“Uprising of the masses” – Retrospective at the Academy of the Arts & radical Mozart staging at the Geneva Grand Théâtre

School of Resistance @Akademie der Künste Berlin
Livestreams from 24 to 28 Feb 2021


In search of strategies of resistance, Milo Rau, the IIPM and the NTGent founded a globally networked “School of Resistance” as a livestream debate series in May 2020. As a symbolic institution of the future, it has now come to the Akademie der Künste, Berlin and, drawing on previous projects, examines aesthetic practices of resistance. Activists and artists discuss art as a transformative, reality-creating practice.


Six cinematic works by Milo Rau form the starting point for this investigation: The Last Days of the Ceausescus (2009/10), The Moscow Trials (2014), The General Assembly (2017), The Congo Tribunal (2017), Orestes in Mosul (2020) and The New Gospel (2020).


“There is no beauty without the dialectic of dispute,” Milo Rau said today in a major interview at the launch of the Berlin edition of the School of Resistance. What does engaged art achieve? How sustainable, how democratic, how revolutionary is it? Are the projects of the IIPM too extreme or not radical enough? What do they achieve locally and what globally? Do art and activism even go together? Participants debate with non-participants – what you always wanted to ask the actors and activists of IIPM from Iraq, southern Italy, Congo, Russia, Romania, Germany and many other countries. Join the discussion!


The link to the livestreams is available here.


“The uprising of the masses has finally reached the opera” – Rau stages Mozart


A shake-up went through the press last Friday when Milo Rau staged his first opera at Geneva’s Grand Théâtre, Mozart’s last work “La Clemenza di Tito.” “Milo Rau’s first opera staging at the Grand Théâtre de Genève rips your heart out”, summed up The Stage and awarded 5 stars. “Opera as it cannot be better sung and played…. The uprising of the masses has finally reached opera in Geneva,” wrote the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The NZZ: “The scandal director stages Mozart’s last opera “La clemenza di Tito” at the Grand Théâtre de Genève intellectually stimulating and political.” The Tribune de Genève even experienced a “deeply renewing and moving approach” and Toutelaculture, like many critics, saw “an ensemble enthralled by the radicality of the staging.”


However, there was also extreme rejection of this first, radical incursion by Milo Rau and his team into the lyric genre – as always with Rau’s productions. As enthusiastic as the FAZ, for example, was about the “magnificent, fervently glowing Anna Goryatsova as Sextus or the almost visionary preaching Bernard Richter as Titus,” it condemned the staging approach, which (for many other reviewers as well) was “too extreme” and made Mozart’s music “irrelevant.” “No clemency for thist last Mozart opera”, Le Monde summed up and ForumOpera even experienced “shock treatment” of “black and paradoxical beauty”.


See for yourself – a recording of the livestream of the opera can be found here.