03 June 2010

Bählamms Fest by Olga Neuwirth

That is the title of the opera I am to design in the spring. So exciting!!

Here is the only description I can find of the opera:
"It's impossible to summarise the action except to say that bizarre, horrific things happen: lambs and a shepherd get their heads ripped off, animals speak, and one of the main characters is seduced by her husband's brother, Jeremy, who just happens to be half man, half wolf (though which half is which is never made clear). The cast list contains roles for a spider, a bat, a cooked goldfish, the skeleton of a rat, and Henry the Dog. It is a typically surrealist dream world, whose sheer strangeness and compelling dramatic pacing are vividly evoked in Neuwirth's music. Her aural imagination has always seemed exceptional, and here the webs of sound with which she surrounds the voices (which speak as much as they sing conventionally, and are frequently subjected to various electronic enhancements) are compelling. The ensemble writing for 21 players also includes a prominent part for the Theremin, the early electronic instrument, now almost extinct, which was given immortality by the Beach Boys on Good Vibrations. Here its unearthly timbres lend yet more sense of dislocation to many of the textures in the opera."

Here is a clip of the music:

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