1: SONGS is a solo performance presented as a concert, a Liederkreis, an existential exercise for a singing body. The performer surrenders her voice to the intense words of tragic female figures from the history of theatre, figures such as Antigone, Medea and Gretchen. The suffering of the fictional heroines (and anti-heroines) repeatedly enters her very being as she sings, shouts and speaks – she is fragile, raw, calculating and emotional. But who is speaking here? And do the dramatic references from the past resonate in the here and now? The symbiosis of contemporary electronic music composed by Gary Shepherd and texts from the literary canon forms the basis for a subtle but loud scream against the instability and incalculability of our existence.

Nicole Beutler works with the tension between intense emotionality and cool calculation on the one hand and with the reflection on the history of theatre on the other hand. How do we look at emotions, what moves us and what doesn’t? And in how far does the past resonate through to the contemporary reality? These are issues that are at stake in Nicole Beutler’s work. Always in search for new forms, she now examines the working with existing texts.

"There isn’t any hope. You’re trapped. The whole sky has fallen on you, and all you can do about it is to shout. Don’t mistake me: I said “shout”: I did not say groan, whimper, complain. That, you cannot do. But you can shout aloud; you can get all those things said that you never thought you’d be able to say – or never even knew you had it in you to say. And you don’t say these things because it will do any good to say them: you know better than that. You say them for your own sake; you say them because you learn a lot from them."
(The chorus in: Jean Anouilh, Antigone)

In 2010 Nicole Beutler received the prestigious VSCD Mime Prize for 1: SONGS. The piece was also selected by the jury of the Flemish Theatre Festival as one of the best performances of season 2009/2010 and was performed during the Dutch Theaterfestival in 2010. 1: SONGS won the Silver Award for Best Performance (Special Jury Award) at The International Festival of Liberal Theater 2012, Amman, Jordan.

Originally created in collaboration with theatermaker/performer Sanja Mitrovic. Since September 2011 the piece is being performed by Ibelisse Guardia Ferragutti.

"Stimulating, seductive, serene, introspective meditative and suddenly very dangerous and rock & roll." VSCD Mime Jury

  • © Anja Beutler
  • © Anja Beutler
  • © Anja Beutler
  • © Anja Beutler
  • © Anja Beutler
  • © Anja Beutler

Cast & Credits

Concept, direction, choeography: Nicole Beutler
Performer: Ibelisse Guardia Ferragutti
Music composition & performance: Gary Shepherd
made in collaboration with: Sanja Mitrovic
Text advice & artistic assistance: Magne van den Berg
Lighting design: Minna Tiikkainen
Video design: videomachas.com(Susanna Brenner/Helle Lyshoj)
Costume: Jessica Helbach
Dramaturgic advice: Igor Dobricic
Rehearsal assistance: Giulio d’Anna
Music advice: Aleksandar Grujic
Technique: Martin Kaffarnik, Valentijn Berkhout
Supported by: PACT Zollverein Essen & Frascati Amsterdam
Sponsor: XOVER Sound System K Array, Raul Mini
Production: Nicole Beutler Projects
Coproduction: Beursschouwburg Brussel
Thanks to: Felix Ritter, Maurits Musch, Alan Razzak, Berthe Spoelstra
With the support of: Fonds Podiumkunsten, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst
Tour planning and acquisition: Theaterzaken Via Rudolphi
Scene photography: Anja Beutler