Opera without Victims

© Nik Schölzel

Critical Classics – Opera without Victims

This Website is about non-discriminatory editions of Operas, Operettas and Oratorios. The initiative „Critical Classics“ publishes editions of such works with libretti aproximated to modern standards by experts in diversity and opera. For more information, please go to our ABOUT page. 

Critical Classics Edition of „Die Zauberflöte“ is now released

Critical Classics has published its non-discriminatory edition of „Die Zauberflöte“ at the INTERNATIONAL MUSIC SCORE LIBRARY PROJECT (IMSLP). You can download also the libretto, the piano vocal score and an Introduction from this and from befriended websites. If you are interested, please go to our DOWNLOAD page. Alternatively, you may download the material from the websites of LANDESMUSIKRAT NRW. NEUKÖLLNER OPER or OPERA EUROPA (Members Section).

Critical Classics lädt zu „Ismen“-Workshop ein

Bei diesem ganz auf die Theaterpraxis bezogenen Online-Workshop und Infotreffen stehen die Fragen im Zentrum, ob und gegebenenfalls wie wir als Theaterleute in der Lage sind, problematische Inhalte in Opernlibretti zu erkennen und welche Möglichkeiten es geben kann, mit solchen Inhalten umzugehen. Zunächst werden einige der wichtigsten, in Opern vorkommenden “Ismen” wie Rassismus, Sexismus, Ageismus sowie angrenzende Themen wie z.B. die Darstellung von Femiziden besprochen. Dann erzählen Expert:innen der Bereiche Diversity und Sensitivity Reading über ihre Arbeit. Als praktisches Beispiel, wie mit den vielfältigen Formen von “Ismen” umgegangen werden kann, führen wir anschließend in die jüngst veröffentlichte “Zauberflöten”-Edition von Critical Classics ein. Zum Abschluss wird es viel Raum für eine offene Diskussion über die Frage eines zeitgemäßen Umgangs mit problematischen Inhalten geben. Wer ein “Best Practice”-Beispiel vorstellen möchte, das über eine konkrete Produktion und Interpretation hinaus relevant sein kann, ist eingeladen, uns darüber vorab zu informieren, so dass wir gegebenenfalls angemessene Zeit dafür vorsehen können.

Der Online Workshop findet statt am Di., den 11. Juni 2024 von 15.00 bis 17.00 Uhr 

Die Workshopsprache ist Deutsch, die Teilnahme kostenlos. Bei Interesse sendet uns gerne eine Nachricht über das Kontaktformular auf dieser Webseite.

Critical Classics invites you to an „Isms“ workshop

This online workshop, which is entirely related to theatre practice, focuses on the questions of whether and, if so, how we as theatre professionals are able to recognise problematic content in opera libretti and what possibilities there may be for dealing with such content. Firstly, some of the most important „isms“ found in operas such as racism, sexism, ageism and related topics such as the depiction of femicide will be discussed. Experts from the fields of diversity and sensitivity reading will then talk about their work. As a practical example of how to deal with the various forms of „isms“, we will then introduce the recently published „Zauberflöten“ edition by Critical Classics. Finally, there will be plenty of room for an open discussion on the question of a contemporary approach to problematic content. Anyone who would like to present a „best practice“ example that may be relevant beyond a specific production and interpretation is invited to let us know in advance so that we can allow appropriate time for this if necessary.

The online workshop will take place on Tuesday, 11 June 2024 from 15:00 to 17:00

The workshop language is German, participation is free of charge. If you are interested, please send us a message using the contact form on this website.

The Landesmusikrat NRW and Critical Classics have agreed an official partnership.

The Landesmusikrat NRW supports the aims of the initiative, in particular the creation of editions which include the original texts in their entirety and provide all possibilities of faithfulness to the intentions of the authors, but which also propose alternative versions and explain the contexts.

The results of the initiative’s work will be presented by the Landesmusikrat NRW as an umbrella organisation with the relevant member associations and, if necessary will be further developped. Our focus is primarily on oratorios that are frequently performed by music lovers in North Rhine-Westphalia. Here, the stimulation of discourse can lead to a valuable sensitisation of performers and music lovers in the amateur music scene.

Prof. Dr. Christine Siegert, Präsidentin des Landesmusikrats NRW

Prof. Dr. Robert v. Zahn, Generalsekretär des Landesmusikrats NRW

„From now on, not only the original text of the Mozart opera must be read critically, but also that of the Edition by Critical Classics – but it’s worth it!“ Deutschlandfunk, 12 Feb. 2024

National radio Deutschlandfunk Kultur und Deutschlandradio as well as WDR 3 have broadcast programmes on CC. In „Tonart“ (8′) you hear Leyla Ercan, in „Streitkultur“ (25′) in DLR, you can hear an 8 min review on the Critical Classics Edition of „Die Zauberflöte“ in „Musikjournal“. Please klick on the Buttons below.