Today, the new opera composed by Rolf Wallin, Elysium, with a libretto in English by Mark Ravenhill, will be performed in Oslo at the Main Hall of the Norwegian Opera in Oslo.
It is the composer's first opera.
What is a man ? Where are the boundaries between our bodies, our thoughts and new technology ? Are we still human if we remove pain, conflict and sorrow ? A computer chip implanted in the throat allows humans to freely share thoughts, sensory perceptions and emotions with each other. Nor do these new ‘transhumans’ live under the threat of decease or death. Peace and affluence have become a worldwide reality. However, 40 original humans have been preserved in a living cultural history museum on an isolated island. Once a year they perform Beethoven's opera Fidelio for the ‘transhumans’. They do this to commemorate the long struggle for human rights, which we praised in memorial speeches and at art expressions, but never managed to realise in our time. (reproduced from the Norwegian Opera website)The cast includes soprano Eli Kristin Hanssveen (Kvinnen), mezzo soprano Hege Høisæter (Naboen), bass Ketil Hugaas (Ektemannen), soprano Lina Johnson (Hustruen) and tenor Nils Harald Sødal (Coraig / Jaquino). Baldur Brönnimann conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Norwegian Opera. David Pountney conducts. The performance should last about 2 hours and 30 minutes, with 1 intermission.