Mischa Spoliansky

Call Mr. Plim!

Opera
Duration: est. 75 minutes, no intermission
Team
Musical conduction: Gábor Hontvári
Director: Annika Nitsch
Stage and Costume Design: Feng Li
Dramaturgy: Berthold Warnecke
Cast
Daniel Fiolka (The department store owner)
Hinrich Horn (The personnel manager)
Mathew Habib (Mr. Plim)
Silke Evers (Caroline (Walburga) von Recklitz)
Akiho Tsujii (Elida de Coty)
Kosma Ranuer (A gentleman, buyer)
Roberto Ortiz (Another buyer)
Scherhezada Cruz (Secretary)
Natalia Boldyrieva (Liftboy)
Veronica Brandhofer (Liftboy)
Philharmonisches Orchester Würzburg
"I'm beside myself, I'm outraged, it's a scandal!" The gentleman, who lets off steam at Wertheim Department Store, won’t calm down. The management is at a loss. How to deal with the endless customer complaints? The solution seems to be found quickly: "It has to be an employee who is shown to the public as the guilty party, who can be reprimanded in front of the customers and thrown out as often and as much as is demanded", is the precise job description of the personnel manager. Mr Plim, is the ideal employee to hire. From now on, tough tests in the form of pale blue flowered chamber pottery, defective self-binders, ladies' knickers or just a simple button are waiting for the full-time scapegoat. Sometimes joyful, sometimes sorrowful, definitely bold and unruly, Mr Plim meets the illustrious crowd of customers, led by Caroline von Recknitz zu Recklitz and Elida de Coty ...

In 1932, the duo Mischa Spoliansky and Marcellus Schiffer, who were extremely successful in the Berlin cabaret scene of the 1920s, created a loving and fast-paced parody of the colourful world of the department stores that were shooting up everywhere at the time with "Call Mr Plim!” (orig. "Rufen Sie Herrn Plim!"). The conflict between the management and costumer, which is as witty as it is biting, aims both at the new social equality of all department store guests and at the real service regulations of the once so famous Wertheim department store. Musically, "Mr Plim" subtly oscillates between the styles: from opera and operetta to echoes of the musical, and revue hits of the day. With their "Plim", Spoliansky and Schiffer move in the waters of the same bitingly ironic aesthetics of the time, for which names such as Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, Bohuslav Martinu, who was influenced by Parisian Dada, or Darius Milhaud with his "Minute Operas" stand.