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Music Text

Libretto by David Freeman and Rudolf Kelterborn, incorporating elements from Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet', Gottfried Keller's 'A Village Romeo and Juliet' as well as a motif from present-day Israel/Palestine (G)

Scoring

lyrS,A,M,charT,ygT,lyrB,3Bar,BBar,male voice;
1(=picc).1(=corA).2(I,II=bcl).0-1.1.1.0-perc(2)-harp-vln.vla.vlc.db

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
4/23/1991
Zürich
David Freeman, director
Company: Opera Factory

Roles

JULIA Lyric Soprano
ROMEO Lyric Baritone
SALI Tenor
AHMED Baritone
Julia´s fathers: CAPULET / MARTI /MARTI / MOSHE Bass Baritone
COUNTESS CAPULET / FRIEND OF JULIA'S MOTHER Alto
GUARD / SALI'S MOTHER Mezzo Soprano
MERCUTIO / RABBI / FIRST GUEST Baritone
TYBALT / AHMED'S FATHER / POLICEMAN / SECOND GUEST / INN-KEEPER Baritone
BENVOLIO / MANZ / POLICEMAN / NOMAD Character Tenor
THE BLACK FIDDLER male voice
Synopsis



Violence, love, fear, hope, and despair; lack of understanding and humanity; death in various social spheres, in complex human relationships: all this is the (timeless) ‘theme’ of this opera, which I attempted to approach with a complex spectrum of musical expression and form... Whereas up to now I had always taken clear, ongoing story lines, in Julia the dimension of time is on another level. The concept of the ‘spherical form of time’, coined by Bernd Alois Zimmermann, is of a certain importance here, although I am aware that Zimmermann was referring to something quite different, not to the dramaturgy of a play. The other new aspect for me was that the chamber orchester consisted of 14 instrumentalists and 11 voices. Individual singers portray several parts. That Julia always remains Julia, and all the partners (Romeo, Sali, Ahmed) are each played and sung by one protagonist but the parts of the three fathers are portrayed by the same singer, has nothing to do with the given constraints but, rather, springs from a specific musical and dramaturgical concept.


Rudolf Kelterborn

Moods

Dramatic, Poetic

Subjects

Contemporary, Politics, Relationships, Religion, Society




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