Philippe Manoury, Kein Licht

Philippe Manoury, Kein Licht

An eagerly expected creation already rewarded by an international prize. The work inspired by the Fukushima disaster is the fruit of Philippe Manoury and Nicolas Stemann based on a text by Elfriede Jelinek, the author of The Piano Teacher and Nobel Prize in literature.

Kein Licht. Thinkspiel for actors, instrumentalists and electronic music in real time based on a text by Elfriede Jelinek. Commissioned by the Opéra Comique. World premiere on 25 August 2017 as part of the Ruhrtriennale, Germany.

On 11 March 2011 the eastern coast of Japan is devastated by an earthquake and the resulting tsunami. The cooling systems of the nuclear power plant in Fukushima fall off, the cores of two reactors melt. The implications are gigantic as to the role of nuclear energy policy worldwide.

Committed and moralistic, Nobel Prize laureate Elfriede Jelinek soon wrote Kein Licht, a variation of monologues expressing terror, grief, loss and anger in a highly musical writing. Nicolas Stemann is familiar with her texts which he often stages. Philippe Manoury works on the interaction between acoustics and computing and explores new forms of musical theater.

With Kein Licht, Stemann and Manoury organize a meeting between text theater and theater music composed beforehand or in real time. They offer us a visual and polyphonic reflection, which is also interactive and humorous, on the place of technology in our lives and the place of life in the face of technology. 

Production in German with supertitles.

Video about the process of an opera making

Synopsis: The polyphonic text Kein Licht is a dialogue between characters lost in space and time in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. Striving to reconstruct themselves, these characters exchange words of suffering, loss and tragedy, sometimes with much humor. Neither exactly an opera nor a SingspielKein Licht is a “thinkspiel”, that is a play on thought. This musical production aims to make us think about the issues of our time. Theater and music will be created before you and will result from a common and live elaboration as rarely seen previously.

Have a look at an excerpt of the score - module IIIb

concert details

Music direction, Julien Leroy
Staging, Nicolas Stemann
Musical computing - IRCAM, Thomas Goepfer

With Sarah Maria Sun, Olivia Vermeulen, Christina Daletska, Lionel Peintre

United Instruments of Lucilin  

Commissioned by the Opéra Comique

Production : Opéra Comique


Ruhrtriennale, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, Festival Musica de Strasbourg and Opéra National du Rhin, Münchner Kammerspiele, Ircam–Centre Pompidou, United Instruments of Lucilin and 105 individual donors.