For his piece of music theatre based on the stage play La Ronde, Bernhard Lang has composed loops that oscillate between the "despairing comedy, erotic obsession and the compulsive behaviour of depression".
Arthur Schnitzler's play, surrounded by scandal, is a kind of round dance that presents ten couples who meet for a brief sexual adventure – a subject that positions itself "with frivolity and its eternal opposition to so-called morality", as Schnitzler's lover Adele Sandrock put it.
The "recurring structure of seduction, sex and postlude" predestined the text for Lang's compositional principle, in which loops become "analytical instruments of mechanised and compulsive human behaviours" – as the Austrian composer himself has written about the work. Lang conveys the heterogeneity of characters, demi-mondes and trash with elements of different musical styles and with a combination of classical orchestra, drum set and synthesiser. Two roles have been composed for counter-tenor, making possible additional gender identities compared to what was available at the time the play was written.
Director Alexandra Liedtke works both in spoken theatre and in opera. She has directed at the Salzburg Festival, Salzburger Landestheater, Theater in der Josefstadt and Vienna State Opera. Following the success of the world premiere of Staatsoperette – Die Austrotragödie, Bregenz Festival is continuing its collaboration with Neue Oper Wien with this production of La Ronde.