Ja, Mai – the new festival
From the 2021/2020 season onwards a festival dedicated every spring to early and contemporary musical theatre now comes to life. The core concept of the new festival is contemporaneity, the placing of musical theatre in the present. At the same time, the festival traces contemporary musical theatre’s links with other genres and art forms, such as spoken theatre, the visual arts and dance, and also refers to the origins of musical theatre towards the end of the 16th century, linking yesterday, today and tomorrow with one another. The origins of opera begin a dialogue with today’s musical theatre perspectives. Extreme human situations are front and centre with the Ja, Mai festival’s first outing. The contemporary operas Bluthaus, Coma and Thomas by Georg Friedrich Haas and Händl Klaus are combined with works by Claudio Monteverdi. The trilogy produced by Haas between 2011 and 2016 revolves around the most profound existential issues, such as death, love, psychological trauma and hanging on between life and death. With his musical theatre, the composer provides an insight into the deepest human emotions, and therefore allows us to experience pain just as much as the tenderness of emotional states, both emphatically and pragmatically at once. “I don’t write theatre of cruelty. I write theatre of love.” As part of the festival, the Bayerische Staatsoper forms an association with its neighbouring art and culture institutions and works, among others, together with the Residenztheater, Münchner Kammerspiele, the Münchner Volkstheater and the Münchener Kammerorchester.