Great political Music Theatre! Composer Luigi Nono’s belief in the power of art was great, and worth examining — especially in our times. An encouragement to raise our voices against that which we do not want to put up with.
A migrant worker flees the calamities of a miners’ settlement, leaving his uncomprehending wife behind. Trying to find his way home, he gets caught up in political unrest, is interrogated without reason, tortured and locked up in a concentration camp. He experiences brutality and senselessness, but also solidarity. He is able to escape, wants to fight against injustice, and finds support in the love of a companion. Finally, he is stranded in a village that is swept away by a flood. The last words of the chorus come from Bertolt Brecht's poem To Those Who Follow in Our Wake: “...But you, when at last the time comes/ That man can aid his fellow man,/ Should think upon us/ with leniency.”
Musically, Nono employs a freely handled seriality that retains tremendous color and emotive permeability in its high level of complexity. Framed by two large contemplative choruses, the composer vehemently points out the ills of a dysfunctional society. The final flood seems today, even more than at the time of its composition, a frighteningly plausible consequence of human inadequacy.
Director Marco Štorman displays the plot beyond illustrative images: The real battles rage within. Márton Ágh's stage design, which takes up the entire stage house, draws the audience into the middle of the action and makes tangible what may come when the flood has gone: silence.
Don't miss itStage designer Márton Ágh leaves no stone unturned, transforming the opera house into a desert of ice. You won't recognize the stage and auditorium!