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2007 Media Release - Harmonie Desastres

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Issued Monday, 23 July 2007 

PRESENTED BY SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE IN ASSOCIATION WITH GERMANY FACES FESTIVAL
HARMONIE DESASTRES - MERET & ARS VITALIS

11 & 12 October
The Studio

“the sheer diversity will send the audience spinning at the affluence of linguistic, musical and theatrical eruptions that only dreams are usually able to trick us into”
Westfalische Rundschau 

Trying to describe acclaimed German performer Meret Becker is like making sense of a dream. A singer, storyteller and virtuoso of the singing saw, Meret and the trio Ars Vitalis will transform The Studio for two shows only with Harmonie Desastres.

An eclectic mix of cinema, concert, circus and cabaret, Meret lounges in a plush armchair centre stage. Dressed in an embroidered harlequin slack-suit, roaring 20s style, she is surrounded by drummer Klaus de Huber, guitarist Buddy Sacher and saxophonist Peter Wilmanns.

The darling of the Weimar revival, Meret and her miniature chamber of musicians will take audiences on a hilarious and exhilarating journey from seedy underground Berlin to the future of 21st century cabaret.

A collection of stories and song, from Leonard Cohen’s Dance Me to the End of Love and Jockey Full of Bourbon by Tom Waits, Harmonie Desastres is an entertaining and spell-binding evening of music and theatrics.

Softly purring into the microphone one moment then roaring the next, Meret and Ars Vitalis move swiftly from heavy metal and jazz to a capella and Yiddish birdsong with instrumental anarchy. Avant-garde arrangements performed on the singing saw, banjo, melodica and junk box seem perfectly suited beside shadow puppetry, wacky waltzes and hoola-hoop routines.

From style to style, cranky idea to oddball humour, Meret is part seductress, part loon. Confusing and cheerful this quirky, dreamlike show will bewilder and intoxicate. Meret and Ars Vitalis have performed in Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland.

An award-winning actress, Meret has also starred in countless German films including Happy as One by Vanessa Jopp, Mein Führer by Dani Levy, Comedian Harmonists by Josef Vilsmaier, as well as a supporting role in Stephen Spielberg’s Munich. Her soundtrack for Piperment – das Leben mogligherweuse recently won the Max Ophuls Film Musik Award.

Meret performed Arnold Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with Kent Nagano and the German Symphony Orchestra in Berlin in 2001 and Fürchtet euch nicht in Tokyo in 2002 with the Pina Bausch Tanztheater of Wuppertal.

SEASON DETAILS: Harmonie Desastres 
Dates/Times: Thursday 11 and Friday 12 October at 8.15pm.
Venue: The Studio
Tickets: All tickets $35 / groups of 4 or more $30 per person
Bookings: (02) 9250 7777 or online at sydneyoperahouse.com
Duration: 60 minutes

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