Saturday, July 9, 2011

Aix 2011: Thanks to my Eyes by Oscar Bianchi tonight on Arte Live Web

The World Premiere of Thanks to my Eyes took place a few nights ago and tonight --starting from 20:00 (cet)-- we will be able to see it live from Aix en Provence thanks to Arte Live Web.

A scene from Thanks to my Eyes [photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat]
5 points:
  • Oscar Bianchi is a young internationally trained composer, born in Italy in 1975, nowadays lives in NYC.  His style with particularly rich textures is en vogue among contemporary music orchestras today. This is his first opera.
  • Libretto for Thanks to my eyes is an abridged version of Grâce à mes yeux, a play by Joël Pommerat. Yours Truly did not quite understand why it was translated into English, but it seems clear that the style of this piece is close to that of Samuel Beckett. 
  • The story is about an absurd and yet human desire: a famous comedian wants to pass his talent onto his untalented son (Aymar). The frustrated son is then turned to his inner self, here represented by two women -- one is the day/light and the other is the night/darkness. Good question would be "Why calling the piece Thanks to my Eyes?" The answer probably tonight ;)
  • This 75 mins long chamber opera is directed by Joël Pommerat (librettist). He is a well known contemporary theater director, but this is his first opera too [too dark and too loose according to critics]. 
  • Critics loved the music, Ensemble Modern conducted by Franck Ollu, and four singers. 
Video link embedded below.

1 comment:

  1. Do not go and see this opera if you are claustrophobic. The theatre is plunged into total darkness and the stage is often so dark you can hardly see the artists. I greatly admire the singers and instrumentalists for learning and performing such difficult music, but I still don't know what this opera is about, and it was depressing in the extreme. "Thanks to my eyes" means absolutely nothing in English and is not the correct translation of the French term "Grâce à mes yeux". "Trouver grâce aux yeux de quelqu'un", means "to find favour in someone's sight". Please note that English is my mother-tongue & I'm a former professional translator.