New Productions

JULIETTA
Bohuslav Martinu
1890 - 1959

Lyric Opera in three acts
Libretto by the composer, after the play by the same name by Georges Neveux
First performed March 16th 1938, Nationaltheater, Prague
Sung in German with German surtitles
Duration: c. 3 hrs 5 mins incl. one interval (after c. 1 hr 50 mins)

About the work

What if we only dream our life, and life and dreams are only »pages of a untitled book«? This deeply rooted, recurring suspicion, ...
What if we only dream our life, and life and dreams are only »pages of a untitled book«? This deeply rooted, recurring suspicion, which dates back to Calderon in the 1600s, lies behind this lyric opera by the Czech composer Martinů, which vacillates between illusion and reality. The imaginary world in the work, and Georges Neveux's play, a predecessor of absurd theatre, becomes even more heightened by the magical music. Martinů's sound language moves between Debussy's dream world and Stravinsky's matter-of-factness. The work is only held together by the unfathomable, constantly blurring character portrait of Julietta, an allegory for the longing for love. Martinů's recurring questions: »What is man? What am I? What are you? What is truth?« raise their heads again here in the search for a single, absolute principle, that somewhere in the boundless »continuum of space and time, confused concepts appear to exist in the past and future« (Martinů). Is man capable of love?

Synopsis

The French book-seller Michel Lepic returns to a seaside town to find a girl called Julietta he met 3 years ago. His search is dif ...
The French book-seller Michel Lepic returns to a seaside town to find a girl called Julietta he met 3 years ago. His search is difficult because the inhabitants can't remember anything. Women selling birds and fish argue. The man in the window's accordion playing disconcerts everyone. A young Arab and the accordionist indulge in fragments of recollections, but are interrupted by a man with a hat, who thinks he is a shipowner. Michel tells the policeman that the old Arab used a knife to force him to tell his life story. The policeman explains that this is because nobody has memories. Michel is going to be arrested for causing confusion, but after describing his childhood memories of a toy duck, he is named captain of the town instead. Julietta appears to remember Michel and to have been waiting for him. Michel bumps into the policeman, who is now the postman. Michel and Julietta's next conversation falters. They arrange to meet in the wood, where Michel waits for her. He meets »father youth«, who runs a business pouring glasses of wine and making up memories he claims to have of his guests. A palm reader predicts that Michel's rendezvous with Julietta will end badly; she arrives, but they cannot converse. The memory merchant tries to tempt them with memories. While Julietta lets herself be carried away by fictitious recollections, Michel wants to tell her about his real memories of her. He pours out his heart. Julietta makes fun of him and wants to leave. They argue. Michel draws his pistol, a shot is fired, a scream is heard. He makes sure that his gun has not gone off, but a tribunal for his execution has already been convened. Michel talks about his first meeting with Julietta, hoping to make them forget why they are there, and, he succeeds. The policeman is now a forester, who assures him that it was he who had fired, at a parrot. Michel asks two sailors to look for a girl in the wood. They return with Julietta's veil. Michel no longer knows why he came here. Interval. Michel is back in the central office for dreams. The controller, fed up of seeing him every night, tells him that if he were to wake up now he would find himself at home in bed. But Michel cannot accept that everything was only a dream; he wants to go back to Julietta, despite being warned that he could be lost in dreams forever if he does not return to normal life in time. Various people arrive to order dreams: a beggar, who is sent away because he has come on the wrong day, a hotel page and a prisoner who, the night before going to prison, wants to dream of a huge cell. Michel hears Julietta calling and he eventually makes his way back to the seaside town.
Performances

Monday 13.07.2015 19:30 h

Further performances

Opera House
Subscription: series 12

Pre-booking and Pricing

Cast

Conductor
Sebastian Weigle
Director
Florentine Klepper
Stage Designer
Boris Kudlička
Costume Designer
Adriane Westerbarkey
Lighting Designer
Jan Hartmann
Dramaturge
Norbert Abels
Chorus Master
Markus Ehmann

Julietta
Juanita Lascarro
Michel
Kurt Streit

Town inhabitants
Beau Gibson
Boris Grappe
Andreas Bauer
Nina Tarandek
Maria Pantiukhova *
Magnús Baldvinsson
Marta Herman
Judita Nagyová
Michael McCown

Oper Frankfurt's Orchestra

* Member of thhe Opera Studio

 
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