Hypermusic Prologue is fruit of a unique partnership between science, music and the plastic arts. In the company of Lisa Randall, the artist Matthew Ritchie and the stage director Paul Desveaux, we explore the “historical” form of opera to create a new type of dramatic expression suited to the 21st century.
Lisa Randall’s libretto introduces a composerscientist (soprano) torn between the love she feels for her partner (baritone) and her passion for knowledge, guided by her conviction that there is a much larger world waiting to be explored.
Their relationship changes when the soprano, after a fierce quarrel, decides to undertake a hypothetical voyage to the warped 5th dimension in the Randall-Sundrum model of space-time…
From this moment on, the space and the energy the soprano encounters depend on her position in this new dimension. Thus, soprano and baritone – through this journey – undergo different experiences of realty: the soprano, moving freely in five-dimensional hyperspace, and the baritone, feeling confined in the four dimensions of known spacetime. Music, an extremely organised form of acoustic energy, helps to take us closer and enjoy, through our senses, these mysterious and attractive, intensely distorted spaces.
In this opera, the public is guided from the “familiar, threedimensional” psychoacoustic space of the concert hall to the sensation of moving into a new, unexpected, spatial-acoustic dimension. Thus, and as we shall see further on, all the electronic, instrumental and vocal rhythms, pitches, melodies and gestures are specially sculpted following a series of structures analogous with the physical processes and concepts that appear in Lisa Randall’s space-time model.
During this composing process new musical material is born, which is unified in the form of hyperexpressive sound material that constitutes the high points of the libretto. The music that gives life to the constant contrasts of emotional and rhythmic tension in the dialogues is specially conceived to distort the public’s perception of time.
Music: Héctor Parr
Libretto: Lisa Randall
Absolute premiere: Center Pompidou of Paris June 2009
Gran Teatre del Liceu November 27 and 28, 2009
Music direction: CLEMENT POWER
Stage direction: PAUL DESVEAUX
Set design: MATTHEW RITCHIE
Music computer production: THOMAS GOEPFER
CHARLOTTE ELLETT, soprano
JAMES BOBBY, bariton
of the Ensemble Intercontemporain
production: IRCAM-CENTER POMPIDOU
Lighting: LAURENT SCHNEEGANS
Co-production: IRCAM – POMPIDOU CENTER, INTERCONTEMPORAIN (PARIS), GRNA TEATRE DEL LICEU, CAIXA CATALUNYA SOCIAL WORK, POCKET OPERA FESTIVAL AND NEW CREATIONS.