The conquest of Mexico, of the German composer Wolfgang Rihm, It is one of the bets for this season's new artistic adviser now Royal Theatre, Gerard Mortier. A mortar that, with the usual enthusiasm, It gives a lecture on the work and its composer who can see and hear in this article. A contemporary opera or, as the composer called, music theater. It premiered in Germany 1992, in Mexico was presented in concert version 2003 and now it opens in Spain in a production of Teatro Real.
the libretto, of the composer himself, and back to music, It is based on texts Antonin Artaud and Octavio Paz. French Artaud has tried to reflect the impossibility of understanding between two cultures that are not known and confrontation between the two civilizations, Christian evangelizing, with a clear representative, Hernan Cortes, and pagan pre-Columbian through the character of Montezuma. Artaud theater proposals, almost always baffling to the public, They present a sensible and balanced indigenous people with nature. In contrast to the Christian barbarity of the conquerors. All this is part of its new theatrical concept: the so-called Theater of Cruelty.
Wolfgang Rihm ha dear, through its composition, transmitting a cathartic feeling. Aims to create a magical and transcendental atmosphere and the use of voices is essential to achieve. The clash between the two cultures is clearly defined and polarized. The representation of the indigenous world corresponds to female voices. It is the soprano Nadja Michael, who we were recently heard in this theater in Wozzeck, by Alban Berg. His powerful voice, a support and extraordinary projection, shape and character to Montezuma. Accompanied on stage by Caroline Stein Y Katarina Bradic. With them, the character of Malinche, played by Ryoko Aoki Japanese. Great connoisseur of contemporary opera and musical theater Japanese. What a great dramatic force otroga its interpretation.
The onírico environment is achieved through the score of Rihm, It reflects the consequences of war. All this enhanced with lighting by Urs Schönebaum, colorful costumes of the Polish figurinista Wojciech Dziedzic and videographic projections of the German Alexander Polzin.
Although the scenes unfold in a very dynamic way, the feeling of slowness is evident at times. Perhaps this is the best way to express the heavy burden of protracted wars.
Good transitions between social conflicts and those occurring between the protagonists, more personal and close. A seemingly complex way right out with simplicity.
Not forget that Rihm composed the music before having the script. It shows a great expressive capacity of the score. Percussion reproduces discrete noise battles, without being a mere accompaniment as is often constumbre, but pacesetter especially the beginning of the work. And nothing, no sound, however small or short it is, irrelevant or prominence.
The location of the orchestra, this time distributed by boxes, proscenium, boxes and stalls, generate an envelope and atmosphere efectista. Also the voices of the choir, live and through recordings, contribute to the dream-musical assembly work.
The result is a new contemporary production to which the public responds with a certain coldness. Rather by confusion that rejection. The audience of the Teatro Real, in general, has evolved during these years was Mortier. Otherwise hear contemporary music, before almost nonexistent, and can distinguish and appreciate the different qualities of a work of these characteristics.
The conquest of Mexico
Wolfgang Rihm (1952)
theatrical music in four parts (1992)
Libretto by the composer, based on texts by Antonin Artaud and Octavio Paz
D. musical: Alejo Pérez
D. scene: Pierre Audi
Scenographer: Alexander Polzin
Costume designer: Wojciech Dziedzic
Lighting: Urs Schönebaum
Video: Polzin, Claudoa Rohrmoser
Playwright: Klaus Bertisch
D. choir: Andrés Máspero
Distribution: Nadja Michael, Georg Nigl, Graham Valentine, Ryoko Aoki