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Gunas Janaitis

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Gunas Janaitis

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Gunas Janaitis

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A Visual Opera In Three Movements

Featuring music by John Cage, Bo Holten, Christoph Willibald Gluck

Operation: Orfeo is a musical work that draws on the basic principles of visual art. A reconceptualisation of the opera genre. Causal and dramaturgic sequence in libretto and music is replaced by a series of tableaux and compositions informed by purely visual and auditive principles rather than by dramatic modes of narration. The performance is a visual interpretation which comes to rediscover the basic elements of traditional opera.

The myth about Orpheus’ journey to the underworld is not retold in a direct way. Rather, it serves as a dramaturgical device with the classical division of the myth into three parts informing a series of images translated into a contemporary scenic language. It hints at the mythic narrative without ever illustrating it. The three parts correspond with the stages in which the events of the mythic narrative unfold: the descent, the ascent and the loss – visualised in images of light and shadow, flat surface and depth.

The libretto is a sensuous flow of words performed as symphonic a capella singing. Like a glowing poem it dives into the fluid, colourful and shady underworld of the ocean to re-emerge at the Roof of the World in the middle of a death cult being performed.

The music of the performance creates a play of difference through oppositions that entice and illuminate each other: the tenuous and the voluminous, the sporadic and the unifying, the soloist and the chorus.

The performance is simple like a surgical incision and complicated like major surgery.

Duration: 80min with no intermission

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