Tenebrae. Una ópera sobre Paul Celan (Tenebrae. An opera on Paul Celan) (1999)
Music by Alejo Pérez Pouillieux.
World premiere under the musical direction of Alejo Perez Pouillieux and staging of Rita Cosentino during the Season of 1999 from the Centro de Experimentación del Teatro Colón (CETC), Buenos Aires.
Tenebrae was part of the National Program of the II Festival Internacional de Buenos Aires, September 1999.
Libretto based on the play Comedia. Un maestro de Alemania by Alejandro Tantanian
Liederkreis. Una ópera sobre Schumann (Liederkreis. An opera on Schumann) (1999)
Music by Gerardo Gandini.
World premiere under the musical direction of Gerardo Gandini and staging by Rubén Szuchmacher during the Season of 2000 at Teatro Colón’s big stage, Buenos Aires.
Liederkreis takes its name from one of Schumann's song cycles. The opera is an homage to Romanticism and to one of its most beloved subjects: Doppelgänger. Schumann unfolded himself in characters of his invention (Eusebius and Florestan). And these characters come to “real” life in Gandini’s opera. Or at least as “real” as RSCH (name of the main character of this opera) himself: "someone who could be Schumann, but also someone who believes is Schumann or perhaps another madman who is at the same asylum Schumann is", explains the composer. But there are other Doppelgänger (or doubles): Clara (wife of the musician) is a singer and a pianist, but the singer multiplies herself into a female sextet that is heard but never seen on stage.
The texts are always coming from elsewhere: medical words, letters, memoirs, a Clara’s description on her husband saying that the music he writes "is sometimes dictated by the angels, sometimes by demons." Liederkreis. An opera on Schumann works as a place where words from diverse origins can converge. That Babelian quality is something we can also recognize in Schumann's own music. But the essential thing in this work is that there are no certainties. And the opera is built over this territory of doubts.
Diego Fischerman, Página/12, November 19th, 2000.
La Gabbia (The cage) (2003)
Based on the homonymous short story by Ray W. C. Russell.
Music by Tiziano Manca.
World premiere: March 30th, 2004, Theaterhaus, Stuttgart, Germany, under the stage direction of Alejandro Tantanian with the Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart and New.Ears Ensemble. Coproduction between Akademie Schloss Solitude, Lille 2004 - Opera de Lille and Musik der Jahrhunderte and with the support from Kulturstiftung des Bundes, Germany.
I'm a fan of Gothic stories. The one I read some years ago, Russell's The cage, contained all the typical elements: castle, Count, Countess and manager of the Castle: to be revealed as the Devil and lead to the destruction of the castle and the eternal damnation of the Countess.
That that interested me was exactly the typical character of the fact, the timeless dimension of history. I let the story grow in my mind. I knew that this project needed to meet a man of theater.
Later, I think in February 2002, in Stuttgart, I met Alejandro Tantanian. We developed since the first time a mutual sympathy, I think due to our common “latin roots”. Speaking of our two countries, of cultures and literatures, was sure that in our conversations will appear the ghost of Borges, from whom Alejandro read me, like only he can do, some stories. It came back to my mind the story of The cage which I imagined endless in order to correctly represent the eternal damnation of the Countess. Borges himself, who dedicated to time and to the circularity of facts more than few pages, would have appreciated the Countess’ s “ciclic night".
It was just the great and passionate knowledge that Alejandro has of literature that convinced me to talk to him about my project. From that moment on we met often and not only to talk about the work: a collaboration between two artists is not limited to work, often overflows into friendship, into conflict and friendship. Thus, La Gabbia.
PPP (Pier Paolo Pasolini) (2003)
Unpublished libretto. Work not premiered.
Music by Tiziano Manca.
Based on Pasolini's theatre play Calderón.
A pocket opera with music by Oscar Strasnoy.
Written for Daniel Gloger (countertenor) and Garth Knox (viola d'amore).
World premiere in November 2005 in the frame of the Festival de Música Contemporánea del Teatro San Martín, Buenos Aires.
The story is simple as a fairy tale: a house full of old ladies waiting for something to happen. A young man passing by and deceived by the perfume of a handkerchief. He wants to believe that hidden behind the perfume is a beautiful girl. The prohibition of seeing the imagined object (or the inability to see the source of a perfume). A marriage between the young man and the (old) woman that he is not allowed to see. Blindness to the invisible love. The visible disappointment in love. Some passing fairies transform the old woman into a young one and disappointment into illusion. And so on.
Why should we use a fairy tale (in this age where the narrative seemed to be turned kitsch)? I think we needed a very clear story on which to tackle a complex problem: what one sees (or what one does not see) is not always what you believe you are seeing (or what do you believe you are not seeing). External reality is permanently modified by our inner restlessness.
Oscar Strasnoy, Paris, September 24th, 2005.
Music by Oscar Strasnoy.
World premiere in February 2008 under the musical direction of Strasnoy, Creteil (France).
Work commissioned by the Orchestra of L'Ile de France.
Two friends made an oath that will drive them to an unforeseen destiny.
Based on one of the several Italian popular stories compiled by Italo Calvino this opera revisits the old myth of the descent to Hell, foundational myth of the opera (remember L'Orfeo by Monteverdi).
Based on the homonymous short story by Julio Cortázar.
Music by Antonio Zimmermann.
World premiere: July 6th, 2007 under the stage direction of Cristian Drut at the Centro de Experimentación del Teatro Colón (CETC), Buenos Aires.
Clone, the short story by Julio Cortázar, is an exercise in extrapolation in two ways: in writing and in the plot. In writing it's a literary transposition of a musical sample from an interpretation of Bach's Das Musikalische Opfer. The plot makes an historical extrapolation: in a vocal ensemble that performs Gesualdo's madrigals we arrived to the same criminal act committed by the revered mannerist master who, as we know, killed his wife and her lover after discovering them laying together in bed. The fact of musical interpretation is perhaps the main subject of the story.
Federico Monjeau, Clarín, July 8th, 2007.
Mentir (sobre Ada Falcon)
Director of a workshop at the CETC – Centro de Experimentación del Teatro Colón coordinating a group of writers in order to produce a libretto of an opera based on Ada Falcón (popular tango singer): Mentir (sobre Ada Falcón) [To lie (about Ada Falcón)] with music by Lucas Fagin that was premiered in November 2011 under the stage direction of Ariel Farace.