Gisela! Oder: Die merk- und denkwürdigen Wege des Glücks (Gisela! or: The Strange and Memorable Ways of Happiness) is the title of the new music theatre piece by Hans Werner Henze for young performers and young audiences. Premiere performances of Gisela! on September 25 through October 8 are presented by the Ruhrtriennale/ruhr.2010. An entirely new second production will be premiered on November 20th at Semperoper Dresden, who jointly commissioned the work. These performances are part of the Henze project of Cultural Metropolis 2010 which features Henze’s complete oeuvre in more than 200 concert, opera, and dance productions.The composer’s original story is about Gisela, a young student of art history whose life is turned upside down during a stay in Naples. She falls in love with actor Gennario, a character reminiscent of Pulcinella, the clever and drafty Commedia dell’arte archetype. The turbulent city at Mount Vesuvius and the cold industrial city of Oberhausen are the juxtaposed scenes of action within the music drama. Following the idea of an “open dramaturgy” the opera encompasses a series of madrigals sung by a 5-voice choir as well as a number of orchestral interludes depicting the dreams of the protagonists.