Mozart and the Utopia of Love

How murdered lovers recognize each other in another life

17 Nov 2003
Ten to Eleven
Heiner Müller
Müller's circle: Jean Jourdheuil


In this feature, Alexander Kluge talks to Jean Jourdheil, Mark Lammert and Claudio Rizzi about their adaptation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera “The Pretend Garden Girl” in 2003 at the State Opera in Stuttgart. The feature alters between conversations, scenes from the opera and the recital of text passages.

In the first part, Kluge talks to vocal coach Claudio Rizzi about the power of Mozart’s music. While composing the reunion of the lovers, Mozart “invented” (Kluge) pulsation. Sandrina’s fainting – accompanied by relatively conventional music – is replaced by a consistent pulsation in different harmonies during the appearance of other characters. Throughout the scene, Mozart maintains the basic musical pattern, but modifies it for each character.

Director Jean Jourdheil points out the psychological aspects in the way Mozart composes his characters, like ambiguity and dissociation – “I love you, but I want to kill you and I want to kill you, but I love you. When both those feelings come together, so close, as is the case when they are arranged by the music, if I may say so, then you have already entered the realm of the subconscious” (Jourdheil).

Mark Lammert (stage and costume design) describes the year of the premiere of Mozart’s “Garden Girl” (1775) as the origin of dynamic psychology, evoked by Mesmerism, which developed out of an argument between exorcist Johann Joseph Gaßner and physician Franz Anton Mesmer.