Concept, text & direction: Josse de Pauw Concept & music: Jan Kuijken
Play: Han Kerkhoffs & Hielde Van Mieghem
Singers: solistes VocaalLAB Nederland
Janneke Daalderop (soprano), Ekaterina Levental (mezzo soprano), Steven van Gils (tenor), Lidewei Loot (voice child solo) Musical direction: Etienne Siebens Music: Jan Kuijken & Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie Light design : Enrico Bagnoli
Costumes: Greta Goiris
Video: Oliver Houttekiet, Chris Vanneste & Josse De Pauw
Research: Geerdt Magiels
Production : LOD Coproduction: KVS, Théâtre National Bruxelles, Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg, Le Maillon Strasbourg, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, VocaalLAB Nederland, KunstFestSpiel Herrenhausen (Hannover)
The hanged are the people who asked questions out loud, who proclaimed their findings aloud, who did not simply want to submit to what was already known or what was written. They demanded the freedom to doubt and to inquire. They often had to pay for their curiosity with their lives. The musicians of the Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie perform the music of Jan Kuijken. A musical story in which actors, singers and Jan himself, with his cello and recorded material, all find a place. Three singers and two actors dangle, hanged above the string ensemble.
Josse De Pauw wrote their lines. For the singers they were translated into Latin, so thet their narrative is sometimes reminiscent of a mass, perhaps a requiem, but it equally reminds us that Latin was the first universal language of science.
The actors perform in Dutch; they are a man and a woman, two researchers who spoke too soon and too loud. The production is meant as an ode to free thinking and the frank expression of these thoughts.
Josse De Pauw and Jan Kuijken create a first class production (...) I saw someone crying out of compassion. I saw people walk out. I saw people give it a standing ovation. It's not a common sight at a premiere. Then you know something extraordinary has taken place. (...) Josse De Pauw has presented his deepest convictions: a profession of faith in the power of opinion, of thought and of expression. (...) Beside the power of the words, let us not forget to mention the singing and the music, which attain an exceptionally high 'goosebump' level. This is a very major production, not so much because there are a lot of people on the stage, but because it is so rare to experience as much expressiveness in content and form all the same time. De Morgen 02.05.2011
The beauty of this performance derives its extra lustre from the musical contribution made by the Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, conducted by Etienne Siebens. It is rare for the acting, singing and music to be so well balanced. This production is food for thought. But if you listen carefully you will experience the same pleasure as you would during an outstanding performance of a passion play or a requiem. Jan Kuijken is responsible for this. But the spiritual father of the concept remains Josse De Pauw. He works on the basic notion so intensely and with such delight that, on the basis of a doubt, he finds a truth which doesn’t kill the rightness of the Roman Catholic culture but wounds it. He is simultaneously a poet and a historian. Knack 02.05.2011
The Hanged is a memento mori for all those who have perished for their contrary opinions. Josse De Pauw’s interpretation is impressive. De Standaard 02.05.2011
Josse De Pauw delivers a magnificent show. (…) Humour is one of the tools used to communicate this impassioned plea for freedom. (…)Those hanged bodies, surrounded by a strange light, puncture the black skies. The magic of the image and the sound makes us hold our breath: poetry and cruelty superimposed, entertainment and philosophy intertwined. (…) Nothing austere in all of that, as the philosophy, written in the beautiful prose of Josse De Pauw (also director) flies high above, feet firmly planted in earthly humour. (…)The Hanged is a new act of faith in tolerance, unified communities and the defence of the freedom of thought that is all the more significant in today’s times.
Le Soir 03.05.2011
The Hanged from Josse De Pauw, a beautiful mini-opera on the danger of thinking. (…) From the start, the image is powerful and haunting. (…) The script, by Josse De Pauw, is full of warmth and speaks of nature and sensuality as much as the need to think and search. (…) A model of rhetoric and sensuality, the vocals stick to the text, sung by three singers (themselves hanging as well) with a forceful tone, Janneke Daalderop, soprano, Ekaterina Levental, mezzo, and Steven van Gils, tenor, and the offstage ‘child’s’ voice, Lidewei Loot, a casting revelation. La Libre Belgique 03.05.2011
The Hanged is an ode to oppressed minds of all ages. (…) In addition, there is the heavenly voice of the unseen Lidewei Loot on tape. She sings a Latin verse that cuts through you like a knife. The content of the verse almost perversely violates the innocence of this delicate beauty. Hilde Van Mieghem and Tom Jansen perform De Pauw’s lines forcefully and without emotional grandeur. Jansen and Van Mieghem perform with a wit that puts things into perspective and the piece needs this. (…) This is a piece that you also have to read. A flimsy gauze is hung between the audience and the stage, onto which translations of the sung Latin texts and the spoken dialogues are projected. The words and sentences projected in a plain but handsome typeface lash, cushion, comfort and manipulate the audience and the hanged. There is often a brief silence, in which you have the time to read and give new meaning to what has been said, sung or projected. Cobra 02.05.2011
The splendid voices of Janneke Daalderop (soprano), Ekaterina Levental (mezzo soprano), Steven van Gils (tenor) and the tender voice of Lidewei Loot, so poignant; the outstanding musical score of Jan Kuijken, played so delicately by the Orchestre de Chambre de Wallonie, a string ensemble conducted by Etienne Siebens; the contrast of soloist Jan Kuijken himself, and his vehement cello over a disquieting soundtrack; the solid performance of actors Hilde Van Mieghem and Tom Jansen; the ingenuity of Enrico Bagnoli's lighting effects... everything, absolutely everything, contributes equally to making this show one of the most brilliant from the creative Juijken-de Pauw duo, with de Pauw as stage director. Excellent. Rue du Théatre 06.05.2011