Munich Biennale Announces 2024 Lineup

By Chris Ruel

The Munich Biennale has announced the lineup for its 2024 edition. The Bienniale runs from May 31-Jun. 10, and will feature eleven premiers, as well as co-productions with Theater Basel, Staatstheater Braunschweig, Staatstheater Kassel, and Deutsche Oper Berlin.

The Biennale kicks off with “Searching for Zenobia,” in which a narrative of two prominent Syrian women converges: modern archaeologist Zeina, and the historic Queen Zenobia. The score is composed by Lucia Ronchetti in collaboration with Mais Harb and Elias Aboud, who, alongside librettist Al Attar, are lauded as premier Syrian artists in contemporary Germany. Isabel Ostermann directs. This is a co-production with Staatstheater Braunschweig.

Performance Dates: May 31-Jun. 2, 2024

Kai Kobayashi‘s new, untitled work explores the process of internal change. In a first-time collaboration, Kobayashi joins forces with choreographer and performer Simone Aughterlony, exploring the path of personal growth and the nature of transformation. Aughterlony leads the direction and choreography of this piece, co-produced with the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Performance Dates: Jun. 1-3, 2024

Next up is “Nimmersatt: An Immersive Music Theatre Experience,” a composition by Eve Georges and Jiro Yoshioka, is brought to life by students from the University of Music and Theatre Munich. This immersive performance blends virtual reality with live action, inviting the audience on a thought-provoking journey through the politics of the food cycle. “Nimmersatt” is a project developed by the University of Music and Theatre Munich.

Performance Dates: Jun. 3-6, 2024

“Collective Joy” (under construction) by Andreas Eduardo Frank and Patrick Frank will be presented. Together with director Georg Schütky, they probe the dynamics of happiness in Munich and Basel’s urban landscapes. In collaboration with the Lemniscate Ensemble and local talents, the work delves into collective joy versus individual despair. Georg Schütky directs. This is a co-production with Theater Basel.

Performance Dates: Jun. 4-7, 2024

“Defekt,” a new work by Mithatcan Öcal is set in a post-Earth world. A spaceship’s crew grapples with a capricious ship and computer. This space opera, co-created with artist cylixe, dives into human hubris amidst extinction and technology. Directed by Roscha A. Säidow. This is a co-production with Staatstheater Kassel.

Performance Dates: Jun. 8-10, 2024

Die neuen Linien #1: Novoflot, an independent theater, presents “The Gates are (nearly) open,” with music by Du Yun, marking the launch of Munich’s first MBE-station, a step towards flexible urban transportation. Berlin’s Novoflot orchestrates the multi-day inaugural ceremonies. The production is a joint venture of the Münchener Biennale, Novoflot, and Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz Berlin, directed by Sven Holm.

Performance Dates: Jun. 5-9, 2024

“Turn Turtle Turn,” presented by the Biennale and crafted by Oblivia with composer Yiran Zhao, is a performance that explores memory and knowledge through time. Set in the HP8-Bibliothek, it symbolizes a crossroads of historical and present-day narratives. The Ensemble ö! from Basel, Switzerland, provides the musical foundation. This collaborative effort involves the Münchener Biennale, Oblivia, Ensemble ö!, and the Munich Public Library, with Oblivia at the helm of concept and creative direction.

Performance Dates: Jun. 5-9, 2024

Lastly, Die neuen Linien #3 In Passage by Ted Hearne and Tamara Miller presents a community-driven music theatre project by Het Geluid, featuring a sound robot navigating Munich’s cityscape. It combines live music with audience interaction, reflecting on collective creativity and societal progress. This collaboration involves the Münchener Biennale, Het Geluid, and the Bartlett School of Architecture London.Ensemble Garage and Camerata Vocale München (Clayton Bowman) perform.

Performance Dates: Jun. 5-9, 2024