Calixto Bieito The String Quartet’s
Guide To Sex And Anxiety

[Theater / Music]

The opera and stage director Calixto Bieito has devised and constructed The String Quartet’s Guide To Sex And Anxiety, with four actors and four musicians on stage, together with the music of Ligeti and Beethoven.

Calixto Bieito notes, with wit, that he discovered twenty years ago that he had been suffering from anxiety, and for a long time. Now he guides us through a subtle interweaving of text and music, Quartet No. 2 by Ligeti, and Beethoven’s Quartet No. 11, Op. 95, to brilliant performances by four actors from the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the musicians of the Heath Quartet.
W. H. Auden’s poem The Age of Anxiety (a tale of four drinkers in a bar in New York contemplating life in the modern age) provided Calixto Bieito with the basic structure for the performance, "i.e. two groups of four, one for text and one for music".
Other sources of inspiration were Albrecht Dürer’s etching Melencolia I, Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy (a blend of erudition, personal diary and assorted anecdotes published in 1621), writings on culture by the theoretician Byung-Chul Han, and the films of Andrei Tarkovsky, Béla Tarr and Luis Buñuel. As Calixto Bieito explains, not without irony, it is “a sort of poem, a sort of concert... I hope it will convey a great deal of hope.”
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Performance in English (French supertitles)