Berlin (BE)


14 -15 November h. 19.3'

show | duration 110 min
in English with Italian subtitles

c/o Teatro La Cucina / Olinda onlus via Ippocrate 45, Milan

The making of Berlin is a portrait of a city. It is built around the extraordinary story of Friedrich Mohr, a Berliner who was the Berliner Philharmoniker’s stage manager during WWII. The making of Berlin – with live horn music – offers an unfiltered look at BERLIN’s work process. But above all, it tells the story of one of the ‘unbrave’ who failed to stand up when fellow Jewish musicians and friends were expelled from the orchestra. The making of Berlin is the final part of the Holocene cycle, during which BERLIN made several portraits of cities over the past twenty years.

BERLIN helps Mohr to realize an as yet unfulfilled dream. At the end of WWII, the conductor of the Philharmonic decided to perform Siegfried’s Funeral March from Wagner’s Götterdämmerung one last time. The performance would be broadcast live on German state radio. Rehearsing with the entire orchestra in one location soon proved too dangerous due to ongoing bombing. So the conductor divided the orchestra into seven segments and had them rehearse in separate bunkers. Faltering (recording) technology threw a spanner in the works. Mohr’s ultimate wish is to perform the technical tour de force as initially planned seventy-five years after the date. The Götterdämmerung will be played from seven bunkers simultaneously and can be heard in its entirety on the radio. A daring feat for which BERLIN called on, among others, radio station Klara, the orchestra of Opera Ballet Vlaanderen and German actor Martin Wuttke (known from Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds).

Theatre- and film-maker Fien Leysen records the creation process for a behind-the-scenes documentary. Her footage eventually ends up in the performance as well. You gradually discover together with BERLIN that Mohr’s story is full of inaccuracies and that he seems to want to restore the irreparable. How far can you stretch the truth when you’re looking for atonement?

direction Yves Degryse with (on stage) Yves Degryse, Geert De Vleesschauwer / Marjolein Demey / Bregt Janssens / Eveline Martens / Sam Loncke (afwisselend), Rozanne Descheemaeker / Matea Majic / Diechje Minne / Jonathan van der Beek (afwisselend) ; with (film) Friedrich Mohr, Martin Wuttke, Stefan Lennert, Werner Buchholz, Alisa Tomina, Krijn Thijs, Chantal Pattyn, Symfonisch Orkest Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, Alejo Pérez, Yves Degryse, Caroline Große, Michael Becker, Claire Hoofwijk, Alejandro Urrutia, Marek Burák, Marvyn Pettina, Farnaz Emamverdi, team BERLIN: Jane Seynaeve, Eveline Martens, Jessica Ridderhof, Geert De Vleesschauwer, Sam Loncke, Manu Siebens, Kurt Lannoye, team Opera Ballet Vlaanderen: Jan Vandenhouwe, Lise Thomas, Eva Knapen, Christophe De Tremerie video e video editing Geert De Vleesschauwer, Fien Leysen, Yves Degryse internship video editing Maria Feenstra drone shots Yorick Leusink, Solon Lutz behind the scenes footage Fien Leysen scenography Manu Siebens set construction Manu Siebens, Ina Peeters, Rex Tee, Joris Festjens set design and construction film Jessica Ridderhof, Klaartje Vermeulen, Ruth Lodder, Ina Peeters musical composition and mixing Peter Van Laerhoven live music (horn) Rozanne Descheemaeker / Matea Majic / Diechje Minne / Jonathan van der Beek (alternating) music film Peter Van Laerhoven, Tim Coenen, Symfonisch Orkest Opera Ballet Vlaanderen olv Alejo Pérez mixing orchestra Maarten Buyl sound design and mixing Arnold Bastiaanse sound recordings Bas De Caluwé, Maarten Moesen, Bart Vandebril technical coordination Manu Siebens, Geert De Vleesschauwer production management Jessica Ridderhof production support Germany Daniela Schwabe, Gordon Schirmer research Wagner Clem Robyns, Piet De Volder research internship Annika Serong photography Koen Broos, Gordon Schirmer technical coordination berlin Marjolein Demey day-to-day coordination and production assistant Jane Seynaeve production BERLIN coproduction DE SINGEL (Antwerp, BE), le CENTQUATRE-PARIS (FR), Opera Ballet Vlaanderen (BE), VIERNULVIER (Ghent, BE), C-TAKT (Limburg, BE), Theaterfestival Boulevard (Den Bosch, NL), Berliner Festspiele (DE) with the support of the Flemish Government, Sabam for Culture, Tax Shelter of the Belgian federal government via Flanders Tax Shelter

Photo by Koen Broos

Founders of BERLIN in 2003, Bart Baele, Caroline Rochlitz and Yves Degryse decided not to choose a particular genre, but to venture into the realm of documentary filmmaking and let the places of their forays guide their inspiration. This philosophy resulted in two project cycles: Holocene (the current geological era) where the starting point is always a city or other place on the planet, and Horror Vacui (fear of the void) in which true and poignant stories are delicately unravelled around a table. The Holocene cycle includes Jerusalem, Iqaluit, Bonanza, Moscow and Zvizdal. The first three episodes of Horror Vacui are Tagfish, Land’s end and Perhaps all the dragons. BERLIN are still working on both cycles. The Making of Berlin is the last chapter of Holocene. The company has worked in 27 different countries in recent years, within various circuits: from theatres to exhibition spaces, from festivals to special locations.

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