Thrilling inner journey of two women in a prison cell
Annelies Van Parys, Gaea Schoeters, Studio Minailo, HERMESensemble, B'Rock Vocal Consort, La Biennale di Venezia (IT/BE/NL)

Volver meets Hiroshima mon Amour in this moving story of injustice and hope

Two women involuntarily share a prison cell: a young activist who was arrested after an illegal protest and a working-class woman who murdered her boyfriend. Their forced togetherness starts tensely, but as the nights go by, they share their fears and hopes. Notwehr brings together old and new music: a cycle of baroque madrigals by Banchieri provides a sort of echo of the past and of the outside world and intertwines with the new music of Annelies Van Parys.


A commission of La Biënnale di Venezia, in co-production with Studio Minailo, HERMESensemble & Muziektheater Transparant.
Dedicated to Maria Kalesnikava & all other brave women who lost their freedom fighting for a better world. 

Annelies Van Parys & Adriano Banchieri - music
Sjaron Minailo - director
Raphael René Jacobs - director’s assistant
Gaea Schoeters - libretto
Sjaron Minailo & Maarten Warmerdam - scenography
Patricia Hofstede - costume design
Johanna Zimmer & Els Mondelaers - soprano & mezzosoprano
HERMESensemble - ensemble
B’Rock Vocal Consort -  choir

Notwehr kwam mede tot stand dankzij een residentie bij Tokyo Arts and Space met een residentiebeurs van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap.