Navigation

"Black Earth" depicts Stalin regime at Basel theatre

Bjoern Waag treads the boards in Huber's "Schwarzerde" Keystone Archive

An opera by a Bernese composer, Klaus Huber, retraces the life of a dissident poet deported to Siberia by Stalin.

This content was published on November 10, 2001 - 10:52

Currently performed at the Basel theatre, "Schwarzerde", or Black Earth, depicts the woes of Ossip Mandelstam (1891-1938), whose life ended in absolute darkness - in black earth - after being mistreated and killed by Stalin's thugs.

Black Earth, which is directed by Germany's Claus Guth, comes to life in three languages - German, Russian and Armenian.

Each language represents different spheres of experience, namely daily life, utopia and mythology, which are woven into a complex network.

Guth resorts to images, which spectators may find familiar. The scenario becomes a symbol of the confused soul.

During a raid, a thug overturns a desk, which symbolises the resistance against uniformity.

Elisabeth Hornung's and Bjorn Waag's voices are particularly noteworthy, as they exploit Huber's lyricism.

swissinfo

This article was automatically imported from our old content management system. If you see any display errors, please let us know: community-feedback@swissinfo.ch

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI swissinfo.ch certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at english@swissinfo.ch.

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?