29th January and then on tour until March.
Presented by OPERA2DAY and the New European Ensemble in collaboration with Scapino Ballet Rotterdam. Includes the Dutch premiere of The Fall of the House of Usher by Philip Glass.
In Opera Melancholica, OPERA2DAY and the New European Ensemble welcome the audience to the ‘anatomical theatre of the psyche’. Fantastic visions and hair-raising delusions come to life, aided by evocative stage design, passionate vocals and a choreography by Scapino Ballet Rotterdam. Centrepiece of this new production is Philip Glass’s compelling opera The Fall of The House of Usher, with a libretto by Arthur Yorinks after Edgar Allan Poe’s famous novel. This opera will have its Dutch premiere, as part of an overall concept about melancholy.
Serge van Veggel, the artistic director of OPERA2DAY, created the concept behind Opera Melancholica. He will also be responsible for the stage direction. The Italian conductor Carlo Boccadoro will lead the New European Ensemble, an international collective of passionate and talented musicians.
The concept of Opera Melancholica involves a theatrical and musical lecture in which a medical director (an actor) talks about the many facets of melancholia and depression and ultimately introduces one of his patients: Roderick Usher. This marks the start of the opera ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’. We remove the top of Roderick’s skull, so to speak, to reveal his thoughts, experiences and dreams. We observe how he is surrounded by imaginary people: his childhood friend William and his twin sister Madeline – who will be performed by a soprano and a dancer. Roderick tries to rid himself from his madness, but this brings on lurid fantasies and intoxicating visions. We experience those in an intense way, thanks to the passionate music of Philip Glass, vivid stage images, passionate vocals and the choreography of Scapino Ballet Rotterdam.
Edgar Allan Poe’s haunting story The Fall of the House of Usher can be read as a parable of the human mind: the struggle between thought (Roderick) and feeling (Madeline) and how consciousness (William) can resolve this conflict. At the end of the story – and the opera – Roderick’s confused mind is restored to an undivided, childlike state.
Themes: Opera Melancholica unites themes from previous OPERA2DAY productions. Our five star 2018 production Hamlet (an opera by Ambroise Thomas) was a psychological opera thriller. In A Madhouse Fair we created surprising theatre in a former hospital, where the ‘patients’ performed laments from the 1600s – the production was dubbed as one of the best performances of 2013. With Dr. Miracle’s Last Illusion (2016) we crossed the border of the unconsciousness in a frivolous way: ‘artistic fusion of the highest level’, according to a leading Dutch newspaper