The road opera "Tschick" is the first youth opera ever performed in the Vienna State Opera. It deals with growing up, friendship and first love beyond stereotypes, xenophobia and traumatic biographic abuse experiences. Maik, Tschick and Isa take the audience on a journey into adventure, into the wide and ultimately to themselves celebrating the small unexpected peculiarities of being outdoors and in good company.
Maik, an 8th grade outsider, is madly in love with Tatjana, but to his disappointment not invited to her party. Tschick, whose real name is Andrej Tschichatschow, is equally unpopular in the class due to his conspicuous alcohol consumption and the fact that he and his family migrated from Russia four years ago. During the summer holidays, Tschick persuades Maik to take a car and drive to Wallachia. Maik, left alone during summer holidays by his parents, a choleric businessman and an alcohol-addicted mother, agrees without map or Mobile phone, they both just drive off. On their journey, Tschick and Maik meet bizarre and sometimes loving characters. One of them is Isa, a young girl who lives on the rubbish dump and accompanies the two boys on their adventure. The original score (composition Ludger Vollmer and libretto Tina Hartman) is based on the world famous youth novel “Tschick“ (engl. ”Why we took the car“) and originally set in Germany, the Vienna State Opera and the production’s (all female) leading-team adapted the story to Austria. So, on the 17th December "Tschick" celebrated its premiere in Austria.
The cast of "Tschick" is mainly made up by young people or young adults. Young soloists of the opera youth choir’s talent program perform alongside professional and high-profile ensemble members of Vienna State Opera and its opera studio. The orchestra is made up of forty musicians of the Vienna State Operas stage orchestra. Next to family performances on weekends there are also school performances. Here the audience is mostly made up by teenagers 13 years and older.
The production’s conceptual staging aim is to abstractly translate the moods and emotions of an (illegal) road trip, especially phenomenons such as “ease and simplicity“, “freedom“ and „danger and adventure“ into the physicality of the performers and the ensemble themselves. Hence, the concept uses simple flexible elements to quickly (re)-build different locations of the road trip. Instead of a car the stage concepts makes use of three moving-stairs that sometimes symbolise the driving of a car, sometimes are only a metaphor for ”being on the road“, „feeling a bruise“ or represent concrete locations such as a mountain, picknick-area or hospital-bed. The stage prospect is inspired by the nostalgia of road trip and travel nature photographies supporting the illusion of a rushing landscape. In order to support the ”dolby surround“-metaphor made up by the protagonist Maik when he describes his impressions while taking the first ride, the choir permanently sings from different places inside the auditorium: sometimes on stage, sometimes in the loges, sometimes in audiences back at the standing parterre.