12.04.–16.04.2023 | A production with young people for young & all
When people bring their stories together on stage with and through music, music theatre is created. When 20 young people make music theatre together with a professional directing team, this centuries-old art form is put to the test in an exciting, funny and highly topical way.
Under the motto "cooperation at eye level", the opera performance SuperZero, Baby on the theme of "value and worth" was created within six months together with young people aged 14 to 20.
The young people research, write texts, improvise with words, voice, music and dance, deal with costume and stage design, invent and develop their respective roles. In parallel, a six-member youth instrumental ensemble composes and rehearses under the direction of musical all-rounder Marc Bruckner.
The threads are held together by the Austrian-Kurdish artist Scharmien Zandi, who is known for her innovative and demanding projects. In the sense of a co-creation, the performance lives from the composition of the group and the personal experiences as well as ideas on climate, resources and sustainability of each individual.
SuperZero, Baby takes a dystopian look into the (not too distant?) future. What could happen if we continue to be so reckless with nature and our resources? The performance opens a kaleidoscope of people with different backgrounds and characters who now have to reorganise and reinvent their lives together. Together they invent the radio programme "SuperZero, Baby" as a democratic way of conveying information. The discovery of a still-living tree finally amounts to a sensation and becomes a symbol for a tentative new beginning. If only there were not envy ...
Since the beginning of the season, a small rehearsal room near Vienna's Westbahnhof has been transformed into a creative centre week after week. In October, numerous young people from Vienna and the surrounding area responded to our casting call. Thirteen of them were chosen as performers, six as musicians. A colourful troupe: the participants range from absolute opera novices to opera fans. Every performer should have the chance to be involved in the performance. Because the roles and tasks in SuperZero, Baby are not as clearly defined as in a classical opera production.
At the beginning of rehearsals, there was only a basic idea. Creative processes of play development are made tangible in a "safe space" where everyone can let off steam and participate to the best of their ability. The plot, roles, type of performance, text and music developed over the months. This performance is designed as a co-creation of the team, in which the artistic path is just as important as the goal: four performances at the Kammeroper Wien.
What is it all about? The starting point was the title of the evening and a rough sketch of the content: SuperZero, Baby is about "value and worth", about how we treat our planet, about rubbish, waste and landfill. "We are looking at climate resources and sustainability," explains the project's artistic director, Scharmien Zandi. "It's supposed to be about what young people have to say about it. Of course, there were previous generations where climate protection was an issue, but certainly never as loudly as today. And today's youth have managed to do that."SuperZero, Baby gives this concern an artistic voice, but with a lot of humour and without swinging the moral club over the audience.
Once a month there is a rehearsal weekend - here acting, dancing and singing training was on the agenda - and twice a month there is a so-called Jour Fixe, where the young people dealt with the development of the play. They discussed, improvised and wrote texts: What do we understand by sustainability and climate? How can we express our understanding of the topic artistically, vocally and musically? What roles should there be? What other topics are interesting? After all, it is not only these complex social challenges that shape our everyday lives!
Parallel to the performers, a six-piece instrumental ensemble, a colourful mix of pupils from the Musikgymnasium Wien, is rehearsing under the direction of musical all-rounder Marc Bruckner. He and the small orchestra are in close contact with Scharmien Zandi. Like the text, the music has also been created over the course of the last few months by improvising together. "Everything is self-composed, but not notated - it is a performance, after all," Scharmien Zandi laughs and explains.