The world premiere of Torsten Rasch's two-act opera, Rotter, took place in Cologne on 23 February 2008. Oper Köln were conducted by Hermann Bäumer and there were further performances on February 29; March 2, 8, 14, 16, 18, and April 5, 11, 13.
…Rotter displays Germany’s recent monstrous past as background landscape to a feverish vision of a man who is both culprit and victim. He can only function when protected by the community and crumbles when required to be an individual…
The composer, librettist and director of Rotter are all from the former East Germany. Katharina Thalbach (long-time companion of Brasch) is one of Germany’s most respected actresses, and has directed since the late 1980s.
Dissident writer Thomas Brasch (d.2001) was born in Yorkshire to German Jewish émigré parents in 1945. They returned to the Soviet zone of Germany in 1947 and father and son became deeply involved in the political ideologies of the time. Brasch joined the exodus of writers and artists from the GDR in 1976 and wrote many successful film scripts, novels and plays, some of which he directed. He became highly critical of GDR reality and wrote extensively about the moral bankruptcy of the world around him.
Torsten Rasch was born in Dresden in 1965, began piano lessons at six and entered the renowned Dresdner Kreuzchor at nine. He emigrated to Japan in 1990 and earned his living writing over 40 film scores. On his return to Germany he came to public attention with the commission in 2003 from the heavy metal band Rammstein, for his Mein Herz brennt, which was subsequently recorded on DG and which won international acclaim. He has recently completed an orchestral work for the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Cologne Opera Website http://www.buehnenkoeln.de/stueck.php?ID=50