Opera | Stage Design 

Komische Oper Berlin, 2005

Opera in three acts by Georg Friedrich Händel
Musical direction: Thomas Hengelbrock
Directed by: Sebastian Baumgarten
Stage design: Robert Lippok and Ronald Lippok
Costumes: Valerie von Stillfried
Video: Stefan Bischoff

Cast: Charlotte Hellekant (Orest), Christina Clark (Hermione), Maria Bengtsson (Iphigenia), Michael Smallwood (Pylades), James Creswell (Thoas), Maria Streijffert (Philoktet), Carolin Mylord (Artemis), Juri Tarasenok (Akkoreon) and Olaf Opitz (Balalaika)

Orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin


“…Baumgarten’s Orest helps itself cheerfully to the techniques of epic theatre, to Lars von Trier’s “Dogma” philosophy, to live video and cinema tricks, improvisation, symbolism and every imaginable kind of contemporary allusion. The results are either fabulously evocative or manically bewildering, depending on the viewer. But while Baumgarten could have pared back his production a little (do we really need costume designer Valerie von Stillfried’s bright orange T-shirts for the prisoners?), the sum of it is some of the freshest, most stimulating music theatre to hit Berlin in months. Sets (Robert and Ronald Lippok) are minimal, a door in an empty frame for entrances and exits, a box, a screen. We are asked to imagine the rest, aided by a projection of modern-day Krim, the Ukrainian half-island that was once, almost inconceivably, the Tauris of ancient Greek mythology. Singers in combat fatigues hold cardboard name-tags aloft as they enter. The dead remain seated on stage, “EXIT” signs around their necks. Singers act with such visceral commitment that it all seems real. …”

Shirley Apthorp, Finacial Tmes, March 12, 2006