Playing with the Opera

Prior to the stage première of his chamber opera, “Martha’s Garden”, Cezary Duchnowski announced surprises for the audience. He kept his word. To the astonishment of some and the amusement of others, the opera was started a number of times during the Sunday performance. The composer told his performers to start “once again from the beginning,” which was communicated to the audience by turning the lights on, a signal and the instruction to turn off mobile phones. Playing with convention was one of the manifestations of Duchnowski’s distanced attitude to traditional forms of opera staging. The musicians distributed on stage involuntarily draw the audience’s attention to their performative actions. However, acting tasks were only given to the soloist (Agata Zubel) and actor (Eryk Lubos). The plot presented on stage, resulting from the libretto, did not influence the narration as much as the course of the musical parts and the visual layer (visualizations by Maciej Walczak) corresponding to the libretto.

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