MAUERSCHAU is an evening-length opera about war, mediality, and "fake news" commissioned by the Bavarian State Opera. It premiered in June 2016, and was awarded the 2016 Opera Festival Prize.

"Berheide was able to rely on a libretto by the evening’s director, Amy Stebbins, that allowed repeated permeation by other texts from Kleist (for instance, from “Homburg”), Karoline von Günderrode, and even Joschka Fischer and Donald Rumsfeld. Kleist's play was fanned out like a dream diary, in which all comes together, reality and appearance become inseparable from one another. . . The stage for this was superb [...] Flexible projections of frames divided this space again and again, even generating virtual prison cells; the green light suggested those night-vision videos (the kind we see from current wars) and, together with the linear design, created a surreal, unsettling 3D effect."

"In [Stebbins'] version, Kleist’s excessive use of teichoscopy becomes a gateway for a media and perception critique, in which seemingly clear standpoints become increasingly unclear.... The text collage also makes the opera into an honorable antiwar piece. ... The massively applauded premiere of this in no way conceptually simple work had a lot to offer for both eye and ear. It is an encouragement to the Munich Opera, which path to follow in the present day."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Max Nyffler, "A Jewel of the Opera Festival"




" amazing and extreme - a wild experience."

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Egbert Tholl, "Der Weg zur Erkenntnis"



"Berheide and Stebbins nearly create the paradigm for a contemporary opera."



music Hauke Berheide libretto Amy Stebbins musical direction Oksana Lyniv

stage direction Amy Stebbins set & video Luftwerk costumes Belén Montoliú

light design Benedikt Zehm dramaturgy Malte Krasting

chorus master Sören Eckhoff


Penthesilea Adriana Bastidas-Gamboa Achilles Edwin Crossley-Mercer

Messenger Hildegard Schmahl


Penthesilea's High Shadow Leela Subramaniam Penthesilea's Low Shadow Hanna Herfurtner

Achilles' High Shadow Joshua Owen Mills Achilles' Low Shadow Frederic Jost


Bavarian State Orchestra

Bavarian State Opera Extra Chorus