Today, the Schwetzinger Festspiele presents the world première of Argo, a dramma in musica composed by José Maria Sanchez-Verdu, with a libretto by Gerhard Falkner.
It is the composer's second opera after El viaje a Simorgh (Madrid, May 4, 2007).
The book “Butès” by Pascal Quignard inspired me to a renewed examination of this topic. Butes’ encounter with the sirens is a picture of the search for the unknown; Butes’ leap into the water is considered a symbolic and poetic gesture opening up to various interpretations. This leap in search of the sirens’ monstrous Ur-sound is a symbol of an inner decision, an adventure in the direction of the new (comparable to the creative process in art). This is the theme of ARGO in all its symbolic and iconographic dimensions. (reproduced from the Breitkopf & Härtel website)The cast includes bass baritone Jonathan de la Paz Zaens (Butes), countertenor Alin Deleanu (Orpheus), baritone Brett Carter (Odysseus), bass Martin Busen (Jason) and soprano Maren Schwier (Aphrodite / Medea). The composer conducts the SWR Symphonieorchester and the Chorus of the State Theater Mainz. Mirella Weingarten directs. The venue is the Rokokotheater.
The required orchestra is the following :
- 2 flutes (doubling 2 piccolos), 2 oboes (1 doubling English horn), 2 clarinets (doubling bass clarinet and double bass clarinet), 2 bassoons (doubling contrabassoon) ;
- 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, 1 contrabass tuba ;
- timpani and percussion (2 players) ;
- strings 18.104.22.168.2 ;
- live electronic.
The opera will then be performed in Mainz (première on May 20, 2018).