Opera as film

The Poor Sailor

A scenic-musical journey Reise with music by Darius Milhaud, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert and Dmitri Schostakowitsch
Duration: est. 70 minutes
Available from May 14th to 16th as free video-on-demand
Musical Conduction: Enrico Calesso
Director: Tomo Sugao
Stage and Costume Design, Video Setting: Paul Zoller
Sounddesign: Tobias Heß
Film Team: Steffen Boseckert / Mindcore Productions
Dramaturgy: Berthold Warnecke
Roberto Ortiz (The Sailor / Florestan / Tenor)
Silke Evers (His Wife / Leonore / Soprano)
Kosma Ranuer Kroon (A Friend / Pizzarro / Bass-baritone)
Ihor Tsarkov (Her Father / Rocco / Bass)
Philharmonisches Orchester Würzburg
A man on his way home from abroad. He's done nothing to scare people. At home, his wife has been waiting for fifteen years for the return of her husband who was believed to be missing. The father does not like the man at his daughter's side. What good is love if you don't have gold in your pocket? He's thinking of his son-in-law's death. The fact that the neighbor has his eye on his daughter as well is very convenient for him. As if by a miracle, the man who was believed to be lost is standing at the door one day. He pretends to be a friend of the woman who does not recognise him and tells her that her husband will soon be coming home. The latter had not had any luck in a foreign country, while he, the friend, had come into wealth. She gives the stranger shelter and, spurred on by her father, she forges a sinister plan...

At the centre of this scenic-musical journey is Darius Milhaud's short opera "The Poor Sailor". The work is based on a text by the writer, director, and painter Jean Cocteau and had its world premiere in Paris in 1927. Since 1918, Cocteau had been the spokesman of the "Group of Six", an association of six French composers, among them Milhaud. Their goal was to overcome the post-Vaganian musical drama as well as Debussy's impressionism. They sought proximity to the present, to light music and jazz.

The works of the "Six", which are mostly biting and revolve around a narrow plot, were always created under the sign of collective togetherness and the connection of the most diverse disciplines.  "The Poor Sailor" combines a collage of opera, song and symphony, to a lament about love, hope and the inevitable: "Death is great. We are his laughing mouths." (Rainer Maria Rilke)