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Symposion: Opera and audiences
Sun, 09. May 2021, 11:00

7 – 9 May 2021

Symposion im Foyer
Symposion im Foyer

Since the advent of musical theatre the audience has had a hand in its development. No less so than the ideas of composers and their interpreters, the expectations and reactions of the audience determine what is narrated onstage, how it sounds, what it looks like and not least whether a work is given a chance to shine. The 400 years of musical-theatre history are a 400-year-old story of audience involvement encompassing the aristocracy, which likes to see the feudal order portrayed onstage, the middle classes, who call for spectacle and entertainment, and a 21st-century musical theatre that is intent on reaching all social strata. It is a story of shifting fashions and receptions, of international triumphs that fade from memory, of visionary operas that take a hundred years to find their audience. Yet it is also a story of works such as Johann Sebastian Bach’s ST MATTHEW PASSION, whose performances in churches, concert halls and on the stages of opera houses reveal much about the value systems and creeds of its audiences. And the story is an ongoing one, involving performances that explode the conventional idea of goggle-box theatre and blur the line between actors and audience.