In the past, the theatre used to be the privileged place for society’s self-observation. Today, its social role is marginalised, but the theatre still is the right place for experiments and therefore a marvellous playing field for the two Spandau-based musicians Icke & Er. Their theatre debut is going to challenge two conventional stage genres at once: opera and musical. As local artists, they must face up to contemporary music theatre as well as to the realities of Berlin, they claim. So far, they have acted up on the internet and produced the music video “Richtig Geil [Real Awesome]” published on MySpace and viewed by millions, which was followed by the signing of a major record deal. Planning swift ordered retreat from the big business, they organised a charity festival in Berlin (Ein Hartz für Berlin [A h(e)art for Berlin]) and then retired.
Everywhere within the private domain, in show business and within politics, we are witnessing an almost hysterical theatricalisation of society and everyday life. And this is the strategic point where Volksbühne and Icke & Er connect – a playhouse and two mysterious guys who have been playing about, playing along, and playing antics for years – with music industry, with identities and with the media and its (dis-)content.
The artist duo has produced 20 songs, arias and recitatives for an opera whose main character is called ICKE, because anybody could be ICKE [slang for “I”] and yet there can be only one! Icke & Er like to align their piece “with Evita, Salome, and Carmen, except that we, however, have wondered why we should be dealing with the big topics and dramas when it is perfectly good to look at our own lives.” A band of four (percussion, guitar, keyboard, bass, and saxophone) was specially assembled for the project and accompanies the actors live.
ICKE – The OPERA// A musical by Icke & Er is a loop, an instant Polaroid, a modern picture of manners portraying today’s Berlin and the fears, feelings, fantasies and views of the protagonist ICKE, his mother, his buddies and companions. Icke & Er explain: “ICKE – The OPERA// A musical.. describes life as an unending never-comeback, as a struggle to work your way up from nothing to near-to-nothing.”
With: Icke, Matthias Buss, Andreas Frakowiak, Susanne Jansen, Caspar Kaeser, Friedrich Liechtenstein, Inka Löwendorf, Gitta Schweighöfer, Axel Wandtke, Roland Knauf (Band), Christian Hartmann (Band), Florian Pfeiffle (Band), Philip Morton Andernach (Band) and Dirk Mielenhausen (Mischung)
Choir: Gesina Krebber, Miriam Ternes, Christa Meier, Johanna Skirecki, Tobias Fischer, Fritz Walter Huste, Jens Wetzel
Stage Designer: Michael Graessner
Costumes: Kathrin Krumbein
Light Design: Hans-Hermann Schulze
Dramaturgy: Sabrina Zwach