Oration – an operatic pamphlet on being human

About a year ago the Danish composer Line Tjørnhøj was given the opportunity to have a small work performed at the prestigious Center for Contemporary Opera (CCO) in New York. After a lot of hard work and fundraising, the opera Mirandolas, Oration is now planned to have its world premiere this summer.

The production of the opera involves talented people from CCO’s network who are all experienced in working with art music. Such as the music director Lidiya Yangkovskaya, who on a daily basis serves as Music Director of Juventas New Music Ensemble as well as CCO’s Development Series in New York. The stage director is Eugenia Arsenis, who also serves as CCO’s dramaturge. In addition to these, administration and artistic director Jim Schäffer will manage an entire team of creatives.

The opera will take place as a “black-box” type of production, which serves the music well. This includes a minimum of sets, props and costumes. The opera has its premiere on July 26 and 27, 2013 at the Cell Theatre in New York City.

About the work
ORATION – an opera pamphlet
Oration is an abstract and poetic flowering of the profoundly serious and existential themes inherent in human lives, such as death, natural disasters, sexual identity and religious fundamentalism. A breathing space with room to reflect and deal with impossible life situations and unsolvable dilemmas: “ when you feel the deep sadness in your body, discovering it is not possible to fix the problems. This is opera! A simple yet existential human drama. It is about death, love and being caught in a wreck without escape. Death has a sound. The sound of the human voice. The unschooled raw, pure tone of our human essence: “We are moving on the edge of conventions and we split the opera. Me and life itself.“

Human suffering can take so many forms and the only “instrument” that is truly capable of displaying this wide spectrum of emotions is the human voice - both staging the drama, forming the words and simultaneously bringing comfort and healing. Line Tjørnhøj strives to confront this tangible, human-caused “pain” and transform that energy into a reconciling and creative musical expression. Oration is an attempt to build a poetic bridge, and a textual collage – an operatic pamphlet on “human being” – respectively, spanning more than 800 years of time: “... and after - we need to bring our audience home, feed them with soup, good bread and a little whisky... and talk about adventures on the seven seas...” Line Tjørnhøj.

Sounding props
2 ceramic coffee pots
12 cups on saucers
6 tee spoons
1 skipping rope
1 ball (playing ball)
1 relatively big blanket with good absorbing ability
Stones in different sizes – as many as Mezzo-Soprano 2 is able to drag on the blanket over the floor
Ice – not cubes, but for instance ice used to cool fish