“The Kindly Ones” celebrates its world premiere in Austria at the Festival of the Regions 2019. Directed by internationally renowned Elli Papakonstantinou, it is performed at the Mauthausen Memorial, and is intended as a strong political and social statement on the current developments and rise of not only right-wing populism but also right-wing radicalism and its effects in Europe. The libretto draws from “Mauthausen” by Iakvos Kambanellis, a Greek author that survived the Mauthausen concentration camp. His love poems and texts will be intertwined with interviews and archival material and molded in dialogue with “The Kindly Ones, Oresteia,” by Aeschylus. The performance invites audiences to share food together as they join in this net of different stories, in which the music of Blaine Reininger plays a major role – alongside an international cast and a local choir of elderly men.
Celebrating its world premiere in Austria, The Kindly Ones is an immersive performance, featuring an international cast and a choir of elderly men from the vicinity of Mauthausen. Directed by Elli Papakonstantinou, music composed by Blaine Reininger.
Performed at the Mauthausen and Gusen Concentration Camp Memorial, and directed by Elli Papakonstantinou, this is not a look back into the dark history of the region but rather a strong political and social statement about the current developments and rise of not only right-wing populism but also right-wing radicalism and its effects in Europe.
A search, an investigation, an examination, an exploration. A quasi Socratic undertaking. Everything expressed via questions of all kinds. Political questions, banal questions, everyday questions, essential questions, ironic questions… short questions follow complex long ones, simple questions follow serious ones, all in various languages, mainly in German, also in English, and Greek… spoken & sung… solo & chorus… dialogue & thoughts…quotations & texts as part of a question, results of research put into the form of questions; stylized, but also direct, naïve, and provocative…
The libretto draws from “Mauthausen” by Iakovos Kambanellis, a Greek author that survived the Mauthausen concentration camp. His love poems and texts will be intertwined with interviews and archival material, and molded in a dialogue with the “The Kindly Ones, Oresteia” by Aeschylus.
The performance invites audience members to share food together as they join in this web of different stories, heard and told. The music of Blaine Reininger plays a major role as the carrier and connector of all of the stories, different times and spaces, and the voices of many.
The so-called “Golden Dawn trial” that began in April 2015 in Athens – the “biggest trial of fascist criminality since Nuremberg” – is a unique penal trial against 69 defendants, among them 18 members of the Greek Parliament that are sympathizers of the fascist and neo-Nazi organization The Golden Dawn, accused of building a criminal organization, murder, bombings, extortion, money laundering, and assault. The trial and the recent murder of Zak Kostopoulos, a prominent Greek activist that was brutally murdered in central Athens, set the backdrop for the words of Iakovos Kambanellis:
How lovely is my love
In her everyday dress
With a little comb in her hair
No one knew how lovely she was.
Girls of Auschwitz,
Girls of Dachau,
Did you see my love?
Elli Papakonstantinou is a stage director, working across different, interdisciplinary forms of art, from music and theater to dance, visual arts, and literature, with a special emphasis on the political, collectivity, music, and the mobilization of citizens. Elli has created and presented her work internationally.
Elli Papakonstantinou is a stage director, working across different, interdisciplinary forms of art, from music and theater to dance, visual arts, and literature, with a special emphasis on the political, collectivity, and music. Her aesthetic agenda is twofold: challenging the “theater of convention” and mobilizing citizens as an integral component of the art-making process. Artistic director of the ODC ENSEMBLE performing company and of the VYRSODEPSEIO art space in Athens, Elli has created and presented her work internationally. Elli is currently a recipient of the Fulbright Artist Award 2018–19 and visiting scholar at the CCRMA, Stanford University, USA.
Concept + Libretto + Direction: Elli Papakonstantinou
Musical Composition: Blaine L. Reininger
Dramaturge and live translations: Martina Winkel
Performers: Rosa Prodromou, Blaine L. Reininger , Maria Panourgia and a choir of elderly men from the vicinities of Mauthausen
Set and Costume design : Maria Panourgia
Costume making: Mamadoo
Cooperation with Festival La Strada (Graz) and KZ-Gedenkstätte Mauthausen.
Photo: Alex Kat