E / D / NL


[kʌu̯ ɪn junifɔɹm] is a multidisciplinary opera-project. Music, theatre, fashion design and fine arts work together in order to create a new world. The people, living in this world, remind us of ourselves, but we cannot understand their language and their actions. From the very beginning we have to accept that we are not able to "understand" and have to "experience" instead. In the beginning we are perceiving electronic sounds coming from the dark to announce the entrance into an unknown world. We witness how the three characters – differing in their nature and thereby in their appearance and expression, but equal in their position within this world – set their house on fire, what however does not seem to be worth further noting. In this environment of blaze they are one after another confronted with their respective fatal destiny – transmitted by a unemotional creature of different type – and they try each one for himself to escape from this destiny. Character 1 seems to suffer from the consequences of the fire and tries counteract them. Character 2 is confronted with a dilemma from which there seems to be no escape. Only character 3 seems to be aware of his fate and of a way how to try to counteract it from the very first. And suddenly we are torn away from this scene and find ourselves in a vague demimonde, where a strange creature tells us – in intelligible words! – that he cannot understand people and their actions. After that he takes a seat and we are in the middle of a singing contest, in which character 3 performs an odd Puccini-aria. He seems to be successful and is acclaimed and immediately we are back in the three characters' house, where the other two are still struggling with their fate. First character 2 finds a radical exit from his dilemma. Then the unemotional creature from the beginning, who seems to be an assistant to destiny, tells character 1 that by his exaggerated attempts to avert his fate, he accelerated it even more. They all disappear together and finally the house falls victim to the flames after it, surprisingly, did survive longer than its inhabitants. But then the last static resistance is pointless and as inevitably as putatively all the other events the house collapses. Character 3 appears, left alone in the smouldering remains and the embers of the dying fire. Dazed he looks around, tries to speak but does not make a sound. Only a lost flute playing scraps of his aria, reminds of his faded vitality.


The music of this opera structures and symbolizes many references. The pure electronic sounds of the prelude and the electro-acoustic ones at the end illustrate the entrance into and the exit from this world. At the same time the sounds of the prelude undergo processes which are parables for the fate of the three characters. The development of the music throughout the whole opera is based on the development of a fire, by beginning with loose little motifs that grow together slowly, blazing up towards the end finally dying down quietly. Each one of the three characters has his own musical process combined with an own instrumentation, which, on the one hand, symbolizes his nature and on the other hand the fate that threatens him. From time to time the music comments the events for instance by illustrating the situation of one character, whose desperation the other two cannot understand, by the use of one single instrument. Or by commenting another character's hopeless dilemma with a sarcastic reference to the Bob Dylan-song "Don't think twice, it's alright". In the world of these events, singing is a symbol for life and that way it is made clear that the two speaking creatures are no living human beings. The three characters in their last moments each undergo a development from singing to sprechgesang to speaking which symbolizes their fading vitality.


The world of these events is a world full of determination. It may seem absurd in many aspects but it is fed from reality and fiction in equal parts and displays a complex coherent entity. This entity is a multidimensional world and, for a proper illustration, needs multidisciplinary means, which coexist emancipated and work intertwining. Thus the ad libitum of the musicians, for instance, is an element of necessary freedom for the interaction with elements of the other disciplines. The characters within this world are confronted with circumstances the inevitability of which they do not question at all. This, paradoxically, makes their consequences logical within this surreal environment. Each individual destiny stands only for a facet of the collective fate within a living space hostile to life. The ways out, that the characters are looking for respectively, are, wether or not their attempts are successful, no salvation. The fact that we cannot understand the characters' language is no limitation for the experience of their destiny but emphasizes the fact that, to us, their actions are irrational. Because we have to get ourselves onto another level of comprehension, we are – by the rich acoustic and visual expressions of the different disciplines involved, the intertwining of which is essential for experiencing this strange world – able to experience the situations of the characters without the distance of rationality and by this experience – as paradox as the situation of the characters itself – are able to understand them better.