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Heart Chamber, an inquiry about love

By Chaya Czernowin | Musical director: Johannes Kalitzke | Stage director: Claus Guth

  • English, with Spanish subtitles
  • 88 minutes
  • + 14 years

A modern opera that beautifully and thoughtfully conveys the ups and downs of love in the twenty-first century.

A man and women meet on the street, get to know each other, and fall in love, starting a relationship they describe as ‘love’. Their feelings run the gamut between attraction and repulsion, wanting to become a single entity but also wanting to be independent. What is a romance like in the twenty-first century? Is love nothing more than a utopia?

In Heart Chamber, an inquiry about love, Chaya Czernowin, an Israeli composer living in Germany, turns the beats of two hearts meeting into music. The opera fluctuates between the delicate sounds reflecting what is inside people, blasts of electronic music, and violent bursts of music, surprising us by beautifully conveying the ups and downs of love. Premiered at the Berlin Opera as part of the 2019-20 season, this piece has been highly acclaimed for its superb musical score and universal topic that spans all times, ages, and cultures.

Score and libretto: Chaya Czernowin | Orchestra: Berlin Opera Orchestra | Musical director: Johannes Kalitzke | Stage director: Claus Guth | Set and costume designer: Christian Schmidt | Ensemble: Nikel Ensemble | Electronic music: Experimentalstudio | Sound directors: Joachin Hass, Lukas Nowok, Carlo Laurenzi | Cast: Patrizia Ciofi (Her), Noa Frenkel (her inner voice), Dietrich Henschel (Him), Terry Wey (his inner voice) | Video director: Uli Aumüller | Produced by: Naxos

(c) Branthemanman

Chaya Czernowin

The creator

A pioneer of opera

“One of today’s bravest and most sensual composers”. This is how critics have described this composer of Israeli origin living in Germany. She was the first woman to teach the art of composing, both at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna and at Harvard. Her pieces have been performed on some of the world’s main operatic stages and two of them, Pnima… Inwards and Infinite Now were chosen as Premieres of the Year by specialist magazine Opernwelt.

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