Für immer ganz oben (Forever Overhead)

Based on a story by David Foster Wallace

Composition commissioned by The City of Munich for the Munich Biennale
A co-production of the Munich Biennale and Münchner Volkstheater

composition: Brigitta Muntendorf; direction: Abdullah Kenan Karaca; stage design: Vincent Mesnaritsch; dramaturge: Caroline Schlockwerder; costumes: Sita; musical director: Ralf Ludewig;

An outdoor swimming pool. It's summer. French fries and ice cream, the snack bar; in the nakedness, varicose veins that cannot be concealed collide with boastful cannonball splashes. The boy is 13 years old.

To David Foster Wallace, his perception was the projection screen for the moment that changes everything. It's the path to the diving platform, the metaphorical border between childhood and adolescence. It's the urgent search for a place in the world, for a rhythm that puts sense, sensuousness, and sensation in order, a search for a cartography of people and sounds, for control in the intoxication of metamorphosis.

The director Abdullah Kenan Karaca, the composer Brigitta Muntendorf, and the set designer Vincent Mesnaritsch project this moment onto the bodies of 18 boy sopranos at the Müller'sches Volksbad swimming pool complex. Together with actors from Münchner Volkstheater and a band-like formation of musicians they let loose with a machinery of boisterousness, unrestrainedness, and unavoidable vulnerability.

Brigitta Muntendorf composition

Born in 1982 in Hamburg, she studied composition under and received her degree from Younghi Paagh-Paan and Günther Steinke at the University of the Arts Bremen (HfK), and she also studied under Krzysztof Meyer; Rebecca Saunders; and Johannes Schöllhorn at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln (HfMT). During her studies she founded Ensemble Garage, which in the meantime consists of ten members from seven nations. There followed scholarships from Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris and the Internationale Ensemble Modern Akademie. She has been teaching composition since 2013 at the University of Siegen, and she currently teaches composition as a guest lecturer at HfMT Köln. At present she is continuing her work as freelance composer and artistic director of Ensemble Garage as a grant holder at Villa Concordia in Bamberg, Germany. In 2014 Brigitta Muntendorf received the sponsorship award of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation. Commissions and performances have taken her to, among other festivals, Acht Brücken in Cologne; ECLAT Festival; ensemble:europa (television broadcaster WDR); the Wittener Tagen für Neue Kammermusik; Sound Festival Copenhagen; and Ultraschall Berlin. In addition to her close collaboration with Ensemble Garage she composes for, among others, Ensemble Modern; Ensemble Mosaik; Asko/Schönberg Ensemble; CALEFAX; Klangforum Wien; and Musikfabrik.



Abdullah Kenan Karaca director

Abdulla Kenan Karaca was born in 1989 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, and he grew up in Oberammergau. After his Abitur final exams he worked as an assistant director at Münchner Volkstheater in 2009, and at the Salzburg Festival on the production »Everyman« as an assistant director to Christian Stückl. In 2011 he was an assistant director to Christian Stückl on the production »Joseph and his Brothers,« based on the novel by Thomas Mann and performed at Passionstheater in Oberammergau. Also in 2011 he became the director for the first time of the youth theater club at Münchner Volkstheater. In 2012 he had his debut as a director with »Arabboy.« »The Great Gatsby« was his second production at Münchner Volkstheater. During the 2014/2015 season at Volkstheater he staged »Woyzeck« by Georg Büchner on the main stage. In 2015 Abdullah Kenan Karaca was appointed the deputy artistic director of the Passion Play 2020 in Oberammergau.



Vincent Mesnaritsch stage design

Vincent Mesnaritsch, born in 1982 in Graz, Austria, studied scenography at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and received his diploma in 2009. He was an assistant to, among others, Martin Zehetgruber; Annette Murschetz; and Bernhard Kleber.

In 2006 he produced together with Falko Herold »alles mozart!« (»everything's mozart!«), a mobile karaoke station where Mozart arias sung by passers-by were recorded and then posted online. This award-winning piece from a City of Vienna's competition was produced on the occasion of Mozart's 250th birthday.

Vincent Mesnaritsch has worked as a set designer with, among others, Rudolf Frey; Michael Höppner; Esther Muschol; Michael Schachermaier; Christoph Batscheider; and Thomas Birkmeir at different venues at Burgtheater in Vienna; Stadttheater Klagenfurt; Theater Ulm; Altes Schauspielhaus Stuttgart; Schauspielhaus Wien; and Schauspielhaus Salzburg.

Vincent Mesnaritsch is a freelance set designer and painter, and he lives in Vienna.

Sita costumes

Sita was born  in Neustadt, Germany as Sven Schmidt and grew up in Hamburg. After a 4-month long-lasting work as a trainee at the Deutsche Theater Berlin, he began 2012 his studies of costume design at the Hochschule Hannover. He received a scholarship in New York City, during the practical part of his studies. Therefore he worked for the French artist Letitia Soulier for four months in 2014. Besides his studies he made practical works as a costume designer for »Idomeneo« (directed by Julia Hübner) at the conservatory Hanns-Eisler in Berlin as well as a music video for the Danish band »Brummen«. During a joint project of the Theaterakademie Hamburg he met director Abdullah Kenan Karaca and worked with him as a costume designer for the production »Der jüngste Tag« at the painter hall at the Deutsche Schauspielhaus Hamburg. The collaboration continued  for the productions »Die Präsidentinnen« and »Katzelmacher« at the Münchner Volkstheater. Besides his work as a costume designer he is also a performance artist.

Cast & credits

composition: Brigitta Muntendorf

direction: Abdullah Kenan Karaca

stage design: Vincent Mesnaritsch

dramaturge: Caroline Schlockwerder

costumes: Sita

choir: Münchner Knabenchor

musical director: Ralf Ludewig

musicians: Sachiko Hara, keyboard / Johannes Öllinger, electric-guitar / Hans-Henning Ginzel, violoncello/ Thomas Hastreiter, percussion

duration: 50 minutes

Composition commissioned by The City of Munich for the Munich Biennale

A co-production of the Munich Biennale and Münchner Volkstheater


language: German



Sachiko Hara Keyboard

Sachiko Hara grew up in Fukuoka, Japan. She studied piano at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich. In addition to the classical repertoire she devotes herself to contemporary music and she has often been a guest performer with renowned ensembles. She performed in several theater pieces directed by Johan Simons and with music by Carl Oesterhelt at the Münchener Kammerspiele.

She received the City of Munich's "Sponsorship Award for Music" in 2009.

Johannes Öllinger E-Guitar

Johannes Öllinger performs as a soloist and chamber music musician in ensembles, orchestras, and music theater productions. His main instruments are the acoustic and electric guitars, and he also plays banjo, theorbo, and electric bass guitar. Öllinger's spectrum ranges from early music on ancient and modern instruments to the classical guitar repertoire to contemporary music in diverse variations. As a soloist he has performed concerts at Laeiszhalle in Hamburg; Prinzregententheater in Munich; Konzerthaus Wien in Vienna; and at the Salzburg Festival. As part of "steuber.öllinger," a guitar duo specializing in contemporary music, he has been a guest performer at festivals in Germany; Poland; and the U.S. He performs regularly with ensembles such as Resonanz; musikFabrik NRW; Ensemble Modern Orchestra; and with the orchestras Staatsorchester Stuttgart and the symphony orchestra of the broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk. He has been a guest performer and musician at theaters in Berlin; Vienna; Hamburg; Frankfurt; and Düsseldorf, and he has worked with the directors Anna Malunat and Florentine Klepper.

Hans-Henning Ginzel Violoncello

Hans-Henning Ginzel (b. 1988) is a composer and cellist. He has won several national instrumental competitions and received numerous grants and sponsorship awards, among others, from the City of Munich. He studied violoncello under Professor Helmar Stiehler at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München, and also under Professor Iagoba Fanlo at the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música in Madrid. Ginzel is the founder of the Arcis Cello Quartett and a cellist in the ensemble Breakout. Ginzel traveled to Taiwan on his first tour through Asia in 2015. That same year M Music Records also released his CD "ASTURIAS" with the Arcis Cello Quartett. Ginzel received his first instruction in composition from Dieter Acker, and he studied composition under Jan Müller-Wieland in Munich. As a cellist and composer he has worked with, among others, the Arditti Quartett; Ian Pace; Ensemble Plural (Madrid); Salome Kammer; Holger Falk; and Markus Wolf. Ginzel has received several international awards, such as, for example, First Prize in the Harald Genzmer Composition Competition; the Special Award of the 9th New Composition Competition Chengdu (China); and First Prize in the Hugo Wolf Akademie composition competition. Ginzel participates in numerous festivals, for example EVIMUS (Saarbrücken); Grafenegg (Austria); the festival of the Hugo Wolf Akademie (Stuttgart); and the aDevantgarde Festival (Munich). His works are performed on international stages.

Thomas Hastreiter Percussion

Thomas Hastreiter is recognised internationally as a percussionist. Appearances as a chamber and orchestral musician have taken him to the main concert halls of Europe, North America and Australia. He has performed at prestigious festivals including Lucerne Festival and Aix-en-provence Festival. He has worked with conductors such as Kyrill Petrenko, Christoph Eschenbach, Kent Nagano and Alan Gilbert.

Since 2010 Thomas Hastreiter is a lecturer at the Leopold-Mozart Centre University in Augsburg. He studied at the Hochschule Nürnberg-Augsburg under the tuition of Stefan Blum, Jörg Hannabach, Guido Rückel and Thomas Höfs.

Münchner Knabenchor Choir

The foundation of the MÜNCHNER KNABENCHOR by the conductor Ralf Ludewig demonstrates how he rose to the challenge of realizing a long term dream he and many friends of music and culture in Munich have in common: a top level boys’ choir whose very name epitomizes the rich variety of culture the Bavarian state capital continues to offer.In the past citizens and representatives of the City of Munich frequently approached the then Music Director of the Tölzer Knabenchor and announced their wish to see a new name in the music world, one that would signal to all just how success, quality and fame can be attributed to a boys‘ choir comprising Munich’s own children – the City of Munich has, after all, a child in its famous coat of arms.Inspired by these requests Ralf Ludewig decided to establish a choir of his own. Many boys were inspired by this idea of a new musical adventure and followed their long time choir leader, supporting him in forming a new choir that would be associated with music-making of the highest level.Within a very short time, the new choir had been engaged for several productions in renowned theaters, including performances in the famous Magic Flute; or as we know it in Europe Die Zauberflöte.As the Music Director of the Tölzer Knabenchor for over five years, Ralf Ludewig shouldered the musical responsibility for the renowned choir which, under his leadership from 2009 to 2014, established an impressive track record.

Ralf Ludewig Choir direction

Ralf Ludewig is responsible as Artistic Director of the MÜNCHNER KNABENCHOR. He was Artistic Director and Managing Director of the Tölzer Knabenchor for many years before founding his own choir in September 2014.

1974-1981 Vocal coach with the Tölzer Knabenchor
1979-1981 Performances as treble soloist under Herbert v. Karajan, Claudio Abbado and Nikolaus Harnoncourt et al. in many renowned opera and concert halls
1989-1994 Musical studies in Osnabrück and Amsterdam, including voice, conductiong and music pedagogy, Development of the Bach Ensemble for Early Music in Holland, Bass soloist for oratorios and song recitals, Winner of various song contests
1994-1997 Training as a certified speech therapist, focus on functional and neurological voice malfunctions, research in the voice as an instrument
1997-2002 Owner of two speech therapy practices
1996-2002 Vocal coach and choirmaster with several music schools in the North of Germany, Choirmaster with various youth and adult choirs
2002-2009 Vocal coach and choirmaster with the Tölzer Knabenchor
2009-2014 Artistic Director and Managing Director of the Tölzer Knabenchor
2013 Winner of the French Diapason d’Or for Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem co-conducted with Mariss Jansons

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