Director, countertenor, performer and self-proclaimed court jester, Benjamin Abel Meirhaeghe examines how he can interpret opera and ballet repertoire in a new way. He plays with the great emotions and gestures of these art forms and holds them up to the light of today. For example, in his graduation performance The Ballet (2018), Meirhaeghe compared contemporary suffering with suffering in the romantic period. At the same time, the show explored how young makers can work in the larger theatres.
In this new production, Meirhaeghe examines the broad spectrum of human feelings as well as the perspective of emerging artificial intelligence. With fragments from various arias, canons, dances and cantatas by composers such as Janequin, Ligeti, Mozart, Vivaldi, Schubert and Schönberg, he starts a dialogue between tragedy and comedy. Or even a confrontation between the heart and the head, between man and machine. In a strange, cabaret-like construction, the conflict between past and present is made clear to the spectator. At a certain point Meirhaeghe stages a tableau vivant about love and war; then again he triggers eccentric movements or defines heart-breaking metaphors. He focuses on transmutations and the theatre becomes a time machine, with the jester as the game master.