Philipp Amelung began his musical career in the Tölzer Knabenchor, where he received comprehensive voice and speech training. After receiving his Abitur, he continued to work there as a voice teacher and went on to study singing with Peter Petrov at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich. At the same time, Amelung began to study Choral Conducting with Professor Michael Gläser and Orchestral Conducting with Professors Herrmann Michael and Bruno Weil. He received M.A.s in both courses of study. He furthered his development by taking part in conducting courses, such as at the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart with Helmuth Rilling.
In 2001, Amelung was appointed acting Choral Director of the Munich Bach Choir. In the autumn of 2005, he became director of the choral ensemble at the Schola Cantorum Leipzig, with which he went on international concert tours. Amelung was able to gain opera experience by working on Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel as well as Mozart’s da-ponte operas Don Giovanni and Die Hochzeit des Figaro, and performing in Munich’s Cuvelliéstheater, among others, and on Mallorca.
Philipp Amelung became University Music Director in Tübingen at the beginning of April 2011. Since then he has travelled with his ensembles to perform concerts in Israel, Brazil, Italy, the US and other countries.
Swedish composer and conductor Fredrik Sixten was an organist at Trondheim's Nidaros Cathederal, one of the most important churches in Norway, until he became a freelance composer in the summer of 2014. Born in Skövde in 1962, he received his B.A. from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm in 1986.
A student of Professor Sven-David Sandström, Sixten today is counted among Sweden’s best-known composers, especially of church music. In recent years his music has been recognised internationally and is published by several major houses, including Gehrmans in particular. In addition to other honours, the Stockholm Music Association named him "Composer of the Year" in 2010.
Three oratorios are the focal point of his work (Requiem, the Passion of St. Mark and the Christmas Oratorio), which have all been recorded by Swedish broadcasting. His catalogue of works also includes around 80 choral compositions, 15 chamber music pieces and 20 works for solo organ. On commission from the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Sixten composed Let There Be for chorus and drums. The work premièred in April 2010.
Since the beginning of the 1990s, Klas Abrahamsson has worked as a dramatist for stage, television and various film productions.
His piece Das Wunder von Schweden. Eine musikalische Möbelsaga (2009) was a huge success with audiences and critics alike. He wrote the piece in cooperation with the composer and director Erik Gedeon, and had the work staged at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg. The play’s award-winning Swedish première took place a year later at Theater Malmö.
One of his theatre pieces is the humorous monologue Life Arrived So Suddenly (2007), which is about the life of a person with autism. Since its première, this play has been performed regularly on Sweden’s stages.
In 2013, his latest work, The Entrepreneur from Hell, was praised by critics as a "divine comedy about faith and hope as a developing brand". Abrahamsson addressed current issues in this play as well. It portrays a long-term unemployed woman after she has come out of a coma. His plays have already been translated into several languages. Klas Abrahamsson also writes regularly for television and film – e.g. the scripts for the Wallander crime drama The Midsummer Murder and an adaptation of the award-winning novel Sun Storm by Åsa Larsson.
Born in Sweden, the author and translator Ann Henning Jocelyn lives and works in Doonreagan, a popular artists’ retreat in western Ireland. Of the nine books that she has written in English, The Connemara Whirlwind (1990), The Connemara Stallion (1991) and Keylines (2000) have been published in German.
Her own plays have been performed in many cities, including London’s West End, and her English adaptations of theatre works by Jon Fosse and Henning Mankell have met with wide approval. The Truth Beyond is her second opera project in cooperation with Klas Abrahamsson.
Julia Riegel was born in Saarbrücken in 1969 and studied music and theatre at the University of Cologne. She took training in directing from, among others, George Tabori, Thomas Langhoff, Loriot and Claus Guth, and worked as a director at Munich’s Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz.
She made her directing début in 2001 at the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz at the Metropoltheater with a project she had developed herself, Schumannszenen – Ein Theaterabend aus 'Dichterliebe' und 'Frauenliebe' und Leben. This was followed by Massenet’s Werther and Otto Nicolai’s Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor and the German première of Charles Kàlmàns Novecento – Die Legende vom Ozeanpianisten.
Since 2007, she has been working as a freelance director and has staged, for example, Verdi’s Maskenball at the Gut Immling Opera Festival, Eine Nacht in Venedig by Johann Strauß at the Leipzig Opera, Haydn’s Orlando Paladino at Stadttheater Gießen, Schwarzwaldmädel for SWR (television recording) and the New European Festival, and Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizette in Flensburg. In 2012 she collaborated with Caroline Neven Du Mont to stage a piece they co-wrote about the life of Franz Schubert, Barfuß auf dem Eise, with Bayer Kultur in Leverkusen.
Julia Riegel has since 2012 been stage director of the non-profit company Sarré Musikprojekte, which gives children and young people – some of them from troubled neighbourhoods – to work on theatre projects with professionals. Since 2011, she has also been working as a trained coach (Coaching Pool München). She integrates these coaching methods in her directing and work with children and young people.
The Tübinger Festsaal is going to be transformed into an opera stage for performances of W – The Truth Beyond. Director Julia Riegel and a team of Tübingen Media Studies students are working under the direction of Susanne Marschall (left) and Erwin Feyersinger (right), who are responsible for shaping the space on stage.
A film team, made up of Carina Diener, Janina Mantay, Melanie Preu, Katharina Schlusche, Vincent Schulz and Alexa Vogel, have been in Tübingen and Ystad gathering images for video projections. Nadja Büchler and Benni Dornis work the videos into their final form. Costume Designer Konrad M. Knofe is responsible for the wardrobe and props. The technical construction of stage structures is in the hands of Martin Fuchs, of Landestheater Tübingen.
Jörg Rothkamm is an adjunct professor at the Institute of Musicology at the University of Tübingen. After completing his M.A. and Ph.D. in Musicology and Theatre in Hamburg and Vienna, he was, as the sole professor of Dramaturgy of Music and Dance Theatre from 2004 to 2010, responsible for dramaturgy of opera productions at the University of Music and Theatre in Leipzig. Rothkamm has worked as a dramaturge or script writer for, among others, the Hamburgische Staatsoper, the Munich Biennale, the Salzburger Festspiele, the Bachfest Leipzig and the Lucerne Festival. Together with Jasmin Solfaghari, he created the collage Wonne der Einsamkeit for the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele. Since 1994, he has been publishing articles and speaking about issues surrounding musical theatre. Among the publications to which he has contributed since then are the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the Neue Züricher Zeitung, and the Hamburger Abendblatt. He has also taken part in broadcasts on the SWR, WDR and SR/ARTE radio stations. His post-doctoral thesis, Ballettmusik im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, was nominated for "Best Book of the Year" by the magazine Opernwelt in 2012.
Supervised by Jörg Rothkamm and his dramaturgy assistant Fabian Kurze, Institute of Musicology students will assume responsibility for production dramaturgy at the première. Editorial team members Marie Apitz, Philipp Borkowitsch, Jörg Büchler, Kristina Jülich-Bauer, Sunjung Kim, Hans-Eckhardt Schaefer, Josephine Schwab, Claudia Seidl, Renita Steinwand, Johannes Szotyori-Artz, Manuel Tietz and Andrea Zeh have also designed, edited and published an 80-page programme with many original contributions.
Marie Apitz, Julia Berkenhoff, Philipp Borkowitsch, Claudia Seidl, Renita Steinwand, Manuel Tietz and Andrea Zeh of the musicological supertitles team have developed and positioned the German supertitles for the performances, which will be sung in English. (Editors: Fabian Kurze and Jörg Rothkamm). Jannik Franz and Andrea Zeh will monitor stage management of the supertitles during the performances.
Born in 1948 in Stockholm, Henning Mankell was one of Sweden’s greatest contemporary authors and attained popularity with readers all around the globe. His works – around forty novels and many plays – have been translated into more than forty languages. Mankell distinguished himself through far more than his writing. He was also personally committed to improving the plight of the underprivileged and alternated his residence between Sweden and Mozambique, where he was the artistic director of the Teatro Avenida in Maputo. He died on 5 October 2015 in Gothenburg. Paperback editions of his works are printed in German by dtv.
Henning Mankell was born on 3 February 1948 in Stockholm and grew up with his father in Härjedalen. At the age of seventeen he moved to Stockholm and became an assistant director at the Riks Theater. He began working as an author and director in 1968.
Even as a child, Mankell had dreamed of travelling around Africa. In 1972, he realised this dream and immediately felt at home in Africa. During the years that followed, he continued to work as an author and a director, scriptwriter and artistic director at different theatres, including the theatre of Västerbotten in Skellefteå and the theatre in Kronborg in Växjö. In 1985, he received an invitation to develop a professional theatre group in Maputo in Mozambique. He assumed leadership of the 70-member group at the Teatro Avenida. From then on, as he himself would say, he lived "with one foot in the sand and the other in snow". He usually spent more than half of the year in Maputo, and the remaining months in Sweden, his second home.
From 1990 to 1998, Mankell wrote the Wallander crime novels Faceless Killers (1991), The Dogs of Riga (1992), The White Lioness (1993), The Man Who Smiled (1994), Sidetracked (1995), The Fifth Woman (1996), Midsummer Murder (1997) and Firewall (1998). In 1999, the anthology The Pyramid was published to conclude the Wallander series.
In 2002, the crime novel Before the Frost was published. Wallander’s daughter Linda, a young policewoman, is the book's main character.
Mankell’s life in Mozambique also provided him with material for a number of novels that are set in Africa.
He was also an award-winning author of books for children and young people. In the spring of 2001, he set up his own publishing house in Sweden, Leopard förlag, which is intended to provide a forum for young Swedish and African authors.
Henning Mankell died on 5 October in Gothenburg.
We would like to thank the publisher Zsolnay-Verlag for allowing us to use this biography.