Kaaitheater, Square Sainctelette 20, 1000 Brussel (BE)
Hieronymus Bosch’s painted scenes look like hell on earth. His seven deadly sins are having a field day while its inhabitants keep on smiling – in spite of their suffering. Is this a symptom of their ignorance or a conscious choice to live that way? 500 years on, in his first opera, the theatre maker Kris Verdonck translates this false paradise into the 21st century. We live in what initially appears to be ‘the best of all possible worlds’, but if seen in a different light, this paradise is not far from being a true inferno.
BOSCH BEACH is set on the white beaches of Lampedusa, where tourists lie sunbathing while refugees wash up in rickety boats. The performance confronts you with the ambiguity of a globalised world and the impossible questions of guilt that this brings with it. Should we adjust our own lifestyles when we witness all this suffering? Or is every individual action a wasted effort in the face of the sheer scope of the challenges and the complexities of their causes and effects? The moral decay in Bosch’s world – and the choice to make no moral choices – also seems to be the easiest way out today. The writer Dimitri Verhulst wrote the libretto and the Portuguese composer Vasco Mendonça wrote the music.