Don’t expect protestant piety or a churchlike atmosphere when the iconoclasts of La Fura dels Baus take on a Bach cantata. For their production Free Bach 212, one of the highlights of our Bach Heritage festival, the world famous theatre collective add flamenco, electronics, and giant cows.
To be fair, the piece in question, Mer hahn en neue Oberkeet, BWV 212 is a bit different from Bach’s other cantatas. Nicknamed the Bauerncantate or Peasent Cantata, the usual biblical characters are replaced by a peasant and a girl named ‘Mieke’ who chat about… taxes.
The cantata will be performed by baroque ensemble Divina Mysteria, but the main draw is undoubtedly La Fura dels Baus, who make their BOZAR debut with this striking production. The innovative Catalan theatre collective are world famous for their intelligent and often provocative opera stagings. Miki Espuma is one of the directors:
“Bach is quite simply the greatest composer that ever lived. For me Bach is also the ultimate source of Western musical history, and that is what makes him still relevant today. I hear elements of his music in our contemporary music culture, even in heavy metal or hard rock.”
La Fura dels Baus provide an idiosyncratic interpretation of this socially-critical cantata with the addition of electronic music, flamenco, grandiose images and contemporary poetry. In this, the production captures the essence of the Bach Heritage Festival, which aims every year to explore the legacy of this musical giant through different prisms and from different angels, from conservation to reinterpretation, from every corner of the world.
So delve into our most varied edition thus far, with performances a Bach Mass, his iconic Goldberg Variations on the harpsichord, and an Argentinian tango version of Die Kunst der Fuge. Other concerts will provide meetings between Bach and jazz improvisation or Bach and minimalist music. Because literally everyone needs more Bach in their lives.