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Music Text

Based on texts by Hans Christian Andersen and Helmut Oehring as well as from Friedrich Schiller's 'Die Jungfrau von Orleans', Monteverdi and Rinuccini's 'Lamento d'Arianna', Thomas More's 'Utopia', Johann Sebastian Bach's BWV 21 and Psalm 69 (G)


3 deaf female soloists,Bar,B; chorus;
solo elec.gtr-1.1.2.bcl.0-3.3.3(III=dbtrbn)-perc(3)-prepared pft(=cel,kbd sampler)-strings( electronics

Abbreviations (PDF)



This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.


World Premiere
Theater Aachen, Aachen
Claus Guth, director
Conductor: Jeremy Hulin
Company: Theater Aachen


In BlueWoodVillage, time and location are out of joint. Though entitled the ‘search of a place’, the work denies the existence of the place it pretends to search. Likewise, the image of a blue, oceanic, magic ground of the soul, from which a sea-nymph lures us with hazy, floating dreams of an allegorical childhood, is but a romantic seduction. The sounds, gestures, images do not come together in a synthesis of the arts. Oehring ‘reads’ them as attempts to find a common language, circles around them, scans them for wishes, hopes, possibilities of unbroken, immediate communication.

In BlueWoodVillage, just as in the childhood the work conjures up, a world is built up from the movement of light, sound, smell and language sounds. This synaesthetic mosaic adds up to the mere Fata Morgana of a place: it remains fragmentary, impenetrable, boundless. The moment of an immediate encounter with the Other is only possible at a non-place which is both motionless and filled with dance. During the moment of "Blickstille", there are no words, only "LANGUAGEPowderFIGURES". "NON-PLACE – YOU-PLACE" is a state between the world of humans and the world of the sea, without words, without silence, only "SILENCEVILLAGEPEOPLE". The anxiety and sorrow of the I transform into a weightlessness in which language seems possible without failure and separation.

Press Quotes

"Helmut Oehring has been, and remains, a phenomenon... And the way singing, spoken word and sign language - an essential musical element for the son of deaf and dumb parents, though slightly exotic for a hearing audience - are interlinked becomes increasingly clear and comprehensible, gradually losing the odour of being extraordinary.

Apart from the growing clarity of gestures, the dramaturgical structure of the libretto becomes clearer as well. Although texts from different sources are also collated here, Andersen’s fairy-tale of the Little Mermaid is recognizable as the central theme. The unbroken spirit of playfulness of the electronically refined score is a musical surprise, although Oehring largely employs the usual stylistic devices of recent years. In this work, however, he achieves a density of expression and, on the other hand, creates sounds of such a sublime sense of forlornness that his gift for musical theatre is shown in an even more concentrated way than in his last work, Effi Briest. The subtle, sophisticated sounds he conjures up from Monteverdi’s Intermezzi are phenomenal..." (Pedro Obiera, Aachener Nachrichten, 28.04.2002)



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