Robert Schumann’s lyrical opera Genoveva (1850) tells the mythical story of the innocent Genoveva who is condemned to die. Rarely performed, the opera focuses on the inner world of its characters over stage action, centering the expressiveness of the music.
Genoveva is now performed on 19th century instruments for the first time. Visualisation with costumes and animation adds to the dreamlike and meditative quality of the performance.
According to Kristiina Helin, Schumann uses the idea of a mirror to depict another kind of poetic reality. Like the composer said, ’Töne sind höhere Worte’; the mirror sounds and the sound mirrors.
Animations by IC-98 are similarly seen as a way of looking not just at images, but at the very act of seeing. The video installations provide both a set and a moving landscape of one’s self – comparable to Schumann’s refined web of leitmotifs accompanying and transforming the characters.