Stefan Winter
Der Kastanienball (The Chestnut Ball) — 2004
Der Fall der Lucrezia Borgia
Cabaret-Opera with Video and Sound Installation

Aurum, Vis et Venus imperabat [Money, Power and Venus make the world go round.]
Synopsis: Machiavelli tells the moritat of Rodrige Borgia – Pope Alexander VIth – sacred and secular overlord, Antichrist, how he seizes power without any of the traditional legitimation, expands, distorts, abuses and reasserts himself with his own laws, how he satisfies his sexual urges, lives out his fantasies and passions, raising them to utter excess, exploiting everyone around him without sustaining any damage himself, how he observes his ecclesiastical opponent Savanarola, ferrets out his weaknesses and exposes them, so as to get rid of him before his friend Martin Luther’s eyes, how he exploits his son Cesare, who is his most important ally, since he consolidates the power of the Borgias with the utmost intensity and brutality. His sister too is dependent on her father, whom she loves an idolatrous way; her pathological jealousy and fear of possibly losing him lead her to become his paramour. Since she can’t displace Giulia Bella, she tries to get closer to her, falls in love, gratifies Giulia’s sexual inclinations, despairs at this one-sided love, is destroyed, seeks protection from her brother, gives herself to him too. Savanarola gets to know the very young, handsome Martin Luther, who understands his theses to the depths of his soul, falls in love with Luther, and ends up on the pyre he had erected to burn erotic paintings. For Luther, he becomes a martyr. Alexander VI cares neither about his daughter Lucrezia nor his son Cesare, he has already forgotten Savanarola and also Luther. Everything around him is meaning less apart from the Kastanienball [Chestnut Ball], where finally, at the climax of the festivities, candlesticks are placed under the table, and naked girls gather the chestnuts lying on the floor with their lips, and deposit them on his lap.

Production with musical set pieces, performance, soundscapes and 1-channel video
2004 : Festspiel+, Opernfestspiele (Opera Festival) Munich, Germany

Room, Sound and Video Installation
2005 : Music Festival Stanser Musiktage, Switzerland

Music available on CD and to download:
Der Kastanienball (The Chesnut Ball) »The Fall of Lucrezia Borgia« (Winter & Winter, 2005)