Ändere die Welt!
For the Opera Forward Festival, Mart van Berckel and conductor, arranger and pianist Pedro Beriso created the music theater performance Ändere die Welt: a co-production of De Nationale Opera with Opera Zuid and De Nederlandse Reisopera.
In this collage performance we see a group of people in the aftermath of a revolution. They try to build a new existence while asking themselves: how do you change the world? Spoken word artist Amara van der Elst guides the audience through the performance and comments in the language of 2023. Does change mean progress, if history keeps repeating itself? We shout “Ändere die Welt!” (“Change the world!”), but how do you do that? And what is change, if it is based on ideas from the past?
For the performance, existing and new material was used to build an idiosyncratic sound world that breathes revolt, change and renewal. Opera and Liedrepertoire are combined with the contemporary sounds of spoken word and electronic soundscapes.
Dutch magazine Theaterkrant mentioned the creation as best new composition of the 2022-2032 season: “In Ändere die Welt, director Mart van Berckel collaborates with Pedro Beriso. The result is a wonderfully revolutionary mix of songs and works by Eisler, Schumann, Rachmaninov, Kurt Weill , Shostakovich, Wagner and Beethoven. Each song hits bullseye, with one of the highlights being Youkali, about Kurt Weill’s ideal world.”
“The audience was crying. And felt – how rare! – really, and rightly so, shaken out of their inner and outer comfort zone.”
“A tremendously succesful, ferocious, and moving work! Please play this everywhere!"
"Ändere die Welt! gives hope"
"...a Greta Thunberg of the world opera stage."
"Van Berckel’s direction, aided by Vera Selhorst’s stage and lighting designs and Rosa Schützendorf’s costumes, was simple yet effective."
"The opera has the power of a moral appeal."
Interview: "Director Mart van Berckel mounts the barricades with music theatre"
Dutch National Opera