Nico. Sphinx aus Eis

chamber opera
2005 // Semper Opera Dresden

Kleine Szene Dresden // Commissioned by the Semper Opera Dresden // Text: Werner Fritzsch // Conductor: Ari Benjamin Meyers // Director: Nina Gühlstorff // "Meyers and Gühlstorff have, with this opera, created a wonderful, in the best sense popular mix between low and high culture." -Dresdener Neue Nachrichten

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Musical Director: Ari Benjamin Meyers
Director: Nina Gühlstorff
Scenic Design/Costumes: Volker Thiele
Libretto: Werner Fritsch, Nina Gühlstorff, Ari Benjamin Meyers, Hans-Georg Wegner

Nico: Sabine Brohm
Dionysos/Jim Morrison: Martin Wölfel
Aphrodite/junge Nico: Stefanie Jonas
Persephone/Diva Nico: Barabara Hoehne


Sop, Mez, Alto, Counter Ten // Violin, Cello, Pno/Harm, El. Guit


74 Minutes //


Deutsch, English translation in progress

Preview material and CD/DVD:

available from Immediate Response Music

Nico (born Christa Päffgen) is without doubt one of the most fascinating female figures of the recent past. For Andy Warhol she was his beloved “moon goddess” from “Nazi Germany.” Her husky voice and unique singing style influenced rock music and her beauty made her legendary: Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Alain Delon and many others all fell under her spell. With 17 she was the world’s first super model, working for Coco Channel in Paris. She went on to appear in Fellini's La Dolce Vita and other films. Her interest in acting brought her to America, Andy Warhol, and eventually The Velvet Underground. But it was her affair with rock legend Jim Morrison that motivated her to start writing her own songs. She began to search for her true self and in doing so began to systematically destroy her own beauty, her heroin addiction greatly helping this along. She died as the result of a bicycle accident on Ibiza in 1988.
-taken from the program notes, Semperoper Dresden

...what Meyers and Gühlstorff have accomplished with this opera is a wonderful, in the best sense a "popular" mix of high and underground culture. Nico is embodied by Sabine Brohm with an amazing vocal presence, singing a music that contains within it everything that made up this unique woman's story; in this way it is truly timeless... Ari Benjamin Meyers has said that he wanted to find a certain clarity and directness of expression. He found it. With violin, cello, piano, harmonium, harpsichord, and electric guitar... The audience at the premiere celebrated the ensemble with long applause and bravos.
Beate Baum, Dresdener Neue Nachrichten

...The ensemble together with a small orchestra under the direction of the composer performs emotionally and with outstanding quality...
Jens Daniel Schubert, Sächsische Zeitung

...The chamber opera offers remarkable insights; it's not just for insiders and fans...
Karsten Blüthgen, SZ am Sonntag

...The world premiere was greeted with very heavy applause. Musically, under the direction of the composer Ari Benjamin Meyers, one could not have asked for more...
Saarbrücker Zeitung
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