Events - 18.08.2015 - 00:00 

The opera Hercules at the HSG

The staircase in the Main Building of the University of St.Gallen will turn into the stage for a musical drama: on 26 September 2015, George Frederick Handel’s Hercules will be performed for the first time on the HSG campus, followed by another two performances on 27 September and 3 October 2015.


8 September 2015. The young ensemble "Oper vor Ort" – which means as much as "opera on site" –will demonstrate how a musical drama can have a great impact even when it is performed by a small cast. The sextet first appeared with Haydn’s chamber opera "L’isola disabitata" in the St.Gallen Textile Museum in summer 2014. At the HSG, the ensemble will be devoting itself to the ancient myth surrounding the demigod Hercules, a parable about power and jealousy.

Hercules myth as a dramatic topic
Does ignorance kill and power blind? George Frederick Handel’s work, which had its first performance in London in 1745, is all about the power of jealousy. The demigod returns from his last exploit – successfully and with a captive: the beautiful prisoner Iole. His wife, Dejanira, is hurt by the presence of the supposed rival. In spite of assurances to the contrary from both Hercules and Iole, the aggrieved spouse is overcome by delusional visions of jealousy. Her final attempt to win Hercules back leads to his death.

The "Oper vor Ort" ensemble consists of five artists from Switzerland and Southern Germany and will perform Hercules as a monarchic family drama at the HSG: the tragedy of the ruling house happens on a small scale but at the same time in the public domain. 19 artists will pull the strings behind the scenes. Six of them will be seen on stage. The performance will be directed by Wolfgang Berthold from Berlin. Performing musical drama in unusual places – this is the idea behind the art project "Oper vor Ort". "We adapt our performances to the site and not the other way round", dramaturg Barbara Schingnitz describes the concept of their performances.

Small ensemble, big impact
The core team of "Oper vor Ort" – Roman Digion, Anita Heeb, Ursina Leuenberger, Christoph Waltle and Barbara Schingnitz – organise the performances of their small "self-made opera". "We are looking forward to showing the Hercules myth from an unusual perspective at the University of St.Gallen", says Barbara Schingnitz. The University of St.Gallen invites the public to experience the HSG campus as an opera house while drawing inspiration from art works by Giacometti, Arp and Miró.

Performance date

Where: staircase of the Main Building of the HSG, Dufourstrasse 50, 9000 St.Gallen

When: Saturday, 26 September 2015/ Sunday, 27 September 2015/ Saturday, 3 October 2015

Time: 7 p.m; doors open at 6.30 p.m.

Tickets: Boutique Späti, Spisergasse 20, St.Gallen, +41 71 222 01 14,

Bild: Oper vor Ort

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