Part I: The City of Dis or “The Ship of Fools” - Synopsis by Louis Andriessen
It opens with a psalm text in Latin introducing Das Narrenschiff, followed by the sixteenth century recruitment text for the guild of the Blue Barge. Anyone indulging in throwing dice, dancing and capering with pretty women is welcome. “With such folk the Barge is loaded.” Then Beatrice appears. She tells (in Italian) about her request for Virgil to help Dante on his expedition through the afterlife. There are some men in a boat on their way to Dis, the burning city in Hell. On the roof of the flaming towers they see screaming furies. Near the end someone walks on the water. Dante concludes the first act with the words: “I was certain that she was sent from heaven”.
Part I: The City of Dis or "The Ship of Fools" - Synopsis by Hal Hartley
The Terrifying Orchestra of the 21st century, also known as "The Guild", play their music on the streets of Amsterdam. They finish for the day, divide up the money, and go to their favorite bar, the Ship of Fools, where Lucifer, a local businessman with failed political ambitions, witnesses everything. Meanwhile, two young social activists from the suburbs, Maria and Lucia, arrive in town to hand out political pamphlets during the visit to the city of a famous public figure - Beatrice. Dante, a lady television journalist from Italy, is preparing her on-camera report of this important event. Maria is saddened to see her friend Lucia seduced by the young, tattooed, horn player, Farfarello, and taken to the Ship of Fools. At the bar, the Guild get drunk, dance, argue, fight, and try to make out with each other's wives and girlfriends. A ferocious fight breaks out between Calcabrina and Libbicocco.