William Kentridge, Oh, to Believe in Another World, a film premiering at KKL Lucerne

William Kentridge - Oh to Believe in Another World Lucerne Symphony Orchestra

The symphony will premiere the topically relevant animated film by William Kentridge, performed to Shostakovich's Tenth Symphony. The Shostakovich expert and chief conductor Michael Sanderling will conduct the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester at the KKL Luzern and the Pompeii Theatrum Mundi festival.

Kentridge's film aesthetic draws on the history of the medium, from stop-motion animation to early special effects. Drawing, particularly the dynamics of erasure and re-drawing, has been an integral element of his numerous works in the fields of animation and film, in which layers of meaning are developed only during the process of their creation. William Kentridge has already created a large number of opera stagings, including for Alban Berg's “Wozzeck” and Dmitri Shostakovich's first opera, “The Nose”. Now, at the behest of the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, he has returned to Shostakovich and produced an animated film to go with the latter's Tenth Symphony.

The film is set in a seemingly abandoned Soviet museum that is really made out of cardboard and located on a table in an artist's studio. It takes a tour through the various rooms of the museum, which include a community theatre hall, a public swimming pool and a quarry. The cent ral figures of the film are Mayakovsky, his lover Lilya Brik, Trotsky, Shostakovich as a student, his pupil Elmira Nasirova, Stalin and Lenin. These figures appear as puppets but are also played by actors in puppet guise. The form is that of a collage, and the underlying thesis is that history must also be understood  Kentridge's collages remind one a little of the Dadaist Kurt Schwitters, for whom he has a high regard. The Tenth Symphony plays a central role in Shostakovich's oeuvre, as it was written in 1953, directly after the death of the dictator Josef Stalin, and is regarded as one of the composer's most expressive works. 

15 - 16 June 2022

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