"Mauerschau-360" is a demo based on a scene from Hauke Berheide and Amy Stebbins’ award-winning opera Mauerschau (Bavarian State Opera, 2016) reimagined as a 360º virtual reality experience. The German title “Mauerschau” translates into English as “teichoscopia”, a theater technique whereby an actor looks out over the audience and describes what they see “out there”. The Greeks often used teichoscopia to depict murder, war, and other “unstageable” scenes. In Mauerschau, this technique becomes a gateway to explore recent developments in visual technology such as drone warfare and deepfakes, and their impact on our ability to judge what is real and what is not.


Similar questions are raised by Heinrich von Kleist’s 1808 drama Penthesilea, in particular as a result of the myth’s multiple, conflicting endings. In one version, the Greek warrior Achilles kills the Amazon Queen Penthesilea. In another, she kills him. Using Kleist’s drama in combination with historical texts from Ernst Moritz Arndt to Colin Powell, Mauerschau confronts us with the age-old question: how can we know what we know?


This VR experience is not a complete film. It is a fragment, a teaser, a prototype, a preliminary exploration of what opera might bring to virtual reality and vice versa. By deceiving our senses, can we retrain them to spot the gap between reality and illusion? Can the radical isolation of VR make us sensitive to our collective obligations? Can immersive art forms perform enlightenment?


Hauke Berheide


Direction / Libretto

Amy Stebbins


Camera / Editing

Christian Hill (erzaehlfabrik)


Musical Direction

Roland Boer


Sound Design

Luke T. Allen


Sound Engineer

Heinrich Schläfer (LiMES)


Assistant Sound Engineers

Wolfgang Denhoff

Frank Stahmer (LiMES)



Sonja Schön



Friederike Wörner


featuring . . .


Penthesilea (Voice)

Adriana Bastidas-Gamboa


Achilles (Voice)

Jasper Leever


Penthesilea’s High Shadow (Voice)

Lena-Maria Kramer


Penthesilea’s High Shadow (Voice)

Annika Mendrala


Achilles’ High Shadow (Voice)

Kristofer Lundin


Achilles’ Low Shadow (Voice)

Frederic Jost


Penthesilea (Dancer)

Martina Renau


Achilles (Dancer)

Márcio Mota


The Duisburg Philharmonic


made possible with the support of . . . 


The Academy for Theatre and Digitality, Duisburger Philharmoniker, Stadttheater Duisburg, Philharmonie Mercatorhalle Duisburg, NRW Juniorballett, Theater Dortmund, erzaehlfabrik, LiMES


special thanks to . . .


The musicians and staff of the Duisburg Philharmonic

Guth Autoverwertungs- und Abschlepp GmbH

Michael Eickhoff, Kai Festersen, Rita Hasenfratz, Michael Heister, Philipp Kramer, Marcus Lobbes, Lisa Luke, Veronika Ortmayer, Michael Otto, Lukas Pless, Dina Pohl, Marianne Rickert, Dennis Schoenfelder, Gloria Schulz, Jorge Sermini, Mario Simon, Slava Tütükin, Dr. Alfred Wendel