The Sacrificed Life

Chamber opera for four singers and two orchestras


Brief informations:

Music: Hèctor Parra
Libretto: Marie NDiaye
Musical director: Peter Tilling
Director: Vera Nemirova
Set design: Stefan Heyne

Complete cast

Venue:

World premiere:

Gasteig/Carl-Orff-Saal

Further performances:
Gasteig/Carl-Orff-Saal
Gasteig/Foyer Carl-Orff-Saal


The Sacrificed Life

The Sacrificed Life

Chamber opera for four singers and two orchestras

Orpheus, inversely. The man returns from the dead to his wife and his mother, who have mourned and arranged their lives to a life without him. His death is with him. When one of the women's love for Orpheus is strong and powerful enough, Death will withdraw and let the man live. The wife elaborately declares her love for him, the troublesome struggle for a common ground, her desire to merge the partners' dissimilarities into a partnership. The mother is only able to say a few of words: "I don't know what this is / a love that must be spoken." To her, with each transition from one phase in life to the next – from baby to child, from child to youth, from youth to adult – the son has died. In the end, she offers to die so her son can live.

Orpheus is an old subject for the opera, the Baroque era in particular produced numerous libretti and compositions. The concept of a sacrifice that humans make for one another runs like a thread through the dramas and novels of the French author Marie N'Diaye, who moved to live in Berlin after Sarkozy came to power. For the Catalan composer Hèctor Parra, who lives in Paris and had previously set a poem by N’Diayes to music, the libretto offered the opportunity to merge two passions: the IRCAM composer's enthusiasm for baroque opera and his joy of discovery. The music, which can at times be extremely forceful, at times extremely gentle, will be performed by an ensemble with modern instruments and a baroque ensemble; both ensembles in their respective tunings, which differentiate from one another by a semitone. The dialogue of contrasting spheres – earthly and non-earthly, life and death, love and frigidness – has musical equivalents on different levels: baroque – modern, present – imaginary, vocal – instrumental. It is conceived from the vocals; moments, shadows of the Baroque music theater shine through the modern sound texture. "Operating in a multi-dimensional 'space-time' … allows the sensual vastness of the elapsing present to become tangible" (Markus Böggemann).

Composer

Hèctor Parra

Bild des Composers: Hèctor Parra

Hèctor Parra

Héctor Parra was born in 1976 in Barcelona. He studied at the conservatory in his hometown, and at the university and at IRCAM in Paris with David Padrós; Brian Ferneyhough; Jonathan Harvey; and Michael Jarrell. After winning other renowned awards, in 2011 he received a scholarship from the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation. His works are performed at international festivals and in important concert halls. Two portrait CDs (KAIROS and Col-legno) and a complete recording of his chamber opera "Hypermusic Prologue," based on a libretto by the physicist Lisa Randall, document the spectrum of his work up until the present. He has received commissions from, among other institutions, Musée du Louvre; IRCAM; Ensemble Intercontemporain; Klangforum Wien; Berlin Academy of the Arts; WDR; Musica Strasbourg; Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord; Cité de la Musique Paris; and the Huddersfield Festival (where he was composer-in-residence in 2013). He has been composer-in-residence at IRCAM-Centre Pompidou in Paris since 2002, and he has been teaching there as a professor of composition since September 2013.

 

 

Informations

Cast & credits

Cast


Composition: Hèctor Parra
Libretto: Marie NDiaye
Translation into German: Claudia Kalscheuer
Musical director: Peter Tilling
Director: Vera Nemirova
Set design: Stefan Heyne
Light design: Peter Mentzel
Dramaturgy: Heiko Voss
Cast
Der Mann Alejandro Lárraga Schleske, baritone
Sein Tod Lini Gong, coloratura soprano
Die Frau Sally Wilson, lyric soprano
Die Mutter Sigrun Schnell, soprano

Ensemble Recherche
Martin Fahlenbock, flute
Shizuyo Oka, clarinet
Jaime González, oboe
Christian Dierstein, percussion
Melise Mellinger, violin
Barbara Maurer, viola
Åsa Åkerberg, violoncello
Freiburger Barockorchester
Beatrix Hülsemann, violin
Kathrin Tröger, violin
Werner Saller, Viola
Heidi Gröger, viola da gamba
Dane Roberts, violone
Andreas Arend, theorbo
Masako Art, harp
Extra child: Vincent Baur
Assistant: Johannes Knapp
Répétiteur: Alison Luz
Assistant to the director: Johann Michael Diel
Assistant to the set designer: María José Gómez
Stage management: Brigitte Schäfer
Duration: 90 minutes
Language: In German with subtitles
Performing rights: Editions Durand, Paris
The composition and the libretto have been commissioned by the City of Munich and the Theatre Freiburg.
Co production: Munich Biennale; Theatre Freiburg

Theater Freiburg

  • The Sacrificed Life
    © Adrienne Meister
  • The Sacrificed Life
    © Adrienne Meister
  • The Sacrificed Life
    © Adrienne Meister
  • The Sacrificed Life
    © Adrienne Meister
  • The Sacrificed Life
    © Adrienne Meister
  • The Sacrificed Life
    © Adrienne Meister
  • The Sacrificed Life
    © Adrienne Meister

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