true events about Matheryn Naovaratpong, a Thailand two years old child whose family decided after her death, to preserve the body waiting uncertain future scientific development. Thus, Matheryn became the youngest person that was cryogenically preserved.

Death was not given access to that body, condemning also the soul to the fear of loss by people alive: a divided girl between transcendence and human "purgatory" of the scientific experiment. The idea of a single limbo, which poses a specific conflict: innocence held by the ambition of science, always at odds with the inexplicable. Since then the struggle between acceptance and denial of pain and death as natural and indecipherable transition from one state to another, suggested a series of tests at both the libretto and the musical composition.

Thus, in terms of the story, an attempt was made to establish areas of language rooted in the reality and other territories linked to the multiple meanings and even elusive logic of an extra- everyday sense: the disabled passage between life and death as friction sound that leaves traces on the words and music; a game of echoes linked to the clash between the tangible and the invisible.

The writing of the script was try to find a consistent formality with two spaces that the argument proposed: first, the life zone and secondly, the hereafter, connected to childhood from the anecdote used as a trigger. Childhood, in this sense, was a thematic stimulus which can also produced incidences in the formal search: as Giorgio Agamben points out, childhood must link with the “speechless” (in-fante) moment of the life, which can be seen as a border between the ineffable and half-said, babbling, echolalia suggesting at times barely able to assert itself. Writing sought to produce not only semantic but also visual stimuli in the process of musical composition: hence speculate a narrative organization not only at the semantic level but also at the visual one (the graphic space of the word in the page of the libretto; text’s saturations and cuts; calligrams; mixture between drawing and letter).

In these hypotheses of creation was also proposed a series of conceptual axes that motivated for the realization of a joint work between drama and musical composition:

A) The opposition between death as a natural phenomenon and crystallized -or symbolized- death (the Fates, which have become in the afterlife bureaucracy, managers whose earthly double could be the scientist logic, the bureaucracy of positivist-technical field).

Illustration: La niña helada by Rosa Suárez González

B) Poetry versus prose: the lyric in its contrast to the “hard” prose. The contractual or technical mood: the science of cryogenics as metaphorical representation of scientific language, which rejects the existence of an “other side”.

C) Resonances with myths and diverse works: from the poetry of Garcilaso and Dante to Monteverdi's Orfeo and L'íncoronazione, or even links with modern and diverse readings (Lorca, Plath, Beckett). The question of spiritism and literature as the avatar of mediumnity, of listening to the “other” voices in the mirror relationship between the sound and the mute, the obvious and unseen.

D) The game between technological/scientific dilemma and the “humanization”, in which science or technical tools are used for the purpose of “spiritual ties”, through materials of instrumental transcommunication in the sound and visual scene; while the instrumental and vocal organic in the scene are opposed to electroacoustic sounds that displayed in the sound level.

E) The tension between past and future: the projection of a timeless play in which the present could be decided. Using of classical languages and musical materials of greater historical cogency as a way of making a metaphor about the past and its legitimizing force around the symbolic codes of death.

All these ideas -which had served as triggers for search around the suggested axis of this project- was propounded as areas of communion and constant exchanges between the textual dramaturgy and musical composition.