Die Taktik (Tactics) is Jennifer Walshe’s fifth opera and is commissioned by the Young Stuttgart Opera. The opera for young audiences deals with the themes of parallel universes, alter egos and games.
“Die Taktik is about games in the broadest sense, from video games, tennis and chess to the serious games which influence our everyday life such as evolution and quantum physics“, explains Jennifer Walshe. “It’s about being engaged, embedded, in the flow and play of everything around us.”
The opera does not tell a one-dimensional, linear story. Instead, the composer confronts the audience members with a variety of concurrent lines of action and invites them to look for patterns in the flow of information – just as the protagonists do on stage.
The singers and dancers go on an intergalactical expedition and have to orientate themselves in an environment in which the laws of time and space as well as physical and psychological boundaries can be overcome. The texts cover a wide range of subjects, from the Smoke-Filled Room experiments of John Darley and Bibb Latané to chess legend Bobby Fischer; the Jedi-like abilities of space shuttle pilots to Hugh Raffles on insects; the philosophy of Alan Watts and the experiments of biologist Rupert Sheldrake.
The opera is directed by the composer, and features four singers and dancers, along with live performers, and a choir of teenagers and young adults. The set is designed by Christian Wiehle, and costume design is by Amit Epstein. The opera is conducted by Stefan Schreiber.
Listen to a phone interview with Jennifer Walshe about the opera, recorded on 6 June 2012.