Whew !!! So Ars Amatoria has at last been premiered. I was soooo glad that the performance went very well during the New Year Concert. At least, it wasn't raining and flooding, which is always our greatest fear every year during the rainy season. The publicity wasn't aggressive (Chendra's attention was divided in the managing, choreographing, stage directing, lighting, and dancing himself ; nevertheless, he did such a great job as usual), but some 800 people went to the concert ; not bad for a day where people in Jakarta wake up very late after partying the whole night .... out of town !!! Got a standing ovation after the cantata was over, which was quite a rare thing for the public of Jakarta to do so, therefore I am indeed very honoured.
Artistically there are many good things, and still some things to be revised for future performances and to leave the the definite score. First of all, the structure of Ars Amatoria works very well (it wasn't easy to make a 40-minute work, I tell you ! This is my first piece above 20 minutes). But some instrumentations and practicalities should be revised, especially because this piece is designed to be conducted from the piano. There won't be some heavy revisions though, and many have been done during the rehearsals ; they just haven't been copied to the score. I hope I can do it in just one day .
But not now ! I have to really, really sit down and start working on my opera. Yeah ! It's a commission from the Indonesian Opera Society, and it's about the tragedy of a kidnapping during the Suharto dictatorship era. The libretto is based on an existing script with the same title ("Mengapa Kau Culik Anak Kami?", or Why did you kidnap my son?)by Indonesia's famous writer, Seno Gumira Ajidarma. Chendra Panatan will do the stage directing, and also will dance as the kidnapped son, Satria (since he is interrogated and tortured but keeps silent during the process, there is no point of giving this role to a singer ; hence I give it to a dancer instead !) .
The World Premiere of this opera prima of mine is fixed to a date which is easy to remember : 8-8-08, at 8 p.m , at the Usmar Ismail Hall in Jakarta. Hope that date brings good luck .
But first, I have to finish a 15-minute song cycle "Love and Variations" for a premiere in Arizona in April. It´s almost finished, and I am going to write about it here when it's definitely finished.
Happy New Year and Happy New Ears to all of you music lovers !