Omer Meir Wellber at the Teatro Massimo di Palermo: ARTE Concert presents Ella Milch-Sheriff’s The Eternal Stranger and Beethoven’s Mass in C Major on 5 July (July 2020)

The festival Sotto una nuova luce of the Teatro Massimo in Palermo “opens” the cultural scene in Palermo after the Corona shutdown with scenic performances at the Teatro as well as open air events at the Teatro della Verdura – Omer Meir Wellber conducts the choir and orchestra of the Teatro Massimo. Ella Milch-Sheriff’s monodrama “The Eternal Stranger” is followed ‘attacca’ by Beethoven’s Mass in C major. The concert will be streamed on ARTE Concert as well as Radio 3 RAI and Teatro Massimo TV LIVE on 5 July at 9:30 pm (MESZ). The stream will be available until 12 July worldwide and until the end of the year in Europe.

The festival begins on 4 and 5 July with The Eternal Stranger, a work commissioned by the Teatro Massimo di Palermo together with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and the BBC Philharmonic by Israeli composer Ella Milch-Sheriff. For the performance of the work in Palermo, Ella Milch-Sheriff has rewritten the end of the monodrama The Eternal Stranger to lead into Beethoven’s Mass in C major. Omer Meir Wellber also conducted the world premiere in Leipzig in February 2020.

Omer Meir Wellber, Music Director of the Teatro Massimo di Palermo:
„After three months without music and a very serious situation in Italy, we are beginning to see new hope, and I am happy to say that the Teatro Massimo di Palermo has a pioneering role among Italian theatres. We have chosen not to take the easy and predictable route. Instead, we open with two works that stand for a much more complex idea. The first is a commissioned work, which we have entrusted to the well-known contemporary composer Ella Milch-Sheriff in collaboration with two European orchestras.
It tells a story, inspired by a dream that Beethoven once described. In the dream he travelled from Vienna to Jerusalem and found himself a stranger and homeless in Syria, places where no one understood his language. In The Eternal Stranger we have reversed his perspective so that our main character travels from Syria to Vienna, to the music Beethoven dreamed of and wrote down after waking up.
After three months of the pandemic, during which we have discovered that we are much more equal among ourselves than we would like to admit, the work deals with exactly this awareness, which hopefully many people developed during the times of the corona virus.
Then we go straight ‘attacca’ into the Mass in C major by Ludwig van Beethoven, a work about the trust we place in God. Among Beethoven’s works it is a less well-known one and that’s one of the reasons we chose it, because that’s how we celebrate the anti-heroes at this time.“

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