The world premiere takes place on 3 November 2018 in the new theater at the Archiefterrein in Amsterdam-Zuid.
Askvik and Artaç make an absurdist, small-scale opera about the search for trust in times of distrust and fear.
The chamber opera takes place in the Beethovenstraat in Amsterdam. The current culture of terror as a result of terrorist attacks shows parallels with the history of the Beethovenstraat: in the view of the makers, history repeats itself in different forms.
It is difficult to accept fear; the fear of not knowing who your neighbor is is leading to the creation of boundaries to protect our lives. Madam Koo is inspired by the book De Beethovenstraat, with stories of German-Jewish refugees who settled there in 1933 and testimonies about "Tram stop Beethovenstraat" from where during the Second World War 18,000 Jewish residents were deported to the Central Station in Amsterdam, and then to Westerbork. The way people spoke about these refugees at the time shows disturbing similarities with the current refugee discussion.
In the opera we meet people with different cultural backgrounds and habits that are neighbors of each other. By illuminating their mutual relations, Madam Koo examines the consequences of distrust and suspicion for our society and for individuals. Growing suspicion translates into music and musicians in the chamber opera. In addition, the composition reflects the contrasting worlds of the three characters Madam Koo, Mr. Oak and the neighbor girl Miku.
The Norwegian-Dutch Ingrid Askvik thinks as a director in music, the Turkish-Dutch composer Meriç Artaç thinks in images and text. With Madam Koo they make a modern opera with humor, brutality, fantasy and poetry, in which they collaborate with scenographer Koen Steger, just like in their previous performance Zonderland.
a small-scale opera for:
a soprano - Ekaterina Levental / Madam KOO a fluffy black cat / Pitsi a girl- Maartje Goes / Miku a baritone - Mattijs van de Woerd / Mr. Oak a nervous guard - Eva van der Post an AKOM Ensemble