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Julien Klein | a rose is

Hommage à Klaus Nomi – a songplay in nine fits
for countertenor, actor and ensemble (2007/2008) WP/CW

Olga Neuwirth, idea/composition/arrangement
Thomas Jonigk, text
Raaf Hekkema, instrumentation of the baroque interludes
Ulrike Ottinger, direction
Lillevan, live video performance
Yoshio Yabara, stage and costume design
Daniel PleweHarder, sound direction
Andreas Harder, lighting direction
Helga Utz, dramaturgy

Titus Engel, conductor
Andrew Watts, countertenor
Marc Bischoff, actor

Commissioned by Kunststiftung NRW, musikFabrik and MaerzMusik | Berliner Festspiele. Co-production MaerzMusik | Berliner Festspiele, musikFabrik, London Contemporary Opera and Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg. In cooperation with Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD.
With the support of the Capital City Cultural Fund.
Thanks to Joey Arias/Klaus Nomi Estate and Andrew Horn.
Recording for Deutschlandradio Kultur.

He looks like not from this world and he sounds even stranger … His music emanates a strange, awe-inspiring fascination. To be explored with utmost care.
New Musical Express, 1981

The voice: a counter-tenor, the appearance: an alien, the repertoire: a crude mixture of classic and pop. Ever since her childhood, Olga Neuwirth has been fascinated by Klaus Nomi and impressed by his quest for genuineness within his own artistic space of glamorous hyper-stylisation. Coolness and concernment. With songplay, the composer concludes a series of works revolving around the artist that started ten years back with a homage in the form of four songs. songplay in nine fits is a piece where singing, music, language and image are merged to form an overall whole, and which illuminates all the different facets of Klaus Nomi. It is a homage to a person who created himself: Klaus Sperber, born in 1994 in Immenstadt in Bavaria, was reborn in 1978 in his startling performances as Klaus Nomi, an androgynous dream figure from the future who confronts the melancholy and painful course of time with ironic, quixotic and dreamy songs. When he performed, the swirls of dry ice on New York’s basement stages were transformed into the tremor of unknown galaxies, and the audience willingly got involved in his sensitive and intelligent interpretations. What was and still is most touching about Klaus Nomi is his profound humanity. Unfortunately, because of his untimely death of Aids, only fragments of his work have survived.