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The Swan Song


THE SWAN SONG - An Operetta in 4 Acts.

a musical reading with songs

“We’ll hang it all,
We’ll hang it fast,
As long as it’s not made to last!

We aren’t here to strike it rich,
We’re here for good,
We’ll never quit!”

From Patience and Diana’s duet, “We’ll never quit” Act 3

The Swan Song - an Operetta in 4 Acts, has been in continuous production by a stubborn group of creators and an ever growing crowd of lovely guest performers. It is performed scene-by-scene and year-by-year in various venues throughout Berlin town. In our 4th year working, we are proud to present a musical reading of Act 3, “The Gallery”.
The Swan Song is the story of two families; the bar and the gallery, and their struggle to survive great economic changes, which force them to test their commitment to the community and their common survival. Collaboration and independent ambitions clash! In Act 3, the Gallery must decide the course of its future and somehow bring Hannah and Hilaria’s love together, while avoiding a hostile takeover by the city’s ambitious plan for revitalizing the neighborhood.
The score for Act 3 follows the classical Operetta structure while integrating elements of Pop music, sound installation and improvised music. The Swan Song is an Israeli/German/Austrian co-production.

Dramatis Personae Act 3

The Gallery family:
Hannah (bariton): A complacent menial worker in the culture industry, wife of Heschel  (our Julia)
Patience (mezzosoprano): Idealist Gallery owner and best friend of Hannah, has secrets concerning Diana
Diana (basso): Goddess and single mother who lives with Patience, and works for Patience
Heschel (soprano): Husband of Hannah, lawyer and a dandy who is carrying on an affair with Sylvan.
Melanie (coleratura soprano): Ingénue, artist
Hobbes (tenor): Aging aquarellist

From the Bar family:
Hilaria (soprano): Amateur botanist, world traveler for good causes (our Romeo)
Sylvan (alto): Hilarias’ best friend, half-blind gigolo, ex-Ethnographer

Toto: Self-satisfied City council worker
The Location Scout


Libretto conceived and written by Keren Ida Nathan (Ida Wilde), Gili Ben-Zvi (G-Bliss Productions) Original Song lyrics written by Jennifer Rasch, Ida Wilde, G-Bliss Productions, Ruth Waldeyer Score written and composed by Rasch & Sch’nell  Music by The Wedding Band - Carola Caggiano (cello), Martin Ertl (synth, git), Ulrike Ertl (uk), Eduard Mont de Palol (git), Conrad Noack (horn), Johanna Olausson (db), Nathalie Hör-Ponneau (cello), Ruth Waldeyer (dr), Itay Zfira (perc, git)  Libretto and Songs performed by Wassan Ali, Jenny B., Janin Bois a.k.a. Stephan Pente, Noam Gorbat, Nana Heidenreich, Pip Hill, Gerda Klingenböck, Christine Kriegerowski, Liv Rolf Mertz, Kristin Möller, William Wheeler Director Keren Ida Nathan Lights Wassan Ali Scenography Wassan Ali, Ulrike Ertl, Keren Ida Nathan Paintings The Swan Song and friends Costumes and make-up inspired by Tommy Hilfiger Video and Documentation Angela Anderson, Gili Ben-Zvi Technical direction Martin Ertl Production Keren Ida Nathan

Thanks to Mirjam Junker for her past support in the role of Hilaria. Thanks to Antonia Baehr and Yair Vardi for dramaturgical advice and many thanks for the residencies generously made possible by Conrad Noack and his family at Neukamern. Thanks to Spukkommune, Zuhause and ausland who have supported the first 2 scenes.Thanks to all the wonderfully kind guests and friends who have joined us along the way!

Biographies (in Alphabetical order):

Wassan Ali sometimes works as a light designer, but mostly lives on Hartz IV. She lives in Berlin and at the moment gathers operetta and soap opera experiences.

Angela Olga Anderson is a filmmaker currently working on two experimental documentaries of her own. She also specializes in audio visual production.and has worked with Angela Melitopoulos, Jan Peter Hammer, Antonia Baehr, Maurizio Lazzarato, Annika Larsson, Pauline Boudry, Katya Sander, and Bruce la Bruce to name a few . She is also the Exhibition Designer and Technical Co-Ordinator since 2008, at Forum Expanded, Berlin International Film Festival.

Jenni B.
normally works in a bar-collective and is also a passionate hobby-singer!

Carola Caggiano plays the cello beautifully for The Swan Song.

Gili Ben-Zvi, Gründerin von G-bliss Productions Tel Aviv - Berlin - Wien. Autorin, Predigerin, Stammkundin, Wirtin, Frauchen der Hündin Mietzi (7). Fitless (2002), The Best Intentions (2006), Die heilige Kirche der letzten Arbeitstage (2008), The Rest of the Best aka österreichisch-israelische Freundschaft  (2011).

Janin Bois a.k.a. Stefan Pente, born as a child in the mid sixties, became a nurse in a mental institution in the eighties, didn't get a masters of art in the early nineties, works and shifts shapes now and then until the present day.  

Ulrike Ertl (Jennifer Rasch) und Martin Ertl (Coco Sch’nell), geboren als Försterkinder in Baden bei Wien, der geheimen Hauptstadt der Operette, starteten ihre musikalische Laufbahn mit 9 und 12 Jahren in der Wiener Kinderoper. Direkt nach dem Fall der Mauer emigrierte Ulrike in das damals verwahrloste Zentrum Berlins und widmet seitdem ihr Schaffen der dort aufblühenden Künstlerszene. Auch Martin verlässt mit 18 Jahren seine Heimat und wird erster Maat in der Meeressegelschiffahrt. Heute komponiert er elektronische Musik für Berlins Theater- und Musikgruppen

Noam Gorbat is an experimental video and film maker, living and working in Berlin. She also curates and organizes video and film exhibitions and is currently working towards her Masters in experimental filmmaking at the UDK.

Nana Heidenreich (Berlin) is a lecturer in media studies at HBK Braunschweig, co-curator of Forum Expanded (Berlinale). Occasionally she also works as an independent film/video curator and as translator (English/German); and she always gets involved in too many projects.

Pip Hill has been making theater since 1990 (as a director, teacher and performer) and specialises in working with other artists and participants in participatory projects. Pip is also co-founder and director of The Working Party (

Nathalie Hör-Ponneau aka Unter('o)Lala, is a serious cello player of scales &
other things, blablabla & blabla be continued ...

Gerda Klingenböck is a faithful and funny member of The Swan Song

Christine Kriegerowski is an artist who likes to sing.

Barbara Loreck

Liv Rolf Mertz
is a Danish translator and gender terrorist who finally relocated to Germany after three years of oscillation between Copenhagen and Berlin. Like, The Swan Song character Toto - and despite a strong sense of affinity with the left-radical queer scene - I confess to hanging out in bars with a strict smoke policy and free Wi-Fi.

Eduardo Mont de Palol (Spain)
Musician, Performer, Translator, Publisher and Writer. Lives in Berlin since 2003. He has worked with Boris Vian, Martine Pisani, Isabelle Schad. His recent work is  called “Construye Castillos en Espana”  and showed at AnticTeatre 2012.

Keren Ida Nathan (Ida Wilde) is a writer, director and choreographer(Berlin/Tel-Aviv) and is currently happily working on “The Swan Song”, and with Antonia Baehr. Her works include "Emma Zunz" a musical reading (2011), “A Natural Environment” dance (2010), “Kitchen Interviews” video (2010), “Oct. Riot’s Anemone’ Population” lecture perf. (2009). Reading, speaking and drawing onstage are her new-old media interests.

Conrad Noack is a performer, actor, curator and software engineer. He was member of the performance company 'Institut für Primärenergieforschung' as well as member of the theater company Formation HO. Since 1995 he has curated performance, theater and music events, at first at the venue 'Anorak' and later at 'ausland' (

Johanna Olausson plays the double bass with soul for The Swan Song.

Alexandra Spencer

Jan Teiler

Ruth Waldeyer plays the drums and sings for The Swan Song, is a lighting designer, a thai boxing teacher, and an author of children’s radio features with Uli Ertl while running the ‘ausland‘ performance  venue and the rest of her life.

William Wheeler is an artist, performer, and translator. His artistic practice ranges from film to drawing to prose, and he has produced collaborative films and performances with Stefan Pente as well as several performances with Antonia Baehr. Paradoxes, narratives, and controversies of participation in relation to identity, biography, and gender are an important theme in his work.

Itay Zfira (31), musician and experimental acoustic and electronic instruments builder, currently lives in Berlin. He has made music for cinema, performance, contemporary dance, theater, video and visual installations. He also takes part in experimental / avant garde live music shows and performances.


The Swan Song - 2nd Scene 1st act

1 Dec 2011 - 20:00
1 Dec 2011 - 23:18

proudly present a reading with songs of Scene 2, Act 1 of the Operetta:


hidden gardens of neglect
congregating here and there
little islands of repair
in a world that doesn´t care

(excerpt from the Hilarias aria)

The operetta The Swan Song has been in continuous production by a stubborn staff of creators and an ever growing crowd of lovely guests since 2008 . It is performed scene by scene in various venues throughout town.

CC No.1 Corruptive Climate

9 Dec 2012 - 19:30
9 Dec 2012 - 23:28

Wilder than Some Productions and The Wedding Band proudly present: The Swan Song, Act 3: The Gallery

The Sacred Travelers in Concert

Grand Prix de la dépêche Awards ceremony for the best musical version of the beloved ausland depesche!         

Our politics are slow - The Practice of the Swan

3 Feb 2015 - 20:00
Swan Song 2nd Act @ ausland Dec 2011

A showing of a scene of the Fourth Act of the Operetta "The Swan Song" featuring the Snail March and a discourse on identity politics.

Doors: 20:00, Beginn: 20:30