Volksbühne Berlin am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz

Der Jasager / Der Neinsager // Lehrstück

by Bertolt Brecht - Music: Kurt Weill (Der Jasager), Paul Hindemith (Lehrstück)

“Just as we had reached the concertante performance, that is, art for its own sake in its most naked form, Gebrauchmusik appeared, rising from the seas like a goddess,” wrote Bertolt Brecht. Kurt Weill added: “The first question for us is: Is what we do of any use for the general public? The second question is whether what we do is art, since this only has to do with the quality of our work.” It is in the context of such considerations that Brecht and Weill joined efforts to create the school opera ‘Der Jasager’.

Der Neinsager
Later -and following intense debates about ‘Der Jasager’- Brecht wrote ‘Der Neinsager’. In both works, a young man goes on a pilgrimage to pray for his mother’s health. He becomes sick and, according to an old custom, is to be thrown down from a mountain. Not long afterwards, in 1930, the close collaboration between Brecht and Hanns Eisler began, with Die Maßnahme’.

With: Anna Charim, Brigitte Cuvelier, Ruth Rosenfeld, Bernhard Schütz, Maximilian Speck und Axel Wandtke.

Director: Frank Castorf
Spatial Concept and costumes: Bert Neumann
Music: Reinhold Friedl
Camera: Andreas Deinert


Brecht’s „Lesson“ marked the arrival of materialist dialectics on the German stages, introducing a genuinely theatrical concept of historical materialism. In this teaching play the participants are collectively educated in political consciousness by “performing a play”. With his new production, Frank Castorf goes right back to the roots of dialectics, exploring the catastophe potential of modernity. There are four crashed pilots:
"Wir vergaßen über den Kämpfen / Unsre Namen und unser Gesicht / Über dem Aufbruch / Vergaßen wir unsres Aufbruchs Ziel" [while fighting / we forgot our names and our sense of self/ while setting off /we forgot our goal] and a chorus asking who benefits from progress? It’s an investigation into whether humans help their kind. In a mutual conflict of interests, two clowns violently dismember arms and legs of the suffering Mr. Smith in an attempt to alleviate his pain. Finally, the head falls.

With: Kathrin Angerer, Margarita Breitkreiz, Hans Schenker, Mex Schlüpfer, Axel Wandtke und Ruth Rosenfeld

Director: Frank Castorf
Spatial Concept: Bert Neumann
Assistance (stage design): Jochen Hochfeld
Costumes: Ulrike Köhler
Music/Arrangement: stefanpaul
Lighting: Torsten König
Dramaturgy: Sebastian Kaiser

Soprano: Dana Hoffmann, Gesina Krebber, Maren Claus
Alto: Maja Lange, Helga Bartz, Petra Wunderling
Tenor: Marian Kalus, Johann Binder, Fritz Huste
Bass: Frank Bauszus, Tobias Fischer, Jan Lentschke
Musical Direction and Piano: stefanpaul
Trombone: Martin Curth
Trumpet: Christian Ahrens
Cello: Gregor Fuhrmann
Violin: Natalia Ladstätter



Lehrstück Trailer from Volksbühne Berlin on Vimeo.


Der Jasager / Der Neinsager von Bertolt Brecht (Musik Der Jasager von Kurt Weill) Trailer from Volksbühne Berlin on Vimeo.