Phone Call to Hades

Commissioned by the City of Munich for the Munich Biennale
with the kind support of Pro Helvetia, swiss arts council

co produktion of the Munich Biennale with the Theatre Academy August Everding and enoa (european network of opera academies)

composition: Cathy van Eck; dramaturgy: Isabelle Kranabetter; director: Blanka Radoczy;

The voice as a phenomenon of passage is at the core of nocturnal events. Voices move between body and spirit, sensuousness and sense, affect and intellect. What happens when the voice detaches from the body - like it has been brought to perfection by technological media?

In the 19th century the disembodied voices coming from the novel phonographs had an enormous drawing power: Apparently now one could conserve the voices of the dead and bring them back to life once again. Even the inventor and researcher Thomas Edison worked on a device to communicate with the afterworld. But despite enormous scientific progress, the threshold between life and death still lies beyond our fantasy and possibilities. Access is reserved solely for legendary figures in our mythological tales. In the story of Orpheus it is also the voice that paves the way to the dead.

The voices of artistic singing every evening along the Isar River will be gradually modified technically – only traces of the bodies doing the singing will remain behind. The vocal transformations speak to us as if they were coming from different worlds. A game of obscurity and discovery, of presence and absence begins.

Cathy van Eck composition

Cathy van Eck (1979 Belgium/Netherlands) is a composer, sound artist, andresearcher in the arts. She focuses on composing relationships between everyday objects, human performers, and sound. Her artistic work includes performances with live-electronics and installations with sound objects which she often designs herself. She is interested in setting her gestures into unusual and surprising relationships with sounds, mainly by electronic means. The result could be called “performative sound art”, since it combines elements from performance art, electronic music, and visual arts. Her work transcends genres and is presented at occasions as diverse as experimental or electronic music concerts, open air rockfestivals, sound art gallery venues, digital art events, or performance art festivals. Cathy is working closely with performers to develop her pieces and she often works in interdisciplinary fields, collaborating regularly with theatre directors and choreographers. Her projects are shown at festivals and venues all over the world such as NYCEMF New York (USA), Chronus Art Gallery Shanghai (China), BONE Performance Art Festival Berne(Switzerland), Klangwerkstatt Berlin (Germany), Hapzura Digital Art Festival (Israel), Avantgarde Schwaz (Austria), Eclat Festival Stuttgart (Germany), SPARK Minneapolis (USA), STEIM Amsterdam and November Music (Netherlands), Spaziomusica Cagliari (Italy), and the Munich Biennale (Germany). Since 2007, Cathy has a teaching position at the Department for Music and Media Arts of the University of the Arts in Bern, Switzerland. She is aregular guest lecturer at other art and music universities. In her PhD research »Between Air« and »Electricity« (supervisors Richard Barrett, Marcel Cobussen and Frans de Ruiter; accepted in 2013 by the University o fLeiden, The Netherlands), she investigated the use of microphones and loudspeakers as musical instruments. She is one of the nominees for the Swiss Music Prize 2015.

Isabelle Kranabetter dramaturge

She took part in the junior studies program for gifted students at the Dresden University of Music, and studied dramaturgy at the Theaterakademie August Everding under Professor Klaus Zehelein; she received a grant from the German National Academic Foundation and a scholarship from DAAD to study at Université Paris 8.

She has been working as a freelance dramaturge for music theater as of the season 2012/13, and in 2014 she was a consultant in the opera department at Bayer Kultur. She has worked as a music journalist for several CD labels and has been a freelance author since 2014 for music theater and early music at the radio broadcaster WDR 3.

She is a freelance dramaturge in the area of music theater with a focus on ›project development‹ and she has worked in this capacity at, among other institutions, Prinzregententheater and the Gasteig Cultural Center in Munich; Radialsystem Berlin; Europäisches Zentrum der Künste Hellerau; the Aix-en-Provence festival; De Nationale Opera Amsterdam; Aldeburgh Music; Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian; LOD muziektheater Ghent; Polish National Opera Teatr Wielki (performances, among others, at La Monnaie/De Munt, Philharmonie de Paris); Staatstheater Darmstadt; Nederlandse Reisopera; Kölner Philharmonie; and the International Festival of Contemporary Music of the Biennale di Venezia. She received a grant from Akademie »Musiktheater heute«, the academy of the Deutsche Bank Foundation.

Blanka Radoczy director

Grew up in Hungary and Switzerland. She studied stage and film design at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. During and after her studies she worked in numerous productions as assistant for stage design to Anna Viebrock, at Theater Basel, the Wiener Festwochen and the Volksbühne Berlin.

After graduating, she worked for three years as stage designer in Osnabrück, Heidelberg, at Garage X in Vienna and at Kaserne Basel. Since summer semester 2014, she studies directing for theater and opera at the Theatre Academy August Everding in Munich under Prof. Sebastian Baumgarten. Until now she realized two productions at the Theatre Academy: Decalogue VI based on the film by Kristof Kieslowski and War and war based on the novel by hungarian author László Krasznahorkai. 

Claudia Irro costumes

Claudia Irro, born in 1985 in Munich, studied costume design at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences under Professor Reinhard von der Thannen. After working as an assistant on productions of Christoph Marthaler; Sebastian Baumgarten; and Benedikt von Peter, among others, she has been working as a freelance costume designer since 2011 at Theater Basel; Staatsschauspiel Dresden; Nationaltheater Mannheim; Münchner Volkstheater; Schauspielhaus Graz; and Theater Rampe in Stuttgart in collaboration with, among others, Frederik Tidén; Marie Bues; Simon Solberg; Jan Gehler; and Alexander Eisenach. After working on an opera production at Biwako Hall in Japan in 2012, (directed by Georges Delnon and in coproduction with Theater Basel), there followed a film and opera production at ZKM in Karlsruhe and the Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele (world premiere in 2014). She also designed the costumes for music theater productions at Kaserne Basel; Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich ("Enzyklopädie"); and for the opera production "Ulysse Exp. No. 1," which will have its world premiere in Lausanne at BCV Concert Hall.

Cast & credits

composition: Cathy van Eck

dramaturgy: Isabelle Kranabetter

director: Blanka Radoczy

costumes: Claudia Irro

singer: Elizabeth Marshall, soprano ; Bavo Orroi, bass baritone; Andromahi Raptis, soprano

duration: 30 minutes

commissioned by the City of Munich for the Munich Biennale
with the kind support of Pro Helvetia, swiss arts council

co produktion of the Munich Biennale with the Theatre Academy August Everding and enoa (european network of opera academies)

Language: German

Enoa EU Theaterakademie pro helvetia


Elizabeth Marshall Soprano

Born in London, England in 1989, soprano Elizabeth Marshall began a Masters in Opera Singing at the Musikhochschule Munich and the Theaterakademie August Everding in October 2015. She is a music graduate of the University of York and the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. She sang Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) with Moon-Little Theatre and with the London Repertoire Orchestra conducted by Peter Davies. She sang Gilda (Rigoletto) for Brent Opera and covered the High Priestess (Aida) for Opéra de Baugé under Philip Hesketh. Elizabeth sang duets and arias from Rigoletto with London Repertoire Orchestra conducted by Peter Robinson.

Elizabeth's Oratorio repertoire includes Poulenc's Gloria, performed at the Cadogan Hall and conducted by Manvinder Rattan. She recreated the role of Echo in the UK premiere and tour of Anja Djordjevic's award-winning chamber opera, Narcissus & Echo, directed by Chris Hill and performed at the Kings Head Theatre London and the Lowry Studio Manchester. The Evening Standard's Keiron Quirke described Elizabeth's performance as "entrancing".

Elizabeth sang in masterclasses with Monserrat Caballé, and in workshops conducted by Kenneth Montgomery, Rolland Seiffarth, Jeremy Silver, and most recently with the directors Eva-Maria Höckmayr (Vitellia, Clemenza di Tito) and Balázs Kovalik (Fiordiligi, Così Fan Tutte). She workshopped opera scenes directed by Daniel Dooner (Lucia di Lammermoor) and Sébastien Dutrieux (Female Chorus, Rape of Lucretia and Ellen Orford, Peter Grimes).

In Spring 2016 Elizabeth performs French Romantic repertoire with Oresta Cybriwsky in the Gartensaal of the Prinzregententheater as part of the series, "Suchers Leidenschaften" with compere Dr. Berndt C. Sucher. She also travels to the Polish National Opera in Warsaw for repertoire coachings, where she is supported by the European Network of Opera Academies and Theaterakademie August Everding.



Bavo Orroi Bass Baritone

The Belgian bass-baritone Bavo Orroi studied voice and opera and music theater at the Theaterakademie August Everding and at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München under Professor Andreas Schmidt. He gained his first stage experiences as, among other roles, Zuniga in "Carmen" at Prinzregententheater in Munich under the musical direction of Karsten Januschke; as Cold Genius in "King Arthur" with the Münchner Rundfunkorchester under the musical direction of Paul Goodwin; as Guglielmo in "Così fan tutte" with La Petite Bande Academy under the musical direction of Sigiswald Kuijken; and in productions of the International Belcanto Academy in Amsterdam. Before he started to study voice in Munich he studied euphonium and voice at the Lemmens Institute in Belgium.

Andromahi Raptis Soprano

Currently based in Munich, Germany, Canadian-Greek soprano Andromahi Raptis is pursuing a Masters in Opera at the August Everding Theater Academy, where she is studying with Ingrid Kaiserfeld. Andromahi recently completed a Masters in Voice at the Munich University of Music and Performing Arts and holds an Honours Bachelor of Music in Voice from the University of Toronto, Canada, where she studied with Lorna MacDonald. She was a member of the Opera Studio of L'Opéra National de Lyon, where she sang the role of Bubikopf in "Der Kaiser von Atlantis" by Viktor Ullmann. She gave the world premiere of Konstantia Gourd's "Eros" with the Bavarian State Orchestra in 2015 and sang the Soprano in "Kopernikus" by Claude Vivier (Munich Biennale in 2014). The young soprano's other main operatic roles to date include Ilia (Idomeneo), Musetta in (La Bohème), Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance), the Soprano (Kopernikus), as well as Clorinde in "Dr. Faust jun." (Gärtnerplatztheater). For the 2015 Kurt Weill Festival, she performed Bessie in "Mahagonny Songspiel" and the Soprano Solo in "Royal Palace". Last season she sang Pamina and Papagena in a children's production of "Papageno und die kleine Zauberflöte" with Concierto München.

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