The March 1829 performance of the St Matthew Passion, conducted by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in the Singakademie zu Berlin, today’s Gorki Theatre, marks the beginning of the Bach Renaissance. It was also the first time the work had been performed in a secular context. Growing Anti-Semitism in Germany meant that Mendelssohn Bartholdy couldn’t become the director of the Singakademie choir and subsequently turned to spending more time in Great Britain. The recitatives and choral sections around the so-called »Judas Aria« from the St Matthew Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach lay the foundation for Arie 51. With three hearing-impaired children whose hearing has been enabled again through implants but whose daily form of communication is still sign language, Diemut Schilling has developed a gesture-based transposition of the aria.
Diemut Schilling, born 1965, is based in Wuppertal. Since 1989 took part in various art shows and received several prices including the Karl Schmidt Rottluff Stipendium and the Von der Heydt-Kulturpreis. Schilling is a member of the Rat für kulturelle Bildung and a professor at Alanus Hochschule für Kunst und Gesellschaft since 2011.