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    Robots stress the synapses

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    The room is a mixture of bunker and silent film cinema – and thus also the most impressive thing about the new production of the Robot Opera by Gamut Inc and guests in the Theater im Delphi. In the flickering spotlights on the stage, there are seven cogwheels with hypnosis patterns, which whirl around their own axis in different configurations and speeds during the piece. The actors and actresses in android outfits stalk around them. Ruben Reniers, for example, performs a wild dance. In Frank Witzel’s libretto it says next to his name: robot/human/creature.

    The play takes place on three levels: in the front, an old man, the last human being, sits in the warm light of his desk and spouts platitudes; center stage, the hypnowheels and roaming robots; and on the back wall alternately a projection of the RIAS Chamber Choir and shadow plays. The shadowcasters sing as they perform their choreography, but their voices come from speakers placed around the room. At first you don’t even notice that they are responsible for the strangely shrill sounds. The intergalactic computer beeping, which the duo from Gamut Inc generates with their self-made music machines, mixes with choir and opera voices.

    The Czech writer Karel Čapek published the play “RUR – Rossum’s Universal Robots” in 1920. The company RUR produces artificial people who are exploited as cheap labor and finally destroy humanity in a revolt. The writer’s brother invented the word robot for her, derived from the West Slavic: robota. Work.

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    Work no longer appears in Frank Witzel’s new edition of the libretto. But something about the “cycle of all life” or the imagined freedom of man. Solid Marxist science fiction à la “Metropolis” gives rise to an incoherent world of images and sounds with no reference to reality. The last person at his desk aptly sums up the impression of the piece: “It is a strange symbolism, but it always eludes me. Probably because the real dominates my life too much.” (Until January 22 at Theater im Delphi)

    Source From: Tagesspiegel

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