Wiener Konzerthaus

Der Prozess (The process)

Stage and audience room of the Chamber Opera photographed from the gallery
Vereinigte Bühnen Wien GmbH © Kammeroper Innenansicht / Katharina Schiffl
Stage and audience room of the Chamber Opera photographed from the gallery

Opera in two acts
Music by Gottfried von Einem
Libretto by Boris Blacher and Heinz von Cramer based on the novel by Franz Kafka
Arrangement for small orchestra by Tobias Leppert
In German with German and English surtitles

Premiere: December 5, 2024

Klangforum Wien PPCM Academy
Conductor: Walter Kobéra
Director: Stefan Herheim

"Someone must have slandered Josef K, for one morning, without having done anything wrong, he was arrested." This is the famous opening line of Franz Kafka’s novel Der Prozess (The Trial). Gottfried von Einem’s opera of the same name also begins with this mysterious arrest. Josef K. suddenly finds himself in a world he cannot understand, faced with an accusation of which he knows nothing but which seems perfectly clear to everyone else and yet remains inexplicable; with an absurd court case that nevertheless follows strict rules; with an arrest that appears to have no effect on his life yet still leads to his death. Is Josef K. the victim of a conspiracy, or is his belief in a conspiracy the only chance of explaining an incomprehensible world? Gottfried von Einem’s opera was first performed in 1953 when the popularity of Kafka’s work had reached its first peak. His music uses pulsing rhythms, recurring structures and echoes of jazz and twelve-tone music to describe the subtle terror of the novel, without losing sight of the grotesque humour of the source material. Today, 100 years after Kafka’s death and in a world of digital overindulgence and constant surveillance, we look at this trial in a radically different light. This performance, arranged by Tobias Leppert as a chamber opera, is a co-production with the Neue Oper Wien whose artistic director Walter Kobéra stages it together with Stefan Herheim.

Campus cooperation with students of the Music and Arts Private University of the City of Vienna and the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz



Fleischmarkt 24
1010 Wien

Current Dates

  • Thu. 05 Dec 2024, 7 p.m.
  • Sat. 07 Dec 2024, 7 p.m.
  • Mon. 09 Dec 2024, 7 p.m.
  • Thu. 12 Dec 2024, 7 p.m.
  • Sat. 14 Dec 2024, 7 p.m.
  • Tue. 17 Dec 2024, 7 p.m.
  • Fri. 20 Dec 2024, 7 p.m.
  • Sun. 22 Dec 2024, 7 p.m.