Not too clear on the difference between “music theatre”, “musical theatre” and “opera”? Maybe the upcoming BAM! Festival for Berlin’s independent music theatre scene can help you out. Hosting 14 productions and two panel discussions, it highlights the diversity of a genre in which visual artists and directors are typically placed on equal footing with composers. Many of the festival’s selections emphasize local themes. Opera Lab Berlin’s Lonely Hearts Bus Tour puts singers, musicians and audiences on a bus ride around the city, offering a melancholy look at the rapidity of urban change. In Berlin Rosenthaler Platz, composers Kirsten Reese and David Wagner adopt the form of the urban audio walk, using text, historical sound documents and music to trace the historical evolution of Rosenthaler Platz. Dorfkneipe International, by music theatre trio glanz&krawall, also takes up the theme of urban change, dramatising the last night of a smokers’ bar that has fallen prey to the development plans of international investors. And in Gestern und Morgen – Die Wahrheit über Villa Elisabeth, French composer, installation artist, and writer François Sarhan shows the result of several years’ worth of research into a villa on Invalidenstraße in a performance that takes audiences on a trip through the building, encountering its history through headphones, videos, loudspeakers, and live musicians.
Bam! Music Theatre Fest, Sep 20-23 | Various venues, Mitte, see bam-berlin.org for programme