An orchestra plays music on a stage.

Photo: Robert Brembeck Photo:


Music: Philip Glass: In der Strafkolonie

Jewish Chamber Orchestra Munich

 Schauspielhaus
 9.6. & 10.6.2024
 Schauspielhaus
 9.6. & 10.6.2024

In the Penal Colony (2000)
Chamber opera based on the short story In the Penal Colony by Franz Kafka

“What do I have in common with Jews? I have hardly anything in common with myself.” - Franz Kafka is one of the world’s best-known Jewish artists, but his relationship with Judaism was complicated throughout his life. To mark the 100th anniversary of his death, the JCOM is staging Philip Glass’ chamber opera based on Kafka’s famous story In the Penal Colony, which is about a dispute over a new method of execution in which the unsuspecting condemned are made to experience their offence first-hand until death.

In the Penal Colony was composed in 1914 as a reaction to a world in which violence and crimes against humanity had become frighteningly commonplace - a theme that is as relevant today as it was then. Glass’ setting from 2000 emphasises the timelessness of the play about the limits of justice and what is humanly possible.

Director Martin Valdés-Stauber’s production leaves plenty of space for the performers and the text: in an almost empty space, he translates Philip Glass’ ‘Minimal Music’ into exemplary movements and gestures. The audience’s imagination is called upon.