SuperZero, Baby!

Opernperformance on value and worth

Premiere 12.04.2023 at Kammeroper Vienna

Tickets availaible at MusikTheater an der Wien

When people bring their stories together on stage with and through music, musical theater is created. When the Austrian-Kurdish artist Scharmien Zandi gives these stories a new form, the result is an opera performance. Scharmien Zandi, who was awarded the Austrian Music Theater Prize in the category Best Off-Production in 2020 with the production Amour Fou, is known in the scene for her innovative and challenging projects. In the production SuperZero, Baby – an opera performance on value and worth, she works together with young people who put their personal experiences and musical backgrounds into new contexts, challenging society, but also opera. An open-ended process, the performance thrives on the composition of the group and the ideas on climate, resources and sustainability of each and every individual. Forget everything you thought you knew about opera and let yourself be surprised! German Version

Concept & Artist Director Scharmien Zandi
Musicaly Director Marc Bruckner
Stagedesign & Cotume Andrea Konrad
Choreografy Fabian Tobias Huster
Light Franz Tscheck

De Light Elisabeth Puly
Null Barbara Glawar
Schatten Yasmin Dober
Tyler Orfff Viktoria Angelmayer
Barbara, die Politikerin Natalie Kretz
Moti Minou Strobl
Vation Victoria Ebner
Missgunstl Maya Horvath
Isthmia Egal Sebastian Stummer
Oliv‘ Olivia Hassa
JT Johanna Marihart

Violin Johanna Schwald
Violin Ida Hörmann
Trompet Laurenz Ristl
Horn Sebastian Lercher
Drums/Percussion Jakob Erdler

Making Of

Since the beginning of the season, a small rehearsal room near Vienna’s Westbahnhof has been transformed into a creative centre week after week. In October, numerous young people from Vienna and the surrounding area responded to our casting call. Thirteen of them were chosen as performers, six as musicians. A colourful troupe: the participants range from absolute opera novices to opera fans. Every performer should have the chance to be involved in the performance. Because the roles and tasks in SuperZero, Baby are not as clearly defined as in a classical opera production. 

At the beginning of rehearsals, there was only a basic idea. Creative processes of play development are made tangible in a „safe space“ where everyone can let off steam and participate to the best of their ability. The plot, roles, type of performance, text and music developed over the months. This performance is designed as a co-creation of the team, in which the artistic path is just as important as the goal: four performances at the Kammeroper Wien. 

What is it all about? The starting point was the title of the evening and a rough sketch of the content: SuperZero, Baby is about „value and worth“, about how we treat our planet, about rubbish, waste and landfill. „We are looking at climate resources and sustainability,“ explains the project’s artistic director, Scharmien Zandi. „It’s supposed to be about what young people have to say about it. Of course, there were previous generations where climate protection was an issue, but certainly never as loudly as today. And today’s youth have managed to do that.“SuperZero, Baby gives this concern an artistic voice, but with a lot of humour and without swinging the moral club over the audience. 

Once a month there is a rehearsal weekend – here acting, dancing and singing training was on the agenda – and twice a month there is a so-called Jour Fixe, where the young people dealt with the development of the play. They discussed, improvised and wrote texts: What do we understand by sustainability and climate? How can we express our understanding of the topic artistically, vocally and musically? What roles should there be? What other topics are interesting? After all, it is not only these complex social challenges that shape our everyday lives! 

Parallel to the performers, a six-piece instrumental ensemble, a colourful mix of pupils from the Musikgymnasium Wien, is rehearsing under the direction of musical all-rounder Marc Bruckner. He and the small orchestra are in close contact with Scharmien Zandi. Like the text, the music has also been created over the course of the last few months by improvising together. „Everything is self-composed, but not notated – it is a performance, after all,“ Scharmien Zandi laughs and explains.