Following “Verdrängen, Verdrängen, Verdrängen” which premiered at the ECLAT Festival at Theater Rampe in 2020, and the NOperas! project “Obsessions”, “Pleasure” will see its premiere in Stuttgart as the final part of our music theatre trilogy “Emotions and Politics”.
With “Pleasure” we would like to invite the audience for an evening encompassing all the different aspects of Pleasure: Life’s unique moments, intense sensory impressions, and a feeling of well-being will be highlighted next to the tender boundary towards hedonism as well as the radical anti-capitalist force that our longing for Pleasure contains.
For “Pleasure” we cooperate with performer Juha Valkeapää for the first time and yet again with composer Yiran Zhao, who has become part of Oblivia since 2019. Together with Juha and Yiran and with mezzo-soprano Gabriele Anna Lesch and Stuttgart-based guitarist Thilo Ruck in addition, we embark on creating a multi-layered music theatre event, employing voice, movement, text, live instrumentation, and electronics to explore our life-long search for Pleasure.
When the performers guide the audience’s breath like Zen masters, when they keep insisting on steps and gestures, there expanding them toward a comical quality, when wind moves golden threads dangling from the ceiling as the sole stage dressing – then understatement is directing, then strings are devotedly caressed rather than strummed (…). In the end, it’s all about the everyday balancing act between our greedy lust for beauty and refusal, between void and significance, between egoism and empathy.Andrea Kachelrieß, Stuttgarter Nachrichten
Choreographed action and live sound events are precisely attuned to each other, the performers’ movement language characterised by minimalism as well as humor.
The English language songs hold a decisive share of the entertainment value during ‘Pleasure’. Valkepää’s ‘The Wind’ in gritty Nick Cave ballad tones, ‘Screw the Void’ (in homage to Lacan) and ‘Care for Self’ (in homage to Foucault) as a punk-metalesque finaleHarry Schmidt, Ludwigsburger Kreiszeitung
Concept & devising: Oblivia working group
Performers Timo Fredriksson, Annika Tudeer, Juha Valkeapää
Guitarist Thilo Ruc
Mezzosoprano Gabriele Lesch
Composer, electronic live music : Yiran Zhao
Outside eye: Alice Ferl
Light design: Meri Ekola and Stine Hertel
Costume design: Tua Helve
Communications: Nassrah-Alexia Denif, Lisa Carolin Schubert
Communications Agency RÖD/ Katja Tolonen and Jenni Salminen
Production manager: Jenny Nordlund
Theater Rampe, Stuttgart (DE), ARGEkultur Salzburg (AT), Schwankhalle Bremen (DE)
Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Helsinki City, Svenska kulturfonden, Konstsamfundet, Stiftelsen Tre Smeder, Nya klassiker
Premiere | January 28, 2023, Theater Rampe, Stuttgart
Premiere | December 2023, Teater Viirus, Helsinki