• Sat 09 – Wed 20 04 2016 •
Tree of Codes


The past speaks through the present. Do the living and the dead exist in a relationship of ventriloquism? How do the inheritances of our genes, our stories and the unconscious beliefs passed down through generations shape who we are? Academy member Liza Lim’s new opera is a work about bloodlines and memory, time, erasure and illumination. It is based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s Tree of Codes (Visual Editions, 2011), a book written “behind the back” of another book: Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz, a 20th-century Polish writer shot by an SS officer in 1942. Safran Foer cuts up Schulz’s stories, selecting and deleting sentences while also uncovering hidden and subconscious meanings. Lim follows this method, exploring the tensely-charged pre-apocalyptic memories of symbolism through highly original instrumentation combined with field recordings, cosmic sounds, heartbeats and visual components.

Venue: Oper Köln im StaatenHaus, Rheinparkweg 1, 50679 Cologne

Tree of Codes was commissioned by the Cologne Opera, Ensemble Musikfabrik and HELLERAU – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste Dresden, in cooperation with the Academy of the Arts of the World / Cologne.