Based on the children’s book of the same name by Ulf Stark, KANNST DU PFEIFEN, JOHANNA (Can You Whistle, Johanna), which won the German Prize for Children's Literature, Gordon Kampe (libretto: Dorothea Hartmann) tells the story of a boy, Berra, and his wish to have his own granddad. So, together with his best friend, he goes to the old folk's home, because there must be a granddad for him in a place with so many old people. Thematically, the piece deals with questions about friendship, family, death and mourning. They are dealt with completely earnestly and without any sentimentality – but nonetheless in a manner suitable for children, while also retaining the positive and life-affirming essence of the play. Gordon Kampe manages to capture the piece’s changing mood, which shifts between the temperament of youth and nostalgic melancholy, by candidly bringing contemporary music together with echoes of waltzes, tango, Baroque arias and the German pop song Kannst du pfeifen, Johanna. Highly unusual instruments like a cactus, an electric shaver and tin cans are used for this, which stimulate the child’s imagination with a tapestry of sounds. Kampe uses the voice equally as undogmatically and diversely, allowing opera singing to grow out of speaking and song sections like the German pop song or birthday songs. KANNST DU PFEIFEN, JOHANNA takes its young audience seriously by both offering them aspects familiar to them, but without pandering to supposedly typical children’s listening habits. This has resulted in a new piece of children’s and youth theatre that transcends style and genre, and, with its challenging themes and high level of quality in composition, provides an easy introduction to the fascination of music theatre.