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Blessed are...

Visible and audible through sound and mime


'Blessed are' is a musical and pantomimic new composition inspired by the words from the Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount and depicts an inner process of the individual on the way to finding himself.

Soprano Elischewa Dreyfus

Mime Lukas Dreyfus

Piano Emilie Casanova

Composition Marlis Walter

Text editing Marlis Walter, Lukas Dreyfus

Production by Elischewa and Lukas Dreyfus

Scenic accompaniment by Florina Brotbek

Nadine Felber costume

Set designer Lukas Dreyfus


March 17th, 2020, 8.00 p.m. Friedenskirche, Bern free admission (collection target price CHF 30.-)

March 28, 2020, 8.15 p.m. City Church, Biel Admission: CHF 25.-

Reservation possible for: Gönnerticket CHF 50.-

and "Friends of L&E Dreyfus"

Recommended for ages 12 and up


"Blessed are those

which the truth

want to recognize "

The Beatitudes made visible and audible through sound and mime.

How can we understand the biblical text from the Sermon on the Mount today? What did this man on the mountain mean by the verses? What resonates in us when we read or hear them? How could they be experienced through the additional vibrations of music, so that they touch us anew and are a light for us soul beings on our way home?

Marlis Walter has been inspired by the verses and has written an atmospheric work in post-romantic tonal language for Elischewa's wonderful touching soprano voice and for piano. The message is presented scenically by Lukas Dreyfus through his expressive and enchanting art of panto¬mime.

In this piece, pantomime serves to make visible the inner development and movement of the words from the Sermon on the Mount. Deliberately designed gestures are used, which with sensitivity try to get closer to the hardly comprehensible wisdom of the Beatitudes. The aim is not to provide the audience with a ready-made image, but rather to give them the opportunity to let their own inner images come to life. 

There is an interplay between pantomime and song, with the pantomime depicting more the earthly man, his struggles and the laws of cause and effect, partly without music, partly accompanied by piano improvisations. The other visible element is the singer, who does not perform statically as in a concert, but more like in an opera, a role with movement and facial expressions. She sings the words of Jesus - quite authentically in the role of the voice of truth. The encounters between the two roles are impressive, or when the singer enters the audience and sings about 'those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness' - whereby the content surprisingly concerns everyone in the audience.


The duration of the play is about 50 minutes, the pure playing time of the work is about 20 minutes. The starting point is two large stage sets, one of which is completely black and the other depicts a large figure with moving arms. At special moments - as a symbol of unity - a monochord is also used, the instrument on which the same string is strung several times.

In the sense of musical, artistic peace work, the project fits very well into church rooms, but also into other spaces. An acoustic piano must be available in tuned condition or be made available. 

Stage elements and light will be brought along for the programme with pantomime.

Development and description of the work

The cycle 'Glückselig sind...' (Op.58) was written between Christmas 2018 and January 2019 as an internal commission for a peace event in autumn 2019. It is a work for soprano and piano. Marlis Walter was inspired by the nine Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-11). The text was not set to music word for word, but reformulated and interpreted by Lukas Dreyfus and Marlis Walter and supplemented with some new texts. The work begins with the description of Jesus climbing the mountain and speaking to the people. Then follow the individual verses, in a post-Romantic, filigree tonal language, be it, depending on the mood, with pearly piano harmonies that surround the lyrical voice, simple and chorale-like, e.g. in verse 9, or sometimes gripping and with interesting rhythmic shifts in verse 10; wonderfully realised through the harmonic changes is the dimensional leap from the earthly to the heavenly in verse 8, where man learns that he will see and experience God if he is pure of heart.

Marlis Walter's composition is tonal. With her works she touches people's hearts, because for her music is a bridge to heaven and the spiritual world.


"Blessed are the mourners,

who face suffering sincerely, for they will be comforted "


Elischewa Dreyfus

Born and raised in an intercultural, interspiritual center in the heart of Switzerland, Elischewa Dreyfus has met a wide range of people and musical styles since childhood.

Her training as a music and movement pedagogue / rhythmist helped her, in addition to many years of private singing lessons with Marianne Prato, to a solid pedagogical and musical basis.

Elischewa Dreyfus completed her training with a Master of Arts in Music Pedagogy. She deepened her skills in the field of opera studio and dance and did development work in music theater projects with children and young people as well as with classical and folk literature. Under her direction, ten productions were created at the Stadttheater Biel and the Bern University of the Arts (HKB).

Elischewa Dreyfus continued to train master's students in music education. As an assistant to Franz Anderegg at the HKB, she taught voice training for individuals and groups for four years. She gives private lessons and works as a concert singer and soloist.

Due to her wide-ranging education, Elischewa Dreyfus has been able to realize numerous interdisciplinary projects with dance, theater, pantomime, improvised and composed music in recent years. Her last program, 'Soul Wing', met with a great response both nationally and internationally. In summer 2018 she accepted an invitation to Bethlehem (Palestine / Israel) to perform at a peace concert for the local population.

She is currently studying with Barbara Erni and Susanna Schneeberger and lives in Biel with her husband and two daughters.

Work show 2010-2015

Ten productions of musical theater with children and young people at the Biel City Theater with the Biel Young Theater and the HKB (founder of the Biel Children's and Youth Opera)

Soloist for GF Handel's Messiah with an Ad Hoc Choir and the Allegria Baroque Orchestra, conducted by Victoria Walker

Soloist participation in the quarter-tone composition by Johann Sonnleitner with the Ensemble Klingendes Licht. Performances in the Fraumünster, Zurich

since 2014 until today

Numerous appearances and recitals in church services, retirement homes, festivals, vernissages and celebrations throughout Switzerland and Germany

2016 to 2018

The essence of the Magic Flute - director, project management and soloist 'Pamina' for the abridged version of WA Mozart's Magic Flute performed in the Biel City Church and at two international festivals (Center of Unity, Schweibenalp and Villa Unspunnen, Interlaken)

Soul wing: four performances with dance, piano, singing, improvisation and literature in Biel, Brienz, Schaffhausen and Bern.

Performance in Ligerz with classical songs in a varied program in cooperation with various artists from all over Switzerland

Jauchzet Gott, soprano solo cantata by JS Bach, with the orchestra collegium musicum biel under the direction of Katrin Lutherbacher

Duo piece “Une Vie” with Lukas Dreyfus (spouse), pantomime and with Emilie Casanova, piano. Songs from the romantic and classical periods. Performed in Biel and at the international festival 'Universal Peace', Brienz

August 2018, invitation to Bethlehem (Israel / Palestine), concert for the local population in the crisis area with a local Palestinian pianist and a performance in the Church of the Nativity of Jesus

August 2018, performance with the piece "Une Vie" in Brienz at the International Peace Festival Universal Peace Celebration 'Uni Peace'

November 2018, Solo Soprano Cantata No. 84 "I am delighted with my happiness" with the 'collegium musicum biel'

December 2018, soloist for Magnificat by JS Bach and 1st movement of the Christmas Oratorio with the Biel Chamber Choir and the Allegria Baroque Orchestra, conducted by Fredi Schild, Biel City Church


April 13th and 14th, 2019: Soloist for Stabat Mater von Pergolesi with chamber music in Ligerz

23.08.2019: Bethlehem as a mirror, peace concert in the Elisabethenkirche in Basel

04.09.2019: Bethlehem as a mirror, peace concert in the Heiliggeist Church in Bern

October 20, 2019: Pre-premiere 'Blissful are' in Binningen near Basel

December 1st, 2019: Solo performance with orchestra in Evilard near Biel, Christmas program

December 11th, 2019: Advent celebration 'Receiving the light in us', Friedenskirche Bern


Lukas Dreyfus

Born in 1984 in the Bernese Jura

Artist name: Lukas Mimefka

A central concern of his artistic work is to revive the largely forgotten elementary pantomime according to EG Böttger (founder of Mime Bern) and Paul Gerber's "atelier du geste", which no longer exists in Biel / Bienne.

His vision is to develop a form of theater therapy that deepens inner peace and expands consciousness.

He is a freelance pantomime artist and has been running his own craniosacral therapy practice in Biel and St-Imier for 5 years. He is currently completing further training in prenatal and childbirth therapy.


Lukas Dreyfus has been practicing pantomime for more than 10 years. He enjoyed many years of training in elementary pantomime with Christoph Stämpfli (Mime Bern) in Spiez and attended various actors and eurythmists such as Clemens Leuthard (CH) and Marc Belbeoch (FR). He also attended courses at the School for Extended Theater in Berlin, at the Theater School of the Goetheanum in Dornach and the preliminary theater course at the HKB Bern.

Lukas Dreyfus has realized his own pantomime projects in collaboration with other artists in recent years

04.09.2016 The Magic Flute - its essence, Biel City Church

2017: Several projects under the title Klangflügel (pieces with pantomime and music)

May 28, 2017: Wrestling soul, pantomime with music, inspired by Goethe's Faust, Ligerz

11/5/2017: descent and surrender

December 24th, 2017: To be born

06/02/2018: Une vie

23.08.2019: Bethlehem as a mirror, peace concert in the Elisabethenkirche in Basel

04.09.2019: Bethlehem as a mirror, peace concert in the Heiliggeist Church in Bern

Lukas Dreyfus is continuously developing new pantomime pieces and regularly leads pantomime courses in Biel in the KuFa Lyss. In June 2018 he gave a teacher training course in pantomime at the Langenthal Music School.

At the invitation of the Holy Land Trust Org., He taught in Bethlehem (Israel / Palestine) in August 2018. Further projects in cooperation with the University of Bethlehem are in preparation.

Lukas Dreyfus lives in Biel with his wife and two daughters.


Marlis Walter

Marlis Walter was born in Solothurn. As a child she was drawn to the piano, effortlessly playing two-part melodies, inventing and improvising music. As a result, at the age of five, she was allowed to take lessons with a pianist known in her region.

Fifteen years later, she obtained the pedagogy diploma from this very competent teacher from childhood, the pianist Adalbert Roetschi, in Zurich and continued her piano studies with Brigitte Meyer in Lausanne. In May 2000 she graduated with a soloist diploma (avec félicitations du Jury).

Marlis Walter is an excellent Bach player and interpreter of works from the Viennese classical period. She has also been playing the latter on the historic fortepiano for a number of years. She is a passionate chamber musician and accompanist and has the gift of empathizing with her musical partners. She is a master of soft tones and is able to fill the room with her music at the same time and cast a spell over the audience.

At the International Competition of the Lyceum Club in 1994 she won the prize for the best performance by female musicians under the age of 20 as well as a special prize for the best interpretation of a Mozart sonata. She is a prize winner of the Ernst Goehner Foundation (Migros), winner of the Work Year Prize of the City of Solothurn and has won numerous other prizes.

In addition to her studies, she attended master classes with Homero Francesch, Naoyuki Taneda, Ferenc Rados, Andràs Schiff and Walter Blankenheim.

Marlis Walter was a member of the 'Gershwin Piano Quartet' for eight years and gave concerts in Europe and South America (Chamber Music Festival Menton, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Sao Paulo, Rheingau Festival Wiesbaden, St. Petersburg etc.).

The pianist currently teaches a piano class at the music school in the Burgdorf region as well as private students.

Although she composed her own music at an early age, Marlis Walter did not focus on it during her studies because she never found access to so-called “New Music” or to atonality. With her new children's songs in the classical style, however, her musical ideas have paved a way, and meanwhile she dares to tackle larger works without being restricted by stylistic epochs and expectations.


Emilie Casanova

Emilie Casanova - another piano line-up in the piece 'Glückselig sind ...' - was born and raised in Valais and studied classical piano as a teenager. She sang in various choirs - for example in the 'Novantiqua' and in the 'Coeur Suisse des Jeunes - Swiss Youth Choir'.

At the age of nineteen she moved to Barcelona to take lessons from Carmen Martínez and Luis de Moura Castro.


When she came back to Switzerland in 2002, she began studying piano with Rada Petkova at what was then the Conservatory in Biel. However, she switched to training in rhythmics (HEAB), during this time took lessons from Silvia Del Bianco, Pière Sublet and Riccardo Bovino and graduated with a Master of Arts Music Pedagogy in the field of project and piano.


Emilie Casanova composes various pieces for children, young people and adults, including an opera for children for the Biel / Solothurn City Theater ('Der Geist des Roten Ahorns', 2011). She also set Johanna Spyri's 'The Black Brothers' to music for a school (2012). She accompanies choirs and is an accomplished, sensitive accompanist.

Emilie Casanova has worked for the 'Ecole Jurassienne et Conservatoire de Musique' in Delémont and for the 'Ecole de Musique' in Neuchâtel in recent years. At the moment she mainly gives private piano lessons with the approach of the rhythm principle and takes on various engagements.

Emilie Casanova's special ability lies in composing or improvising from the moment - be it accompanying the movement or related to the topic. She has already participated in several appearances by Elischewa Dreyfus and Lukas Dreyfus (including Magic Flute - her essence; Une Vie)


Many thanks to our sponsors:

Civic Community of Bern

Canton and city of Solothurn


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