PRESENTATION: OPERA IN PROGRESS
What would make an Antigone modern? Set it in New York or in an abattoir? Make her sing rap or hip-hop? Odola means “blood” in Basque, an allusion to a present-day tragedy in which blood is present, both in the open wounds of the dead and mutilated as well as in the blood ties between members of two bands. But what makes this Antigone modern is the conflict between reality and verbal construction, between the sentiment of a person and the demagogy of the system.
The music of Odola has been thought out as the development of different microcosms. It could be understood as the same process which is adopted in painting, where, as well as the tones and the forms, the textures which the various layers of brushstrokes leave must be considered. At the same time, with a free enough score, the new hands which interpret it transform it with continuing intensity. It might be thought that the control of the nuances of this score is excessive, as it reduces the field of interpretation, but on consideration, it really opens a possible path: a sort of invitation to a sound space from which we can only exit with difficulty. Even while working with constructions at a great distance, John Cage does not abandon us. The basic idea is to represent a small universe based on minimal instants, the image of a living being. What more fitting for the contradiction of Antigone between the vital impulse, sentiment and reason? When faced with a work like this one, of a size superior to that habitual in a concert, the composer felt the need to think of the score with a certain verticality, to be able to create plots of a complexity which generally the chamber format does not permit. So, the heart helps to diversify the characters by making them shadows, mirrors, breaking them down, as well as creating a collective character for the Senate, and at the same time creating bridges between the instruments and the soloists singing, which brings us intermittently into a complex and balanced musical scene representing the mind – at times contradictory, at times clear and transparent.
In reply to the classic question: “Well, in the end, what does this sound like?”, we can only reply, to satisfy sceptical spirits, that it is about music with a language of our times, which some dare to call strange music, putting it in some wrong container. Of course, these critics of swift judgements to whom we allude, are invited, and the ordinary mortal also, it goes without saying.
Composition and musical direction: Jordi Rossinyol
Idea, text and dramatization: Albert Mestres
22, 23 and 24 November 2007
Antigone: MONTSERRAT BERTRAL (mezzo)
Oedipus: XAVIER RIBERA (baritone)
Actor: VÍCTOR ALVARO
Piano: SILVIA VIDAL
Percussion: PILAR SUBIRÀ
Violoncello: ELISABETTA RENZI
Violin: JOAN MORERA
Executive Production: MONTSE HERRERA (Acteon)
Coproduction: ACTEON, FOBNC
Collaboration: SALA BECKETT