musical director
Christopher Ward
Andreas Kriegenburg
Set Design
Harald Thor
Tanja Hofmann
Zenta Haerter
Robert Pflanz
Olaf Freese
Gilbert Nouno
Chorus Master
Martin Wright, Anna Milukova
Roman Reeger
Susanne Elmark
The soul
Mojca Erdmann
Charles Workman
the priest king
John Tomlinson
The death
Otto Katzameier
The Euphrates
Marina Prudenskaya
The Scorpion Human
Andrew Watts
A priest
Florian Hoffmann
Felix von Manteuffel
Ein Schreiber
David Oštrek
Erster Pförtner zur Unterwelt
David Oštrek
Zweiter Pförtner zur Unterwelt
Giorgi Mtchedlishvili
Sarah Aristidou, Samantha Britt, Corinna Scheurle, Linard Vrielink, Matthew Peña, Jaka Mihelač, Jakob Ahles, Anna Malesza, Katharina Kammerloher, Rowan Hellier, Alexandra Ionis, Noriyuki Sawabu, Giorgi Mtchedlishvili, David Oštrek
The Herald, A Child
Arne Niermann (Knabensolist des Kinderchors der Staatsoper Unter den Linden)


Jörg Widmann’s »Babylon« deals with the boundaries of language, and indeed of linguistic confusion. The composer places the multicultural society of the pre-ancient, culturally advanced metropolis of Babylon at the centre of his opera. It is not only the Babylonians who move between chaos and order, but also the Jewish exile Tammu, who forsakes his erstwhile love, the Soul, to turn instead to the Babylonian priestess of war and free love, Inanna. When a human sacrifice is called for to appease the gods who once punished the people of Babylon with the Flood, the Priest-King chooses Tammu. After Tammu is executed, Inanna decides to go down into the underworld to convince its ruler, Death, to allow her lover to return to the world of the living. Finally, a new covenant is made between the gods and the people, and order is – at least temporarily – restored.

Widmann’s musical score is a lush tonal kaleidoscope of the heterogeneous society of Babylon, a fascinating collage in which a broad variety of timbres, tonal scenes, and sound structures collide. The work makes numerous references to musical history and familiar subjects, including Mozart’s »Magic Flute«. An opera in Cinemascope, which had its world premiere in Munich in 2012 and is now coming to the stage in a new version.

Pre-performance lecture, 45 minutes prior to each performance (in German), Speaker: Roman Reeger