Music by: Gyorgi Kurtag
Text by: Franz Kafka
Kafka Fragments (original title: Kafka Fragmente), a work in forty parts for soprano and violin, seals the tumultuous relationship between Hungarian composer Gyorgi Kurtag and the work of Franz Kafka.
“When I first came across Kafka’s writings, there was not much I could do with it. The Trial remained inaccessible to me. It was later on, in Paris (in 1957-58) that I was able to access his work by way of the Metamorphosis. Gradually Kafka became increasingly important to me. For a long period of time I would simply take notes and collect fragments of diaries and letters that to me seemed like an appropriate material for a composition thanks to their poetic qualities or the complexity of their content” (G. Kurtag)
Zero Point Theatre Group continues its research into Kafka’s work, staging Gyorgi Kurtag’s opera Kafka Fragments. Director Savvas Stroumbos follows his highly personal aesthetic of a physical theatre centered around the performer’s body and voice to stage the piece with one soprano, one violinist and one actress, walking the fine line between a theatrical performance and a concert. The interplay between Kurtag’s opera and Kafka’s text is staged with the utmost theatrical asceticism to reveal the depth of the connection between the two creators.
Directed by: Savvas Stroumpos
Soprano: Fani Antonellou
Violinist: Fani Vovoni
Actress: Elli Ingliz
Stage installation: Elias Papanikolaou
Light design: Kostas Bethanis
Photo credits: Antonia Canta
International affairs: Aktina Stathaki
Excerpts from reviews:
“Minimalist and to the point, the direction of Savvas Stroumbos focused entirely on his three performers, magnifying, condensing and internalizing their expression to the point of a deliberate asphyxiation.
Kurtag’s 40 psychological/philosophical parts, every single one of them bearing a painful sharpness, are interpreted by the three performers who are immobilized inside three illuminated circles in an otherwise dark, bare stage space. The actress, Elli Ingliz, with a frozen smile like an ancient “kori” recites the fragments from Kafka in Greek, followed by the soprano Fani Antonelou and the violinist Fani Vovoni who interpreted the music parts.
Exceptional in their preparation, the two musicians offered a powerful interpretation of Kurtag’s highly complex and technically demanding work”. (Y. Svolos, Efimerida ton Syntakton)
“The performance took my breath away, filled me with a new world of emotions and with a satisfaction that was intellectual and, dare I say, moral.[…] I left the theatre with a renewed optimism, like one who sees the first ray of light after the darkness of a heavy rain. […] The director Savvas Stroumbos must certainly consider to expand his relationship with the world of opera, a world in which he has a lot to offer. […] This was theatre in its purest form as it meets with music and the result was an exceptional, enriching experience” (M. Triantafilloy, Epohi)