Les Rois Mages  - a multimedia music theater
(The Kings from the East)
by Fabián Panisello,
after a story by Michel Tournier

Preview w/o Audience Dec 10th - 13th 2020 - Premiere 2021/2022
Cooperation with Jeunesse

Les Rois Mages is a multimedia musical theater telling the story of the Three wise men. Gilles Rico's libretto is inspired by two books by Michel Tournier: "Gaspard, Melchior & Balthazar" and "Les Rois Mages".

After the great success of his multimedia opera "Le Malentendu" in Vienna (Neue Oper Wien), Warsaw, Buenos Aires and Madrid, Fabián Panisello creates in his new music theater project Les Rois Mages an intense exploration and new perspective on the story of the three kings (and not only on them). He shifts our focus and broadens the spectrum. We recognize the influence of the big picture on individual destinies and, conversely, the impact that the smallest private decisions can have on this very big picture.

Gilles Rico bridges the gap between the distant otherness of biblical times and our world today by emphasizing the profoundly human dimension of the story. The novel consists of several episodes describing the journey of each king. Through repetition, gradual addition of information, and the retelling of the same event but from different points of view, a close intertextual connection is made between the different episodes of the novel, weaving a complex web of narratives and symbols.

In addition to the personal stories of Gaspard, Balthazar and Melchior, the encounter with King Herod and the story of Taor, the fourth wise man who came too late for the birth of Christ, are integrated into the libretto. Furthermore, the story of the donkey and the ox finds its way into the narrative from an animal point of view. In his production Christoph Zauner together with Chris Ziegler will penetrate the story with different autonomous levels. The stage as a visual place, which will mainly consist of light, also interactively intervenes in the action.

In the libretto, a narrator helps link the various episodes of the story and allows us to play with the temporality of the narrative, creating pauses, fast-forwards and flashbacks.

Two different video levels form a bracket around these events, which on the one hand attempt to provide a glimpse of incomprehensibly dimensions, the universe, and on the other hand of the most intimate, into the emotional world of the characters. 

In addition to the theatrical plot, whose intelligibility and dramatic content are treated with the utmost respect, the work represents an investigation of language, analyzing the temporal structure and syntax, prosody, words and their manifestations as musical figures like "sounds". In this way, the composer's works with temporal organization such as pulsation, irregular and micro pulsation and pattern.

Voice, music, live and recorded electroacoustics, video, light installation, acting, dance meet and tell on different levels situationally, abstractly, empathically, desperately, fearfully, insistently about their observations, expectations, hopes.