(Kopie 1)
28.11.2011 08:02

Entangled in guilt

Manfred Trojahn’s opera “Orest” receives its world première in Amsterdam

Manfred Trojahn has composed a new opera for the Nederlandse Opera Amsterdam: Orest, a music theatre work in six scenes to his own libretto, will be premiered on 8 december 2011 in Amsterdam in a production by Katie Mitchell with set designs by Giles Cadle. The conductor is Marc Albrecht, and Dietrich Henschel sings the title role.

In Orest Manfred Trojahn reappraises the myth of matricide in a libretto of his own. The central themes in the version of his music theatre work lie firstly in his interest in “finding a reason for the events which (over and above the sequence of action and revenge, run through all parts of the Atrides myth) can give an insight into the conditions which trigger the plots we are faced with and which leave us speechless.” The central character of the drama, Orestes, is a sufferer who attempts to emancipate himself from the power of the gods. He oscillates, according to Manfred Trojahn, between heteronomy and the vision of a new life: “He makes just one mistake: he thinks he can leave guilt behind him – and he only realizes too late that he has to live with guilt in order to overcome it.”

Three female figures, Elektra, Hermione and Helena, portray differing characters. The masculine power of the gods emerges as a double figure, Apollo and Dionysos, who portray two sides of a character ­– the political cynic and the sensual seducer. A particular link is formed by the musically impressive starting point of the opera: a dream of Orestes trapped in his torment, music with six women’s voices, at times coupled to six solo violins which are intended to fill the whole auditorium with sound. “I have avoided calling them Erinnyes, for I think more of psychological processes ‘in’ Orestes than of mythical beings.  And they are also the multiplied voice of Clytemnestra. This music always returns when Orestes is tormented by his agonies of conscience.”

The end remains inconclusive: “Whether or not Orestes has found the way? I cannot answer this. Like all my operatic heroes, at the end he departs without giving us an answer to our questions.”

8.12.2011 Amsterdam (De Nederlandse Opera) - World Première
Manfred Trojahn: Orest
Libretto: Manfred Trojahn
Conductor: Marc Albrecht, Stage Director: Katie Mitchell (further performances 11., 13., 16., 19., 22., 26., and 28.12.2011)