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Topi Lehtipuu is the stuttering prophet at the Salzburg Festival

On Saturday 30 July, Topi Lehtipuu, a regular performer of Peter Eötvös' music, appears with the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Daniel Harding at the Salzburg Festival, in the world premiere of the composer's Oratorium Balbulum. Topi sings the Prophet, based on the figure of a 10th century monk known as Notker the Stammerer.

A rare example of how art can relate to the questions of a time, "the title could be translated as Stuttering Oratorio,” writes Péter Eötvös of his new work. "The protagonist is a prophet who can only deliver his prophecies with a stutter, which leads to some complications. The genre is a so-called secular oratorio, which differs from a religious oratorio in that it deals with our daily lives, describing the state of things in 2016 and attempting to foresee what has already happened in the meantime."

Writing in 2011, the librettist, Péter Esterházy says: ‘We need borders. We put up fences everywhere; we even fence in the fences. We're on the inside, but outside... well, that's not us. […] Perhaps for the first time, we now have nothing to say about the future.'

For more information: Salzburg Eötvös