Composer Steingrimur Rohloff and creative producer Rasmus Adrian have set out to create a new opera about power and morality, wisdom and self-esteem, freedom and tyranny. A project that will offer a pencil-sharp and humorous commentary on how the 20th-century ideals of democracy in the 21st-century are diluted by populism and negative forces of globalization.

The opera will be staged using advanced audio and video technology creating a virtual space that provides a unique backdrop for the story.


Drawing from a classic ancient text on power, tyranny and leadership, the parallels between the modern and ancient narratives is positioned center stage. Hieron, written by the general and philosopher, Xenophon, around 400 BC can be read as a fable of the encounter between enlightenment and humanism vs. raw power and blatant self-satisfaction. In Xenophon's view, leaders of states are faced with a dilemma of power that involves questions of ethics, duty, moral, and self-serving interests. A dilemma, which is not just an academic exercise, but contains grave ramifications for ordinary people, and also provides the inspiration for great comedy.

The opera is currently under development and is expected to premiere in 2020/2021.

The project has received development funding from The Danish Arts Council.

Project Team
Composer: Steingrimur Rohloff
Creative producer: Rasmus Adrian
Video: Adam Ryde Ankarfeldt
Video: Magnus Pind Bjerre

Steingrimur Rohloff
The Icelandic-German composer Steingrimur Rohloff is one of the most prominent young Scandinavian composers, and his works have been performed in more than 25 countries worldwide. He studied in Cologne and in Paris at the Conservatoire Superieur and the IRCAM with Gérard Grisey and Marc-André Dalbavie among others; this French school of crystalline orchestral music has influenced Rohloff profoundly.

Steingrimur Rohloff

His list of works stretches from orchestral and chamber music to electro- acoustic music, and in recent years Rohloff has also produced a number of stage works. His very first music theatre work was the children's opera Story of a Mother based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale. It has earned the most prestigious Danish performning arts award: Reumert. Other stage works include 4 Angles on Medea, Motion Demon, Timeshift, Babel, nominated for two Reumerts and Lysistrate. Over the years, Rohloff has had a regular collaboration with the world famous Ensemble Modern and festivals like Klang, Wien Modern, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Klangspuren, Aldeburgh festival of music, Cresc - Frankfurt, Triennale Köln and more.

See more information about Rohloff at his publisher, Edition-S

Listen to music by Steingrimur Rohloff

"Raw Food" with SaVaSa Trio (2018)
Clarinet Concerto with The Icelandic Symphony Orchestra

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