What happens when you use classical music as your main ingredient to convey a self-written storyline about a topical and social subject, within a theatrical setting? It might be hard to imagine, but that is what Via Berlin does.
Via Berlin is a Dutch music theatre company founded in 2008. They started off as ‘Nieuwkomer’ (newcomer) at the big Dutch music theatre company Orkater. Since then, they have reached over 50.000 people with eleven different productions and have grown to be a well known independent company. To them, text and music, as well as the actor and the musician, are two completely equal means to convey the storyline. A continuous (classical) musical line exists throughout their pieces, and often the music even gets the leading part. The text merely gives the outlines of the story, location and characters; the choreography, images and music fill in the rest. All of the performers on stage are both actors and musicians. This way of working creates a tight unity and an organic fusion between the two disciplines, bearing in mind that the individual qualities of the performers are preserved.
With big social and topical subjects like war, immigrants, apartheid, oppression, mortality or the consumption society as the underlying theme, the performances of Via Berlin are about intimate, personal stories within those big themes, which symbolize universal happenings. So far, Via Berlin performed in The Netherlands, Brazil, England, South Africa, Kosovo, Russia and China.