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Work of the Week – Anno Schreier: Mina

An opera with only two performers – a rarity within which Anno Schreier has succeeded. Within his new ballad, fairytale mini-opera Mina  “The journey to the sea”, we enter into the adventures of a young girl with mutism who discovers the magic of music. The opera’s premiere is set to take place on 20 March 2022 at the Theatre Bonn. Flautist Sally Beck alongside baritone Frederik Schauhoff will perform all 21 roles providing a ballad-like background to the play.

The language of nature in Mina by Anno Schreier

Water is a prominent theme throughout the mini-opera by Schreier and his librettist Alexander Jansen. Following the death of her father, Mina and her black sheep, Wolke, follow a river leading to the sea. Together, the two overcome terrific danger and various obstacles as they progress along the river. An illusion of water, expressed through musical waves underpins the composer’s style. The baritone takes the roles of Mina’s adversaries and companions, whereas Mina is played by the flute, whose character is expressed through the instrument’s eclectic timbre. The sounds of her environment become Mina’s language in their musicalised form.

The opera’s minimal cast gives the performances a unique flexibility: Performances within limited spaces, such as classrooms are no problem for the mobile opera. It’s ability to be so accessible is what makes this opera important in it’s messaging.

“During her expedition, Mina discovers the magic powers of music which permit her to survive great adventures, and during the process, gradually transform the world into a somewhat friendlier and happier place” Anno Schreier

The work, commissioned by the Rhine-Ruhr Young Operas, will be performed for the first time at the Catholic Primary School am Domhof on 18 March 2022. The performance moves to the Theatre Bonn for two performances, at 10am and 12pm on 20 March and 30 April.


Illustration: Grandfailure / Inna Cherepakhina / Adobe Stock