by Paul Hindemith, Johanna Doderer, Johann Sebastian Bach, Born in Flamez, Stefan Schneider and Nadine Neven Raihani
Opera performance by Florentina Holzinger with Paul Hindemith’s opera Sancta Susanna (Libretto: August Schramm), sacred works and new compositions
in German, Latin and English
"A scandal? No, joy. Exuberant joy," was the verdict of the Süddeutsche Zeitung after the Schwerin premiere of SANCTA. Florentina Holzinger's opera performance combines Paul Hindemith's one act opera Sancta Susanna with elements of the Catholic liturgy to create a new and radical vision of the Holy Mass ritual. Together with her performers, Holzinger embarks on spectacular physical borderline experiences and explores individual spirituality and faith, sexuality and pain, shame and liberation. Magic and religious miracles are reinterpreted in an ecstatic celebration of community and self-determination, in which J.S. Bach meets metal, the Weather Girls meet Rachmaninov - and naked nuns meet roller skates.
From 18 years

The performance shows explicit sexual acts, self-harm as well as depictions and descriptions of (sexual) violence. The performance uses strobe effects and volume as well as blood and needles.
approx. 1 h 30 min (no interval)
World premiere
May 30, 2024 in Schwerin
1. What is "Sancta Susanna" all about?
Paul Hindemith's short opera was supposed to be premiered at the Stuttgart Opera House in 1921 - but shortly before the premiere, the company backed out due to the scandal that was brewing. A good one hundred years later, Sancta Susanna is now being staged in Stuttgart for the first time ever. Hindemith's opera shows female desire in an environment hostile to lust and the human body: the young nun Susanna discovers her sexuality and pulls down Christ's loincloth on the crucifix - a scandalous work!
2. Why is the Staatsoper Stuttgart staging this production at all?
Florentina Holzinger takes Hindemith's opera as the starting point for her opera performance and supplements the work with parts of the Catholic mass, spoken texts and performative elements. In this way, she sheds light on our very personal and societal approach to the body, sexuality and faith.

Artistic Director Viktor Schoner: "Exploring boundaries and crossing them with relish has always been a central task of art. I am looking forward to working with Florentina Holzinger, her team and above all with you, Stuttgart's legendarily experimental audience, to leave our own comfort zone and ideally expand it. After Bach's St. John Passion and Messiaen's Saint François d'Assise, we want to embark on another search for spirituality with this evening - in a spectacular and certainly surprising way!"
3. Nudity on stage - is that really necessary?
Of course, theater and opera merely imitate reality: when people love, suffer and die on the opera stage, it's all just an act. The situation has been different in performance art for decades: Here the performer does not embody a character, here the body itself is the medium - and in Florentina Holzinger's works in particular, natural nudity is a central means of expression.
4. Why should I watch this evening?
There has certainly never been an evening like this at the Stuttgart Opera House - radical and sensual, poetic and wild. We highly recommend this evening to all audiences who are boldly looking for new theater experiences! The first performances in Schwerin and Vienna have shown the euphoric and utopian potential of this production. We are now delighted to be able to present this highly virtuoso show in Stuttgart.
5. Why the age rating? Why the trigger warning?
Some people may find certain aspects of the evening unsettling, others may find it retraumatizing. The evening focuses on spirituality, sexuality - but also criticism of religion and a critical look at religious and social violence.
Oct 2024 Staatsoper Stuttgart Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

Stuttgart Premiere, Stuzubis 10 € already on presale!
8 / 20,50 / 33 / 49 / 66 / 82 / 99 / 119 / - € Staatsoper Stuttgart Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

Stuzubis 10 € already on presale!
8 / 18,50 / 29 / 43 / 58 / 72 / 90 / 108 / 126 € Staatsoper Stuttgart Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

8 / 18,50 / 29 / 43 / 58 / 72 / 90 / 108 / 126 € Staatsoper Stuttgart Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

8 / 18,50 / 29 / 43 / 58 / 72 / 90 / 108 / - €
Nov 2024 Staatsoper Stuttgart Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

8 / 18,50 / 29 / 43 / 58 / 72 / 90 / 108 / 126 € Staatsoper Stuttgart Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

8 / 18,50 / 29 / 43 / 58 / 72 / 90 / 108 / - €
Musikalische Leitung Marit Strindlund
Regie und Choreografie Florentina Holzinger
Komposition und Arrangements Johanna Doderer
Komposition und Supervision Bühnenmusik Born in Flamez
Komposition und Sound Design Stefan Schneider
Komponistin und Produzentin Nadine Neven Raihani
Weitere Kompositionen otay:onii, Odette T. Waller, Karl-Johann Ankarblom, Gibrana Cervantes, Christopher Kandelin, Josephinex Ashley Hansis
Bühne und Kostüme Nikola Knežević
Lichtdesign Anne Meussen
Videodesign Maja Čule
Dramaturgie Michele Rizzo, Judith Lebiez, Philipp Amelungsen, Fernando Belfiore, Miron Hakenbeck, Sara Ostertag, Renée Copraij, Felix Ritter
Chor Manuel Pujol
Performance von und mit Florentina Holzinger, Netti Nüganen, Malin Nilsson, Gibrana Cervantes, Annina Machaz, Fibi Eyewalker, Blathin Eckhardt, Paige A. Flash, Renée Copraij, Xana Novais, Born in Flamez, Saioa Alvarez Ruiz, Luci Fire Tusk, Evilyn Frantic, Laura London, Veronica Thompson, Fleshpiece, Sophie Duncan, Sara Lancerio, Jasko Fide
Susanna Caroline Melzer
Klementia Andrea Baker
Alte Nonne Emma Rothmann
Bühnenmusik Blathin Eckhardt, Gibrana Cervantes, otay:onii, Paige A. Flash
Staatsorchester Stuttgart, Sängerinnen des Staatsopernchores Stuttgart Staatsoper Stuttgart Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

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Photo Gallery

A production by Florentina Holzinger/Spirit, neon lobster, Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater and Staatsoper Stuttgart in co-production with Wiener Festwochen | Freie Republik Wien, Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz Berlin in cooperation with Komische Oper Berlin, Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, Julidans and Theater Rotterdam
Funded by Kulturstiftung des Bundes, Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien, Kulturabteilung der Stadt Wien and Ammodo
With support from Bundesministerium für Kunst, Kultur, öffentlichen Dienst und Sport, Anna und Manfred Wakolbinger
Support during the research phase: Goethe-Institut