Gilgamesh

Musical Walk

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

UPCOMING DATES

  • 2019-04-04 00:00:00 2019-04-04 00:00:00 - Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen - Denmark

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CREDITS

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