Based on Astrid Lindgren’s book: Theater Erfurt Shows “Mow, Mio” as an opera

Honest opera composition

It is precisely these things that are important to Peter Leibold for his preparation: “Of course, this is suitable for the motifs that carry the listener through the story.” Because it is especially important for a composer “to hear what you see, to hear the story, that is, you can – subconsciously – understand why something is happening in the music.” Leibold cites Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” as a good example and perhaps also a role model. Great music in his opinion, but in the first place it serves the story.

The composer says: “It is very important that you write very honestly, that you do not try to create something artificially or that something just gets out of your head. This exact approach to composition also inspired Katja Bildt.” For me anytime I hear this music, a movie runs in my head, “says mezzo-soprano.” That’s also what’s so special about this piece and that’s why it’s so easy for the audience to understand and follow, because you have this onomatopoeia. It is clear: now someone is happy, now this, now this is that. “It was also important to her performance on stage.

Launching myself in Erfurt

Katja Bildt plays Mio’s girlfriend – twice. Because Mew travels between worlds, but the people in the far country remind him of the people in Stockholm. In Erfurt, most of them perform two roles. Katja Bildt is the Stockholm boy Benca and the son of the gardener Gom Gom. This game of similarities and differences was a special task for Bilt. “Jum-Jum doesn’t have the bad qualities that Benka has,” the singer says.

At the beginning of the production, the audience looks at a row of houses in a large city. After the journey with the Genie, the unadorned facades give way to a place filled with paintings and music. Later you can learn about the houses and apartments of the evil knight Kato’s castle.

For director Frederic Carriage, the allure lies in the complexity of the story: “If you want to deal with it, there is so much to discover. It is not for nothing that Mio wanders his way to the knight with a heart of stone – a picture you don’t have to explain for long – through the deepest A cave in the blackest mountain. So he goes through the psychological depths that he has to traverse in order to get the crucial clues on the one hand and on the other hand deal with his fear.”

Happy ending on stage

This psychological approach is reflected above all in the design of the stage, while the costumes are colorful and tell about adventure. Because even without major explanations, the story delivers an important message, according to Carriage: “Specifically, not allowing one to petrify—this psychological process of turning one’s environment into something through a lack of love that no longer has feelings.” The director says big, mature words. But everyone can probably understand the idea behind it. “What we’re trying to do in some places is show the world as it can be. It’s not about how to achieve that, it’s about seeing how it can be.”

That is why there is also a happy ending: evil is expelled, all children are happy and the world prospers. But it’s also exaggerated and a bit of a sad flicker in the music – triumph and paradise remain a child’s imagination for now. So “Mio, my Mio” at the Erfurt Theater is really an opera for all family.

more information
“Mow, Mio”
The opera in three acts by Peter Leibold
Libretto by Friederike Karig based on the children’s book of the same name by Astrid Lindgren

Music Direction: Peter Leibold
Starting: Frederic Carriage
Equipment: Aziza Squat
Drama: Larissa Wichorek
With: Daniela Gerstenmaier, Katja Bildt, Brett Sprague, Yuri Batukov, Javier Ferrer Manchin and others

The premiere will take place on April 23 at 7:30 p.m.
Other dates:
April 30, 7 p.m.
May 15, 3 p.m.
May 22, 3 p.m.
May 23, 10 am
June 12, 6 p.m.
June 14, 10 a.m.
June 15, 10 a.m.
June 24, 7:30 p.m.

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