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Libretto by Heinz von Cramer (G)

Scoring

S,M,3T,2Bar,4B;
3(III=picc).3(III=corA).3(III=bcl).3(III=dbn)-4.3.3.1-timp.perc-harp-cel-strings-tape

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
2/4/1966
Hamburg
Company: Hamburgische Staatsoper

Roles

THE MILLIONAIRE Bass
THE PLEASURE TRIPPER Tenor
THE ENGINEER Baritone
THE GENERAL STAFF OFFICER in plain clothes Bass
THE JOURNALIST Tenor
THE ASSISTANT Mezzo soprano
THE PROFESSOR Tenor
THE PRIMADONNA Soprano
TWO AGENTS OF THE SECURITY SERVICE Basses
THE ELECTION SPEAKER Baritone
THE PROFESSOR (professor and host are a dual role but which should not be obvious until the end) Tenor
The numbers from one to infinity Electronics
Time and Place

An imaginary jungle island with a secret test-site. The present.

Synopsis



After an emergency landing, a group of aircraft passengers, forming as if by chance an odd assortment of a millionaire, a pleasure-tripper, a general staff officer in civilian clothes, a journalist, and a primadonna, find themselves on an unknown but inhabited island where they are confronted by an abundance of inexplicable events. A mysterious "host" arrests them and entangles them in a nightmarish interrogation about the tragic disappearance of a scientist, about the purpose of their journey, and about the identity of humankind. Is this latter really only confined to "experiences and memories, which the body stores up; experiences and memories, which it communicates to other bodies, which they, in turn, store up?" And does this mean that to construct this, is "to reconstruct the whole of matter. Or rather, its formula, which can be applied to every conceivable physical event", as maintained by an inscrutable master of a realm of artificial intelligence? Deep down inside, information is what holds the world together. Information is power. But who possesses it in this game, where God is merely a "synonym for fear"?

Moods

Dramatic

Subjects

Contemporary, Politics, Relationships, Society

Recommended Recording
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