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María de Buenos Aires


The tango operetta “María de Buenos Aires” by Astor Piazzolla; libretto by Horacio Ferrer, with texts by Italo Calvino in a version by Martina Veh at the Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern is a unique synthesis of the arts consisting of opera, poetry and dance and a homage to Buenos Aires and the tango; as well as to human existence and urban forms of life, a requiem full of hope.

Various technologies and tools were used for the video design for this unique production.

In Astor Piazzolla’s opera, María is the human embodiment of tango. She comes from the suburbs of Buenos Aires and her world is the streets, bars, cabarets and brothels of the city. The city scenes, the underworld and other backgrounds were rendered using the Unreal Engine to create an immersive visual experience.

In addition, Notch VFX were used for the IMAG effects on the filmed footage.

Of particular note is the use of stream diffusion in Touchdesigner, made possible by the generous support of media designer Lyell Hintz. This allowed 70 reincarnations of María to be shown atmospherically for the finale.

The entire production was programmed and played back using a Pixera Two server to ensure seamless integration of all visual elements. In addition, both front and rear projection was used on differently hung gauzes to fully involve the audience in the action and create an immersive atmosphere.

Production und Team:

A production of the Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern.

“María de Buenos Aires”: Tonos Music Publishing oHG, Baden-Baden

Excerpts from “The Invisible Cities” by Italo Calvino:
Copyright © 2002, The Estate of Italo Calvino, used by permission of The Wylie Agency (UK) Limited.
© of the German translation by Burkhart Kroeber:

2007 Carl Hanser Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Munich.

With the kind support of the Freunde des Pfalztheaters e. V.

Musical direction: Anton Legkii
Direction & choreography, version: Martina Veh
Set, version: Christl Wein
Video: WE ARE VIDEO (Raphael Kurig / Christian Gasteiger)
Lighting: Manfred Wilking
Choir direction: Aymeric Catalano
Dramaturgy Andreas Bronkalla
Assistance dance: Anna Angelini
Artistic advice in Argentinian culture: German Ivancic
Argentinian language coach: Tamara Jazmín Odón
Pfalzphilharmonie Kaiserslautern / Chorus of the Pfalztheater
Narrator: Olaf Becker (actor)
Maria: Astrid Voßberg (mezzo-soprano / actress)
El Duende: Jonathan Möller Montenegro from Chile (acrobat / actor)

La sombra de Maria: Andrea Cisterna Munoz from Chile (acrobat / actress)
Payador / Gorron / Psychoanalyst / Voz de Domingo: Oscar Oré (tenor)

Dance & material development: Anna Angelini (Switzerland), Astria Apel (NYC),

Mariano Galeano (Brussels/Buenos Aires), Saskia Hamala, Hojoon Moon (South Corea),
German Ivancic (Buenos Aires), Alberto Pagani (Italy)

Tango Argentino & material development: Sarita Apel, Mariano Galeano
Modern Tango: German Ivancic

Photos/photo credits: Andreas J. Etter