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The Business of Dreaming

Alexandra Filonenko (*1972)

Informationen Zum Werk

An audio drama – live onstage – after Ingeborg Bachmann with music by Alexandra Filonenko

Recordings of the original presentation in 1952 blend with the new music and the physically present performers. What was originally theatre designed for the ears becomes a live, staged audio play.

World premiere on 30 January 2020 at the Tischlerei der Deutschen Oper Berlin

In German language

70 minutes / no interval


Concept, Director

Anna von Gehren

Set design, Costume design

Judith Philipp


Dorothea Hartmann


Patricia Knebel


Daniel Gloger


Silke Lange


Ruth Velten


So-Hee Kim

About the performance

Almost 70 years after Ingeborg Bachmann composed her audio drama “The Business of Dreaming” in 1952 a young musical-theatre team is subjecting the work to questions old and new: how much music and how much theatre can an audio drama admit and how topical is Bachmann’s text today? Bachmann sketches the picture of a post-war society seemingly trapped in its own structures and clearly unable to free itself and embrace the liberty of self-determination.

The audio drama talks of dreams rooted in hard reality, of futility and tristesse, yet also of the power of thought and imagination. Blurring the dividing line between reality and dreams, Bachmann employs clear and filigree language to conjure up multiple images in the minds of her listeners. Composer Alexandra Filonenko has rendered these images in music, creating a new soundtrack for “The Business of Dreaming” that by turns complements and develops on the narration. The result is scenes that play out around the watching audience, transporting them on a journey of musical theatre.

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