Rape & Culture

70 minutes

Songs by Beethoven, Brahms, Haydn, Mahler-Werfel, Permeable, Schubert, Schumann and Strauss, among others, soundscapes and sound art as well as excerpts from interviews with those affected

Sat. | 11.09.2021 | HIDALGO Festival
So. | 12.09.2021 | HIDALGO Festival
Tue. | 14.09.2021 | HIDALGO Festival


SOPRAN – Ketevan Chuntishvili
PIANO – Brigitte Helbig
KLANGKUNST – Martine-Nicole Rojina
DANCE & CO-CHOREOGRAPHY – Sade Mamedova, Alfonso Fernández Sánchez, Shih-Ping Lin, Elodie Lavoignat
SPEAKER – Enea Boschen

IDEA & DESIGN – Tom Wilmersdörffer
CHOREOGRAPHY – Francesco Vecchione
STAGE IMAGE – Linda Sollacher
COSTUME IMAGE – Joelle Gebauer
MASK – Judith Pürschel
MUSICAL WORK RESEARCH – Anna-Doris Capitelli, Nasti Sokolova


MODERATION – Cosima Obert (Pre-Talk on Saturday, 11.9.)
PODIUM – Tom Wilmersdörffer, Susanne Wosnitzka


A singer is raped. The perpetrator is her mentor, whom she has blindly trusted; her career depends on him. Four dancers reflect the singer’s inner conflicts, while interviews with those affected from the classical music scene break up the fiction. A staged song recital for female voice, speaker, piano and four-piece dance ensemble about power, dependency and a powerful rapist.

The fictional stage story shows a singer who is new to a theater. The house has a star who soon offers to mentor the newcomer. He supports her and opens many doors for her. At the same time, it isolates them from their environment. More and more, he tries to get closer to her physically. He tests their limits.

The protagonist is torn: she enjoys the attention of her idol, the artistic inspiration and professional advancement. At the same time, she feels increasingly uncomfortable with the advances. She tries to avoid them without offending her mentor. When he realizes that his advances are coming to nothing, he resorts to violence.

RAPE & CULTURE shows how power is abused – and what happens afterwards. The singer turns to the theater management, hoping for support. The institution appears as a personalized character, torn between the responsibility for the singer and the big name of the accused. It comes to a final power struggle with unequal means.

The music

The story is told through well-known art songs and soundscapes by sound artist Martine-Nicole Rojina. These are songs from the standard canon in which sexualized violence is played down (e.g. Heidenröslein, Der Kuss) or perpetrators become victims (e.g. Loreley). The soundscapes are psychic soundscapes composed of musical material and noises. They break into the songs and reflect the singer’s inner state.

The dance

The four dancers form the staging backbone of the stage story. Together with the mezzo-soprano, they depict the dramatic situations in Francesco Vecchione’s choreography, switching fluidly between situational narration, personalized portrayal of the characters and architectural stage design. Sometimes they are the pushy mentor, sometimes they are the theater management, sometimes they are the singer.

The interviews

In the run-up to the production, director Tom Wilmersdörffer conducted anonymous interviews with victims of sexualized violence. The interviewees reported on abusive university professors, conductors and directors, from abuse of power to attempted rape. These real-life experiences break into the fictional stage story and provide a documentary insight into the often toxic environment in which art and music are created.

“I felt: I’m too weak, I can’t defend myself”

“Take your fins off!”

“How good are his contacts? Can he hurt me?”

“I don’t think so, don’t be like that”

“Many more people need to complain”


Heather roses F. Schubert
Tomorrow! R. Strauss
Cecilia R. Strauss
Life is a dream J. Haydn
To the music F. Schubert
You are like a flower R. Schumann
Despondency J. Brahms
Light in the night A. Mahler-Werfel
Stay F. Schubert
Gretchen on the spinning wheel F. Schubert
The kiss L. v. Beethoven
Forest talk R. Schumann
Erlkönig F. Schubert
Buddha’s in chains Permeable
Rock Strangers make sense to me / Fire Permeable
Rock Strangers make sense to me / Harmony of the universe Permeable




If you are acutely affected by violence, please contact a contact point. Possible points of contact:

Available nationwide, around the clock:

Violence against women helpline
: 08000 116 016

Telephone counseling
0800 11 10 111 or 0800 11 10 222

Regional in Munich:

Crisis service Bavaria
: 0180 655 3000

Women’s helpline Munich
(Mon-Fri 10 am – 1 pm and 3 pm – 2 pm, except Wednesday: 10 am – 1 pm and 6 pm – 2 pm): 089 76 37 37

Wildwasser München e.V.
(Mon 10am-12pm, Wed 4pm-6pm, Thurs 2pm-4pm): 089-600 39 331

Themis Confidence Center against sexual harassment and violence
in the film, television and theater industry (Mon 10am-12pm, Wed & Thurs 10am-12pm and 3pm-5pm): 030/23 63 20 20