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Progress continues on a project begun by the late German stage and film director Christoph Schlingensief. A sound studio is being set up in the „opera village“ he founded.

Just before his death in 2010, Chrisoph Schlingensief started work on a big, but unabashedly vague idea. Near Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, he was planning an „opera village“ in which daily life and art were to be interwoven.

„In this way,“ Schlingensief said, „We can learn once more how creativity emerges and develops.“

He saw the village, with its living conception of creative production, as a potential role model for an art scene that he criticized as „aloof.“

In a school opened in 2011, 300 pupils are now learning film, dance, theater and singing alongside the usual school subjects. The site also includes a cafeteria, some apartments for staff and, as of June, its own health clinic. Now, a further part of the project is set to be realized. As part of his studies, a student at the Robert Schumann University of Music and Media will go to Burkina Faso for three months to set up a sound studio and get local workers acquainted with studio techniques. This is the first result of a long-term partnership agreed by the African opera village and the Düsseldorf Music Academy.

„We must learn from Africa. The concept of the opera village encourages us to rethink our ideas about art and opera,“ said Heike Sperling, a professor at the Düsseldorf institution. The university has announced that further initiatives will follow. Schlingensief himself saw the project not as a one-sided provision of development aid, but as a place for experimentation and encounters in the service of art.

Since Schlingensief’s death in August 2010, his wife Aino Laberenz has assumed chief responsibility for the project to ensure that it is carried out and further developed.

dgp/gsw (dpa/ Robert Schumann University of Music and Media /Opera Village Africa Foundation / Goethe Institute)

Quelle: Deutsche Welle, 10.07.2014