Education Prize 2020


01 / 13

Water Flow

Staatsoper Stuttgart

Water Flow


The river Nesenbach has been buried under the city of Stuttgart. Thick layers of concrete cover its flow and it has been integrated into Stuttgart’s sewerage system. A river that flows underneath Europe’s most-polluted street crossing. But its presence is still noticeable: It has determined the architecture of posh shopping malls and its waters still shape infrastructural projects in the city.

With Water Flow (working title), JOiN explores this hidden river by staging a Baroque oratorio at eight places throughout its course on eight consecutive days. The oratorio will be performed by a large chorus that consists of Stuttgart citizens. Every one of them has been walking on the river, knowing or not knowing. Different experiences, different stories, linked by a river that can barely be seen. Water Flow will tell some of these stories.

The staging by director Heidi Mottl and stage designer Maria Martínez Peña will be site-specific and therefore different at each place. Every performance will be unique. Scientific experiments and environmental activities with and about water will be a part of every performance. One day we might even clean the notoriously dirty Eckensee, a small lake right next to the Stuttgart Opera House, which is connected to the Nesenbach, too.

For Water Flow, JOiN will cooperate with the Wilhelma, Stuttgart’s zoological-botanical garden, which is also responsible for landscape maintenance in the city, and with the Experimenta Heilbronn, Germany’s largest science center. Together with our partners we want to change perspective: on concrete jungles and on hidden flows.

There will be no entry fee and no auditorium. No assigned seating and no guarantee to remain dry. The power of Baroque music, a crowd of people flashing up at off places, the charm of scientific experiments and the stories of the city’s inhabitants come together in this eight-day-performance inundating our city’s summer.  

Artistic Team

Heidi Mottl

Heidi Mottl

Stage Director

Maria Martínez Peña

Maria Martínez Peña

Set Designer

Benjamin Hartmann

Benjamin Hartmann



Wilhelma - Der zoologisch-botanische Garten



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