Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Today : World première of 'Die Antilope' by Johannes Maria Staud

Today, the second opera by 40 year old Austrian composer Johannes Maria Staud, Die Antilope, with a libretto by Durs Grünbein, will be performed in Luzern (Luzerner Theater). It is a coproduction with the Oper Köln.

Die Antilope (c) Tanja Dorendorf, T+T Fotografie

Here is what the composer writes about this new opera :
“The opera tells the story of a young man, Victor, a character that draws on Victor Krap (Samuel Beckett, Eleutheria) and Bartleby, the Scrivener (Herman Melville). Victor, a nonconformist social outsider, escapes from an increasingly claustrophobic company party (complete with stagnant and meaningless party chit-chat) by jumping out of the window. This results in Victor stumbling through an absurdly distorted urban world, his ‘journey through the night’ leading him to the strangest situations, sometimes menacing and appalling, sometimes funny and grotesque, always wavering on the threshold between real and unreal. Our hero is torn between the desire to be an outside observer, a spontaneous man of action (he is not immune to moral indignation) and allowing himself to be swept away by the dynamics of the curious situations in which he finds himself. At the end of this journey, Victor – whose true motivation remains a mystery – turns up unexpectedly back at the company party under extremely strange circumstances. The party, which had been frozen in time during his absence, resumes as if nothing had happened. The Möbius band has closed.”. (reproduced from
The opera should last about 75 minutes, requires 7 singers, SATB chorus and an orchestra of 18 and strings (7 woodwinds, 6 brass, 2 percussionists, accordion, MIDI-piano, alto sax, strings).

The cast includes : Jutta Maria Böhnert, Todd Boyce, Flurin Caduff, Szymon Chojnacki, Utku Kuzuluk, Eun-Kyong Lim, Carlo Maffioletti and Jeanett Neumeister. Howard Arman conducts and Dominique Mentha directs.

His first opera, Berenice, after Edgar Allan Poe, was first performed in Munich in May 2004, then revised and premièred in Heidelberg in November 2005.

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