The 170 Years Sparkasse OÖ Jubilee Klangwolke, presented by the LINZ AG – which is also the 40th birthday of the Klangwolke itself – will be staged by David Pountney.The 71-year-old Oxford-born director and intendant has very close connections to Austria. As early as the 1990's he caused a sensation as a director on the lake stage at the Bregenz Festival, where his exhuberant imagination created large-scale scenic effects in the productions of Der Fliegende Holländer, Nabucco and Fidelio. This technique was never an end in itself, but rather an intensely expressive means of presentation, which brilliantly underlined and clarified his interpretative ideas.
This was not only pioneering work, but has left its mark on the aesthetics of the Bregenz Lake Stage to this day. His success as a director was probably decisive in his appointment as the intendant of the Bregenz Festival in 2003, a position he held until 2013.
In 1997 David Pountney directed for the first time at the Vienna State Opera, and he has also worked in Linz: at the opening of the new Music Theatre he directed Philip Glass' opera Spuren der Verirrten (Traces of the Lost Ones), for which he was awarded the „Golden Schickaneder“.
David Pountney, with his experience of open-air events and mass scenic effects, would seem predestined to direct the Visualized Klangwolke. Now his time has come. But he is bringing a whole team with him. Together with Robert Innes Hopkins he is responsible for the concept and design; also in the team are Florence Bas, Arthur Braun, David Haneke (the son of the Austrian film maker Michael Haneke), Amir Hosseinpour, Anne Marie Legenstein, James Pountney, Nick Powell and Malcom Rippeth.
Thematically the 170 Year Sparkasse OÖ Jubilee Klangwolke is dedicated to the sun. Under the title SOLAR it explores the relationship between humankind and this celestial body. The first act deals with sun worship in prehistoric times, where priests elevated themselves to become mediators between human beings and the sun.
The second act deals with the Copernican revolution which expelled the earth from the centre of the universe, giving way to the sun. The priesthood is now replaced by reason and science. In the third act pride of place is given to the progress of scientific reason, which recognises the sun as a sphere of gas – moreover one than will not exist for ever.
The fourth act, the apocalypse, paints the horror scenario of a premature death of the earth by heat, while indicating that technological civilisation might be able to save a portion of mankind, who would then live in harmony with the sun. This hope is expressed in the fifth act.
After the Visualised Klangwolke, there will be a homage to the beginnings of this special project on Sunday evening. Ars Electronica, the Bruckner Orchestra Linz under Markus Poschner and the Brucknerhaus Linz are cooperating and searching for traces. The starting point of the journey of sounds will once again be the orchestral concert in the Brucknerhaus, which will be transmitted outside to the sound system of the Klangwolke in order to create new acoustic, analogue and digital soundscapes.