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Fri, 30. June 2023, 20:30

A handful of letters, a chest of drawers and a sketched floor plan are all that bear witness to the life of Felix Ganz and his wife Erna in a so-called »Judenhaus« in Mainz. Here, the two were confined for a year after being evicted from their villa overlooking the Rhine. They are connected to the outside world only by sounds from the neighborhood and the view of Gestapo headquarters across the street – and by the letters Felix wrote, where the whole truth could never be written for fear that the Gestapo might read along.Felix's Room ist both prison and memory palace, as Felix and Erna escape their fate for brief moments – with the help of their imagination and the music which takes them back to the magnificent balls and travels of their past: From operetta waltzes to soulful operatic aria to good-humored songs of the 1920s, the sounds conjure up memories of happier times. Author Adam Ganz pieces together the life of his great-grandfather Felix using surviving letters. The starting point is the sketched floorplan of the room in Kaiserstraße and the astonishing discovery in 2019 in Mainz of the original chest of drawers which now plays its part on stage and inspires a musical intervention too.

The audience can immerse themselves in the story of Felix and Erna with the help of projected holographic effects and high-resolution 3D scans. The sophisticated technology of ScanLAB Projects makes real places, journeys and memories appear on stage as if by magic. This collaborative project gives Felix and Erna image and voice as the artists of the Komische Oper Berlin and the Berliner Ensemble give new life to their story.

Komische Oper Berlin and Berliner Ensemble present the co-production »Felix's Room« as a digital-hybrid premiere by Adam Ganz and ScanLAB Projects. It was selected by a jury out of 300 international applications as part of the collaborative project »Spielräume!« funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation. The aim of the call for entries was to enable a pilot project beyond the classic boundaries of drama and musical theater, opening up a new view and new possibilities in relation to digitally animated art as well as linking the analog and the digital space.