Libretto by Peter Sloterdijk
Opera in seven pictures
The mighty city of Babylon becomes the setting for a transformation of civilisation at the moment when two cultures collide: Whilst the Babylonians are still practicing human sacrifice, the Jews, who have settled here in exile, have already abolished it. The opera follows this conflict through the love of the exile Tammu for the Babylonian Inanna, a priestess in the Temple of Free Love. When the gods unleash chaos in the universe, life on earth also becomes confused, meteorite storms threaten humankind, the Euphrates leaves its bed, and the Flood comes. The priest-king promises that peace and order will be achieved between heaven and earth through a human sacrifice, and the Babylonians carry this out in a frenzied celebration. But Inanna descends into the underworld to bring the sacrificed Tammu back to life and to be reunited with him. In the end, love wins the day and reconciliation between heaven and humankind replaces the old sacrifice. A contractual agreement forms the basis for a new world order, in which we will live today: the 7-day week, based on an orderly cycle of life.
The composer Jörg Widmann carried the idea of an opera about Babylon in him for a long time. His original fascination was aroused by the completely different concept of love, almost unimaginable for us, in Ancient Mesopotamia. The love between Tammu and Inanna has its origins in one of the most legendary mythological couples of Babylonian Antiquity, who had already inspired Mozart's Magic Flute
librettist Schikaneder: that between the hero Tammuzi and Inanna, goddess of love and war.
In German with German surtitles
Commissioned work by the Bavarian State Opera