The school of love

What is it about love? People of all cultures have been asking themselves this question since time immemorial, and they keep finding new answers. Of course, love is the number one theme in art, whether in painting or in cinema, whether in opera or in pop music. And of course it is also the subject of the young people at the Albert Einstein School in Hanover Laatzen.

That's why an opera about the legendary "school of love", as John Blow creates it in "Venus and Adonis", is an ideal choice to realise together with pupils. The baroque orchestra la festa musicale will bring the piece to Laatzen and, starting in November 2023, allow over 100 students to participate in the process of creating an opera performance in workshops. An international team of well-known artists from the Graz-based collective Ārt House will also be involved. They will present the opera (with the participation of the pupils as choristers, dancers, set designers and dramaturges, etc.) not only at the school itself, but also in several performances in the original baroque setting in the Orangery of Herrenhausen Palace as part of "Herrenhausen Baroque" in February 2024.

John Blow's "Venus and Adonis" from 1683, the first English opera ever, offers countless points of reference to the present. Social norms and hierarchies are dealt with critically, and the seemingly revolutionary answers to the question of gender and the social position of women are of a special quality. In fact, during the creation of the opera we find a whole group of women who, as artists, launched the piece and ascribed very special qualities to the women in the piece. Even though they set the plot in the mythical past of ancient Greece, in the "school of love" where Venus educates her cupids, she is recognisably present at every moment.