Trenes de Marzo

chamber opera for countertenor and interactive computer
composed 2006; duration 65 minutes
libretto by Toni Montecinos
commissioned by Acteón, Barcelona (Spain)
world premiere Sala Beckett – Barcelona (Spain) november 2 2006

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“I have avoided a specific view and I have preferred expressivity and impact instead of being concrete. I have favoured conveying the strength and harshness of a particular image or encounter and of its formal speech, as I am against a naturalistic approach to this experience of almost unrealistic proportions. I really think it could not be otherwise, for incomprehensible death is truly unfathomable and doubly so – it leaves us speechless.

Initially, opera was conceived as a dramatic artform expressed through music, or – depending on the perspective of the creators – drama in music, for music, or with music. Among the essential ingredients of opera is the identification of a performer portraying (or even being) a specific character, whereas in ancient madrigals a single performer or several of them both narrated the plot and portrayed more than one character. After four centuries of operatic history we build in [onzeeme] a very intricate structure in which the performer not only must portray several characters (and in different life-states), but which also demands that he takes on the role of shaping the musical accompaniment itself, through his singing.

Such an artistic choice is both avant-garde and regressive, and the interpretation of the plot requires an unorthodox treatment of the dramatic substance, for there are no real dramatic persons nor traditional scenes that could allow a theatrical flow. As a result, the action itself may seem rather vague or even disorientated, but music and theatre converges powerfully in the single performer who epitomizes the ceaseless flow of civilian victims.”

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Sound art
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Chamber orchestra