How does one find one's way back into life after a bad experience? Anno Schreier shows this path in his children's opera Mina. First performed in Bonn in 2022, the piece was recently seen at the Opera Factory in Freiburg and a new production will open on October 25, 2023 at the Staatstheater Darmstadt, directed by Ulduz Ashraf Gandomi. The musical side is provided by baritone David Pichlmaier and flutist Olga Koring.
With one of the smallest casts imaginable for an opera, Mina quite rightly bears the subtitle ‘Ballad-Fairy-Tale-Mini-Opera’. Only a flute and a baritone are needed for a performance, with the vocal part also using a small drum kit now and then. Schreiber shows what can be discovered with these few means and what adventures can be experienced with them in his music to the libretto by Alexander Jansen.
Mina or The Journey to the Sea: Ballad Fairy Tale Mini Opera by Anno Schreier
What is the play about? Mina cannot speak. After the death of her father, she sets off on a long journey with her small black sheep called Wolke. The flautist represents Mina who can only express herself through music, while the baritone slips into 20 different roles, while also narrating the work. The composer notes:
During her expedition, Mina discovers the magic powers of music which permit her to survive great adventures, and during the process, she gradually transforms her world into a somewhat friendlier and happier place. When Mina and Wolke arrive at the distant sea after their battle with the dragon, they also experience a small piece of great fortune. (Anno Schreier)
The Staatstheater Darmstadt will initially show another performance on October 29 and will schedule additional performances at short notice. It also offers Mina as a classroom play, i.e. it comes to elementary schools on request and shows it there. In April 2024, the play will see its next new production at the Apollo Theater in Görlitz.
Illustration: Schott Music