Sancta Susanna

Paul Hindemith/August Stramm

In his book The tears of Eros, the philosopher Georges Bataille deals at length with the relationship between religion and eroticism: "Religion is in any case subversive; it rejects the adherence to the laws. What it demands is excess, sacrifice, celebration, with, as a climax, ecstasy."

In this work the link between carnal love and religious love is the desire of both to unite, to abandon oneself, to sacrifice oneself to something grand. In his opera Hindemith sketches an intriguing picture of religion and eroticism. He creates magnificent music and suggestive texts to portray the dark but also exalted and tumultuous layers with which a person is confronted upon entering the cloister atmosphere when eroticism amd religion are blended.