Photo: Bregenzer Festspiele / Karl Forster
Bregenz 2012 (WP)
Solaris (2010-2012)Duration: 140 minutes
Opera in two parts
Libretto by Reinhard Palm, based on the novel by Stanislaw Lem (G)
Major roles: S,T,Bar,B; minor roles: S,M,A; mixed chorus; 3(III=picc).2.corA.2.bcl.2.dbn-188.8.131.52-timp.perc(3)-harp-cel-strings(184.108.40.206.4).
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.
Moshe Leiser & Patrice Caurier, director
Conductor: Markus Stenz
Company: Wiener Symphoniker / Prager Philharmonischer Chor
|KRIS KELVIN, psychologist||Baritone|
|HAREY, his wife||Soprano|
|GIBARIAN||voice from tape|
After travelling through universe for sixteen months, the psychologist Kelvin arrives at Planet Solaris in response to alarming messages sent by the scientists based there. Although scientists already knew that Solaris – a planet of a twin star with an unpredictable orbit – does not conform to known physical laws, what Kelvin encounters on his arrival is not so much the planet’s strange phenomena as the strange behaviour of his colleagues. Some of the scientists commit suicide, until the only ones left at the station are Snaut, a bedraggled maverick and cyberneticist, and Sartorious, an inscrutable, paranoid analyser.
On his very first encounter with them, Kelvin is warned of strange apparitions; he does not have to wait long before making his own experiences. He soon has an apparition himself: his former lover, Harey, who committed suicide at the age of nineteen, meets him and starts to revive their guilt-ridden relationship. It appears as if none of the three men is able to get rid of their strange ‘visitors’.
It is the vast ocean that has the merciless power to materialise these human beings. Generations of scientists have gone mad researching it while the ocean continues to project their psychic emanations (shame and disgrace) onto their lives with pitiless indifference. The ocean, defying all scientific endeavours, becomes the true enemy of scientists; every one of them fights against it in their own way. After a dangerous experiment that seems to dissolve the boundaries between the scientist and his object, Kelvin is at the end of his tether but finds a way to face the cruel miracles of the vast and unfathomable ocean.
Contemporary, Environment, Relationships, Religion, Society