Helga Pogatschar

Release Information 2003
Helga Pogatschar: Inanna

Opera (Studio-Album)

“Listening cinema” according to the Sumerian census “Inanna’s Gang to the Underworld”.

Automatic translation: www.deepl.com/translate

The Babylonian goddess Inanna is one of the oldest mythical female figures of mankind. 4000 years old cuneiform tablets describe her as an ambivalent ruler. Her bloodthirsty lust for war and her excessive sexuality earned her the nickname “Whore of Babylon” in the Bible. The play tells the myth of INANNAS GANG IN DIE UNTERWELT. The subject is as fascinating today as it was 4000 years ago, because it shakes the foundations of human existence.


Inanna” brings back one of mankind’s oldest literary works to life: the starting point for this extraordinary project is a reconstruction of the original text, which was translated into German specifically for the play in collaboration with assyrologists. The numerous breaks and gaps in the text were integrated into the compositional principle for libretto and music.

Sumerische Keilschrift - INANNA

Unique in the history of music is the setting of the Sumerian original, which requires pioneering work both from the composer Helga Pogatschar and the singers: The aim is to make a language that has been extinct for several thousand years singable again.

Publication and world premiere

INANNA von Helga Pogatschar - CD-Box

In August 2003 “Inanna” will be released on CD by Chrom Records.

In February 2004, the world premiere will take place as part of a multimedia laser show at the Planet Dome of the Munich Amazeum.

Helga Pogatschar

Helga Pogatschar

Helga Pogatschar was born in 1966 and completed two courses of study: Artistic major in piano and composition for film and television at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich.

1996/97 working stay in the studio for electroacoustic composition at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Helga Pogatschar is a lecturer for electronic sound generation at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Hamburg.

She works as a freelance composer for radio, film and theatre and for multimedia concerts, sound and video installations. Mars - a Requiem and Titus Trash Tatar was released on CD by Chrom Records. 2001 World premiere of the opera The Huluppu-Tree as part of ARTIONALE 2001.

Károly Koller

Károly Koller, born 1968 in Gyorok, studied philosophy and theology in Munich, Vienna and São Paulo. Since 1997 he has taught at the University of Philosophy in Munich.

Since 1989 exploration of hitherto unknown caves in the Northern Limestone Alps with a focus on Smoking Cave in the Dead Mountains: expeditions in darkness, underworld, transhades.

Movies: Germany Underground (1999), Between Heaven and Erding (2001). Film portraits with contemporary artists such as Reiner Kunze, Peter Zadek, Raymond Federman, Kent Nagano.

2000 his book of poems Nachtkarst is published in the edition lichtung.
2001 Libretto and direction for the opera The Huluppu-Tree (music by Helga Pogatschar, first performance at ARTIONALE 2001).

Károly Koller works as a freelance author in Munich.

BR - Audiobook of the Week

Article for 15-5 audio book magazine / Bayern2Radio, Bavarian Broadcasting

August 3, 2003

BR - Audiobook of the Week: Helga Pogachar: Inanna
Ms. & Speaking: Bernhard Jugel

In the Bible, the “Whore of Babylon” is the goddess Ishtar among the Baylons and the Astarte among the Assyrians. Originally, however, she was the “great primordial mother” in the Pantheon of the Sumerians, so she was at home in Mesopotamia, where she was responsible for love, fertility and war, and is known as “The Goddess / From the Great Heaven to the Great Earth guided her mind / Inanna”.

Inanna, the archetype of all fertility goddesses and the embodiment of the planet Venus, is the subject of several myths. Munich composer Helga Pogatschar has now staged the most important and best-known myth, “Inanna’s Walk into the Underworld”, as “Hörkino” - one could also say: as a mixture of radio play and contemporary opera. The libretto is unique. Pogachar does not use a retelling, but the original text translated into German. A delicate undertaking, because this text has only been passed down in fragments - and also in faulty fragments: the preserved cuneiform tablets are school copies, partly incomplete, partly contradictory. Moreover, the text is not a narrative in the modern sense, but rather an enumeration, a litany with artistic repetitions and variations of always identical or similar sentences…

And yet these sentences fascinate us - their artistic distribution into three speaking and singing voices, their rhythm recorded and passed on by the music, the story that gradually emerges from all the enumerations: Inanna’s fight with her sister Ereskigal, the ruler of the underworld; the Tad Inannas, whose body is carelessly hung on a stake; the lament of her servant Ninsubur, who causes the god Enki to bring the body of Inanna back to life with the help of the servant Schwuchti and Wuchti created by Enki: “Go, Faggots and Bulgeti… like the wind.”

The text was brought back to life by the translator Károly Koller. In the laudably comprehensive booklet you can read the original text and translation, and a comment by Koller, in which he writes: “I did not want to help the Sumerian original to produce the best possible German, but rather the German language to produce the best possible Sumerian”.

And that was a success. Language approaches concrete poetry, yet it is clear enough to make this initiation story about Tad and resurrection, love, fidelity and betrayal comprehensible. And the composition Helga Pogachar’s fusion of classical opera, contemporary electronics and Arabic rhythms really transforms the more than 4,000 year old original into great audio cinema!

(Thanks to BR for providing this script.)

Track list:
  • I . Der Abstieg (Decent)
  • Vom großen Himmel zur Untererde (From the Vast Heavens to the Underworld)
  • Weisungen an Ninsubur (Directives for Ninsubur)
  • Am Palast Ganzer (At the Palace of Ganzer)
  • Die sieben Tore zur Unterwelt (The Seven Gates of the Underworld)
  • II . Tod und Auferstehung (Death and Resurrection)
  • Der Kampf der Schwestern (Clashing Sisters)
  • Tod (Death)
  • Ninsuburs Klage (Ninsubur’s Lament)
  • Vom Nagel des einen Daumens (From the Nail of a Thumb)
  • Die List (The Ruse)
  • Kraut und Wasser des Lebens (The Plant and Water of Life)
  • III . Der Aufstieg (Ascent)
  • Inanna stand erneut da (Inanna Rises Anew)
  • Die Leute, die mit Inanna gingen (Inanna’s Escorts)
  • Kopfjagd (The Head Hunt)
  • Die Opferung Dumuzis (Sacrificing of Dumuzi)