Hotel Pro Forma is creating a musical walk through tableaux in the 14 rooms around the Central Hall at The Glyptotek. The monumental architecture of the museum and its many rooms with prehistoric sculptures provide a setting for the many aspects of the narration of the struggles between the gods and humanity, of greatness and fall, nature and culture, life and death. All of this is related in a overall poetic form.
The Gilgamesh epic is the account of King Gilgamesh from the city of Uruk in Mesopotamia (the area between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers in present-day Iraq). The texts, inscribed on 11 clay tablets around BC 2500, have been discovered in the course of many centuries, right up to the present day. Like some literary fireball, they have burnt a path through world history. When a story survives that long, it is because it contains something that speaks to humanity irrespective of time and place.
Gilgamesh is a tragic tyrant, two-thirds god and one-third human. Gilgamesh tells of the tyrant’s power, of adventure and daring, of friendship and love, of death, grief and the search for eternal life. Throughout the ages, the epic has functioned as a mirror in which changing cultures have seen themselves reflected. The texts consist of a series of cohesive narratives, all of which have portents and presentiments as a common feature. The text tells two parallel stories. One is the story of Gilgamesh’s heroic victories far and wide, of his overweening ambition and the attempt by the gods to tame the tyrannic absolute ruler via encounters with a man of nature, Enkidu. This story tells of the love-friendship relationship between the two men, and what it means when Enkidu dies. The other story tells of the basic human condition: death and the fear of death, which takes Gilgamesh on a journey to the underworld in a futile search for his own immortality.
The poet Morten Søndergaard has written a Danish version of the epic in collaboration with assyriologist Sophus Helle. This new translation of the epic is being published by Gyldendal, to coincide with the premiere of the performance.
Duration 105 mins
2019-04-04 00:00:00 2019-04-04 00:00:00 - Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen - Denmark
Music created and performed by Figura Ensemble and Frode Andersen (clarinet, kontrabas, percussion, accordeon and more)
Actor Niels Anders Thorn
Singer (bas) Patrick Egersborg
Stage Direction, stage design Kirsten Dehlholm, Jon R. Skulberg
Text Morten Søndergaard
Translation from origimal cuneiform Sophus Helle
Exhibition Design Maja Ziska
Light Design Jakob Oredsson
Dramaturg Sara Emilie Anker-Møller
Production Hotel Pro Forma