Tomorrow is our premiere of Satyricon (1976) by Bruno Maderna. The scenes have been assembled from a collection of Greek poetry by Petronius, translated into English, French, German, and Latin, and shaped into a loose plot that has centers around the motives of extreme wealth and inevitable death.
With only one exception, Maderna handles the subject matter exclusively in a satirical way. For example, when a character begins vainly monologing about his own memorial monument, Maderna comments by setting it to 'Stars and Stripes Forever.' Or when when the character details the adorning sculpture of a broken vase next to a crying little boy, Maderna sets it to the melodramatic quotation from Gluck's Orpheo: 'Che faro senza Euridice.'
We have a fantastic concept from our director, Johannes Pölzgutter and costume designer, Axel E. Schneider, but the main highlight is the comedy of Johannes' direction. He has appropriately chosen to develop the themes of dark humor that Maderna wove in throughout the show.
It's not exactly easy music to listen to, however it is much more approachable for a traditional opera audience than a lot of new music tends to be. If they can enjoy watching it half as much as we enjoy playing it, I just know it will be a huge success. In all, we're performing the piece 8 times through the 10th of April. More information about the piece with further production photos can be found here. My own part in this show is small, but it has been calibrated for maximum impact. I spend more time in the makeup chair than on the stage, but I really enjoy performing it anyway, and I'm looking forward to the premiere tomorrow!