Intolleranza II and the
Opera Village

The 12-member VIA INTOLLERANZA II ensemble is made up of actors, dancers and singers from Germany and Burkina Faso, where the first rehearsals took place in 2009 alongside Schlingensief’s efforts to realise his idea of an intercultural Opera Village in Africa with the help of the Goethe Institute, the German Foreign Office and the government of Burkina Faso.

After laying the foundation stone in February 2010 and opening the village’s own school for 50 children, the OPERA VILLAGE programme has now entered its second construction phase which includes, among other things, a hospital ward.

VIA INTOLLERANZA II as a whole emerged in context to the OPERA VILLAGE AFRICA and can be seen as the first and decisive expression of a fundamental idea:

With VIA INTOLLERANZA II, Schlingensief developed a paradox One World scenario using images, music and texts and, at the same time, presented a universal admission of failure: We do not encounter one another here in a self-portrayal of our own perfection. Rather, we encounter one another on the basis of our universal failure and mutual misunderstanding. An encounter that is more than a symbolic act and nothing less than the basis for subsequent and long-term artistic cooperation on both continents.

The first guest performance of VIA INTOLLERANZA II outside of Europe should, logically, take place in Africa, in Burkina Faso. The preparations and ultimately the performance itself are a project that is unique in its form to date, because it strays from well-trodden paths in terms of the people involved as well as aesthetically and technically, treading new territory just as the AFRICAN OPERA VILLAGE does at its own location.

Here, like there, the fact that those involved encounter one another on an equal footing is decisive for the success of the AFRICAN OPERA VILLAGE – and for VIA INTOLLERANZA II at Les Récréâtrales 2012. Despite the original independence of the projects from one another, they both pursue the same goal: to build a cultural bridge and create a reservoir for the future that no longer differentiates between the cultures, but brings them together in tangible cooperation.

Photo: © Florian Schuh

Photo: © Lena Trunk

Photo: © Frieder Schlaich

Photo: © Motandi Ouba