The Ruhrtriennale 2018 performance Universe, Incomplete in the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum focused on the torso of Charles Ives’ Universe Symphony. The director Christoph Marthaler, the conductor Titus Engel and the stage designer Anna Viebrock developed their very own perspective on the American composer’s unfinished project.
The composer Charles Ives had not succeeded in completing his work Universe.
In the event that I do not succeed in completing this work, perhaps someone else can be found to attempt to work out my thoughts. It could be that the sketches I made make make much more sense when viewed from the perspective of someone who is not myself, Ives had noted. Inspired by this seductive formulation, the director Christoph Marthaler, the conductor Titus Engel and the stage designer Anna Viebrock developed their very own perspective on an unfinished project of the American composer. Based on the actually composed parts of the work, they designed a scenic-musical space for the Ruhrtriennale 2018 in Bochum’s Jahrhunderthalle, in which instrumental soloists and the Bochum Symphony Orchestra and an ensemble consisting of actors, dancers and singers looked back on today’s life on a scenic and a tonal level from a distant future and fantasized a future from the present. Other compositions by Charles Ives, independent of the Universe Symphony, took up the voids of the unfinished universe.