ODYSSEY. A Journey Through worlds

The Linz Klangwolke 23 celebrated a colourful light and sound production in the middle of the Danube that is unparalleled: a celebration of life, a journey to the source of inspiration and renewal - with all the means of art. The absolutely unique and fascinating adventure journey of a girl immersed in the river of life awaited the crowd, which turned out in such large numbers and turned this year's Linz Klangwolke 23 into a very special goosebump event with cheers and applause in between. The girl, magnificently portrayed by Ilia Maria Deinhammer, Emilia Gringinger, Christina Shamiyeh and Selma Spitzer, got to know new cultures, crossed distant countries, discovered new musical styles and fascinating dance performances on her way through the continents of the earth, on her river migration through fantastic worlds. The young heroine boldly let the winds of change propel her into the unknown in search of answers as she brought her homeland back to life after apocalyptic destruction.

We would like to thank over 100,000 visitors to Donaupark Linz!

"Storyteller" and idea giver Francesca Zambello (Direction) and her international Klangwolken team moved, touched and captivated the enthusiastic crowd with a colourful and unique production using spectacular video, light and sound design, aerial performance, acrobatics, tap dance paired with the splendour of the sounds of symphonic waltzes, multi-faceted dance choreographies, the passion of great opera melodies, the deep spirituality of a gospel choir and the rousing drive of percussion rhythms, combined with spectacular and unique video design. Before the eyes of an audience moved to tears as well as amazed, Linz's Klangwolke 23 merged into a total work of art on floating stage venues, a feast for all senses, for all ages and for all people of this earth: get on board and take a ride with ODYSSEY. A Journey Through Worlds.

Francesca Zambello's powerful and creative soundcloud leading team, bursting with extraordinary ideas, also includes the internationally successful composer Laura Karpman, who made the crowds cheer with her composition and sound design, goosebump moments included. Through her music, which ranged from waltz, classical, gospel, jazz and electronic music to opera arias inspired by Giuseppe Verdi's "Aida", the boundaries of storytelling were shifted.


The internationally successful soloist Amber Monroe, who comes from Youngstown, Ohio, presented her talent as a singer at the Linz Klangwolke 23: on 9 September she shone both as a classical soprano and as a gospel singer, enchanting both visually and with her singing in a metre-long gown. In addition to Amber Monroe, The Adrian Dunn Singers, one of the best-known gospel formations from Chicago, were also in action at the Linz Klangwolke 23 on the Music Boat with their great gospel sound. They provided special musical, magical moments that went right under the skin with their arrangement of the gospel song "Wade in the water", which was written especially for the Linz Klangwolke. The musicians and singers of ODYSSEY. A Journey Through Worlds brought the individual regions visited by the heroine of the story on her journey through the worlds to life with the different musical styles that seem typical of the individual countries. There was also a local Linz participation: the singers of the children's and youth choir of the Landestheater Linz under the direction of Elena Pierini demonstrated their skills, coupled with a lot of commitment, but also their desire for music.


The well-known Broadway stage designer Charles Quiggin was responsible for the brilliant and certainly memorable stage design of the Linz Klangwolke 23. Since the fantastic story of the ODYSSEY began and ended on the water, it was quickly clear that the various stage locations should find their place on ships. Three different boats, which were perfectly staged by Quiggins, but each of which also functioned on its own, were precisely planned and developed.

In addition to the Tree Boat, there were two other stage boats: the Sail Boat and the Music Boat. On each of the boats, which functioned as central, floating stage locations, the heroine of the story, the young girl, moved and embarked on an inspiring journey on the river of life through different worlds. The Sail Boat was meant to be reminiscent of the sailing ships of antiquity, the illuminated triangles were the clear recognisable feature of this boat. The acrobatic show team THE FREAKS was also permanently stationed on this ship, providing the "wow moments" of the evening with their spectacular show. But also artist Lyla Goldman, who amazed the audience with her acrobatic "Aerial Silks" performance at dizzy heights and caused them to hold their breath, fascinated the crowd.

The third ship, which showed further exciting stations of the ODYSSEY, the common journey through exciting and fantastic worlds, was the Music Boat: Gospel singers, percussionists and the great soloist Amber Monroe were on this floating stage and accompanied the girl on her special journey with different musical styles.

Due to the inspiring and close collaboration between Light and Stage Design, lighting design had a special place in this Klangwolken production: Charles Quiggin (Stage Design), Manfred Nikitser (Light Design) and Marissa Munderloh (Assistance Light Design) used light as one of the main architectural features of each of the ship's stage sets this year. This year, there were LED surfaces integrated into the stage design, which were used as lighting design tools. In this way, the LEDs reflected the rhythm of the music in an abstracted form, allowing light to merge with architecture and sound.

The lighting design on the ship's side focused on the targeted use of spotlights to underline the individual stage architectures. Coupled with the graphic integration of video content, every single scene on this year's voyage - or rather on this year's ODYSSEY - became a visual highlight in its own right. The Danube and the adjacent surroundings also shone in fascinating light design.

With the video design for ODYSSEY, Katy S. Tucker enchanted the audience with her visuals and took them on a unique and fantastic adventure to the most fascinating places on earth, which Tucker brought to life with her video art. This enchanting journey through the most diverse worlds, which the young heroine travelled through, became magical moments for many Klangwolken fans, especially through Tucker's video art; through her video conception, the entire production shone like a colourful synthesis of the arts in the middle of the Danube.

Aleš Valášek's costumes naturally played a special role in the Linz Klangwolke 23, they were meant to reflect the uniqueness of the different regions visited. For an open-air spectacle of this size with thousands of spectators, it was a great challenge for him to make the costumes and thus the protagonists, dancers and singers visible from a great distance, which the costume designer more than succeeded in doing. Especially with the oversized and metre-long gown of singer Amber Monroe, Valášek succeeded in creating a real eye-catcher and one of those moments that will be especially remembered.

The percussionists Nico Gerstmayer, Airi Kitamura, Miguel Llorente and Akisato Takeo also helped the Linz sound cloud Odyssey to create a very special, spectacular sound.

A wide variety of dance and movement styles symbolised the different impressions of the various cultures across the enchanting worlds that the heroine of the story travelled through. The seven dancers from New York City showed the wide spectrum of their skills and appeared especially in two central acts with waltz and tap dance. The dancers Kiira Schmidt-Carper, Amanda Castro, Michael Francis McBride, Hannah Zin, Elliot O'Rourke Peterson, Samuel Lee Roberts and Thomas Sutter created a breathtaking choreography with Eric Sean Fogel (Coreography & Direction Assistance) in New York.

Part of Eric Sean Fogel's choreography is visualised by the sport climbers of the Naturfreunde Linz. They scaled the highest parts of the tree at dizzying heights on the Tree Boat for the Klangwolken team and the audience.

Dramaturg Kelley Rourke sees a great glimmer of hope in the story of Linz's Klangwolke 23, ODYSSEY. After all, the story is supposed to show how many peoples scattered all over the world can manage to live together in peace and harmony and to remember to protect their homeland, the planet that connects them all. A sound cloud full of fascination, love, fantastic adventure and also answers!


Watch the Stream here



presented by Sparkasse OÖ & LINZ AG 
SAT, 9 September 2023, 20:30 Uhr 
Donaupark Linz


Das Leading Team der Linzer Klangwolke 23

Francesca Zambello | Direction
Laura Karpman | Composition & Sound Design
Charles Quiggin | Stage Design
Manfred Nikitser & Marissa Munderloh (Assist.) | Light Design
Katy S. Tucker & Blake Manns (Associate) | Video Design
Aleš Valášek | Costume Design
Eric Sean Fogel | Choreography & Direction Assistance
O.C. Ono | Choreography THE FREAKS
Kelley Rourke | Dramaturgy
Elena Pierini | Conductor children's choir

Wolfgang Scheibner, Alexandra Rieger, Katrin Fink (Assist.) | Production Management LIVA
Lukas Eckerstorfer | Design & Graphics
Mario Proksch, Roman Widmann, Team LIVA/Brucknerhaus Linz | Production 

Amber Monroe | Singer
THE FREAKS| Acrobatic Show-Team
The Adrian Dunn Singers | Gospel Singers
Ilia Maria Deinhammer, Emilia Gringinger, Christina Shamiyeh, Selma Spitzer | Young Girl
Kinder und Jugendchor des Landestheaters Linz | Chorus
Lyla Goldman | Aerial Silks

Kiira Schmidt-Carper, Amanda Castro, Michael Francis McBride, Hannah Zin, Elliot O´Rourke Peterson, Samuel Lee Roberts, Thomas Sutter | Dancers

Nico Gerstmayer, Airi Kitamura, Miguel Llorente, Akisato Takeo I Percussionists

Mitglieder der Naturfreunde Linz 



The Linz Klangwolke 23 was also broadcast live from the Linz Donaupark on 9 September from 8:30 pm. Anyone who missed the production can catch up on the stream here.
A recording of the production will also be shown on ORF III on 17 September 2023 at 11:45 pm. The programme will then be available for 7 days on ORF TVthek.



Photos and videos of the Linz Klangwolke 23 are available on our social media channels (Facebook, Instagram) and Flickr.



Sparkasse Oberösterreich, LINZ AG, Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein,  Wiener Städtische Versicherung

Stadt Linz, Internationales Kultur- & Wirtschaftsforum Linz, OÖNachrichten, ORF OÖ, Kronen Zeitung, Kultur Oberösterreich, Bundesministerium für Kunst, Kultur, öffentlicher Dienst & Sport