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Archive of Voices

A European musical theatre project

World premiere
World premiere
Musical Theatre
Zwinger 1
»A piece of string, good for nothing« / Composition by Oxana Omelchuk / Libretto by Daniela Danz / Interview: Ljudmila Ulitzkaja (Russia)

»Thasos and Europa« / Composition by Ferran Cruixent / Libretto by Emanuel Maeß / Interview: Vasilis Vasilikos (Greece)

»Elisa Montessori and Dottoressa« / Composition by Mariachiara Di Cosimo and Emanuele Savagnone / Libretto by Adriana Altaras Maeß / Interview: Elisa Montessori (Italy)

A group of authors, journalists and scientists around the writer Nora Bossong and the author and journalist Simon Strauss established their association Arbeit an Europa e. V. in light of the controversial debates surrounding the future of the European Union. With the scholarly support of, among others, Aleida Assmann and Heinz Bude, it is their aim to research and carry forward the European idea. Since 2018, they have interviewed people born between 1920 and 1945 for their project »European Archive of Voices«. Speakers come from a range of social backgrounds and professions, and from all over Europe (not only member states); they include those with international acclaim, such as the Russian writer Lyudmila Ulitskaya, engaged citizens and political activists, the Slovenian survivor of the Shoa Eva Mosnakova, politicians, scientists, the Bosnian army general Jovan Divjak and Walter Brandmüller, cardinal in the Vatican.

They all share the European idea, which they illuminate in their interviews at hand of their personal life stories, frequently marked by war, persecution, incarceration, existential needs or the loss of a home. Listen to and read all interviews at

Voices can enter the world in many different ways; one of the most primal of these is doubtlessly that of music and song. This thought sparked the idea to sift through the interviews for stories that work well on stage, ask renowned writers to turn them into libretti and commission composers to put them to music. Opera houses throughout Europe are asked to cooperate, so that as many voices as possible and their stories are made palpable on stage for a wide audience from different generations.
The Theater und Orchester Heidelberg is kicking off this musical theatre project with a soiree combining three of the interviews as treated by three composition and libretto teams.



Musical Direction
Direction and Stage Design
Zino Wey
Annina Gull
Sound Design
Lukas Huber
Director of Studies
Johannes Zimmermann
Musical Rehearsals
Johannes Zimmermann, Paul Taubitz, Hanna Klose, Kens Lui
Costume Assistant
Nora Kirchmeier
Technical Manager Zwinger
Roberto Martinez