Opera installation in public space by Mathis Nitschke

Thomas Jonigk (Libretto), Martina Koppelstetter (Isolde), Klaus-Peter Werani (Viola), Katharina Dobner (Costume)

World premiere 8 to 12 July 2019, Kunsthalle München,

The pedestrian zone in front of the Kunsthalle Munich: There, a homeless person appears in the midst of lustfully shopping, well dressed people. In the hopelessness of her existence, she transfigures everything ordinary into art. Sounds from her memory fit into an orchestration of the urban sound space. Everything she hears becomes a global song in which, like Wagner’s Isolde, she finds redemption through death and resurrection in love.

Similar to Viola and Katharina, the audience sits in the entrance area of the Kunsthalle after closing time, with a view through the glass panes onto the pedestrian zone. With the help of transducers, the windows become a sounding membrane that connects the inside with the outside.

The music is based on motifs and excerpts from works by Richard Wagner (Liebestod, Im Treibhaus). In addition, “Volte-Face” for solo viola by Georges Aperghis can be heard, with the kind permission of the composer.

In the context of FREQUENZEN – Acoustic Dimensions of the City:

With the kind support of:


Blog: „A moment of art of living“

Romantisation and dissection of our reality: “…at the same time we are made aware of the fact that we all too often do not want to see the other side of prosperity, poverty, loneliness, social inequality, especially in Munich, we surround ourselves with bulletproof glass ‘in order not to break’, as a passer-by remarked.” Elsa Büsing about ISOLDE in my Blog


„The fact that you just sit here is already a sensation.“ Egbert Tholl in the Süddeutsche Zeitung

„If you want to lose the fear of the concept and the form of performance, you should expose yourself to “Isolde”.“ Robert Braunmüller in the Abendzeitung

Audience reactions:

“It was a totally strange feeling to sit in the window and watch a homeless person – really sad. But above all the feeling when passers-by realized we were watching a homeless person, that was really strange! What did they think?! “

“ISOLDE has touched me personally and moved me deeply. Questions arose that kept me busy for a few days. Thank you for that.”



When Isolde appears in front of the Munich Kunsthalle, this is a situation in itself. But it can also be seen as a development from the previous pieces “Viola” and “Katharina”:

“Is that now inside or outside? Is it still yesterday today,” Viola asked on Pasing station square, an apparently sad and disoriented woman. She seemed to be in shock, to have lost touch with time and space. “Viola” premiered in 2015 as part of the “Pasing by” art festival in Munich-Pasing. “its simple yet bold conception was remarkably effective, blurring boundaries between audience and performer to provocative effect,” wrote The Scotsman about the guest performance in Glasgow in 2017.

Some excerpts from “Viola”:


At Münchner Freiheit, Katharina sat in the street for the first time, in the midst of loudly roaring drunken tourists, laughing school classes and trams and buses permanently circling around her. Above this permanently high stress level of the Leopoldstraße she fought against being forgotten and developed extreme, nasty energies. The Süddeutsche Zeitung described the premiere in 2016 as a “grandiosely disturbing performance”.

Some excerpts from “Katharina”: