Der Weltbaumeister

Der Weltbaumeister


Graz, Austria

Federal State of Styria, Graz


Wiener Wolkenbügel Vodoel

Project Description

Stage set and light concept for an opera

Building on the idea of Bruno Taut’s Weltbaumeister (world master builder), the basic idea of this project was to stage a drama without actors or set, working exclusively with light and music. Coop Himmelb(l)au and the composer Jens-Peter Ostendorf collaborated on this opera as a 70-minute play for the Steirischer Herbst festival in 1993.

“Color resounds, forms resound - colors and forms as pure, unbroken elements of the universe convey the sound. The birth of the musical work from them occurs without constraint, and the forms and colors are likewise born unconstrained from the musical work. Not a violent pressing together of things only comparatively related - rather, the color and form of the audible world, in their interplay and counteraction, convey and produce the form and color of the visible world. Of the world! … of an allembracing realm that sublates everything isolated, isolating, separating the self, and dividing sensations and ideas. Audible, visible, and palpable forms combine freely and simply in the sphere of the cosmic element, entering into an alliance that is not closed within itself or to the outside, a fusion of the most inward kind … faithful depiction of the elements in the real world, earth, air, water, fire, sun, stars. This realm of art tolerates no stepping in of an individual being unless it seems like a merely subordinated member of the great cosmos. The animal, in its momentary expressions as a creature of drives, and likewise the human being, with his special human qualities, his inner life that can only be depicted in isolated processes, his ‘psychology,’ can only disturb in this realm. […] The play of emerging and disappearing forms and colors suffices, immersed in the great flood of sounds. Only the space of the deep stage cannot be done away with. The space in its restless depth is the womb that bears everything: forms, colors, light - like the floating tone of the limitless resounding out of which the music pours forth.” 
Bruno Taut: "Über Bühne und Musik" (On music and the stage), a postscript to his architectural stage drama

Design Development: Projections of the initial sketch



COOP HIMMELB(L)AU Wolf D. Prix, Helmut Swiczinsky + Partner
Project Architects: Markus Pillhofer, Ekkehard Rehfeld
Project Team: Urs Bette, Waltraut Hoheneder

Director and composer: Jens Peter Ostendorf
Orchestra: Ensembel Modern
Conductor: HK Gruber


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