miércoles, 18 de marzo de 2009

Flirting fingers and a desperate housewife

One thing I notice about the public of a piano concert. Everybody wanted to have a seat at the left side of the hall, "where I can see the fingers of Ananda". That's what the majority of the people told Chendra, my manager, when they reserved the tickets for my only solo piano recital in Jakarta this year. (By the way, the last time I did another solo piano recital in that city was in 2006. Time flies ! At that time it was at the (still) beautiful old building Gedung Kesenian. The director(ress) was just appointed then, in 2004. Since then, the building and its management became a big mess, no more audiences, and therefore no more concerts these days (I saw in their Calendar of this (or last?) month,and there were only 3 events in a month). The most important artists of Indonesia don't want to perform there anymore. I'm not important, but I also don't feel like going there again under this management.)
Now I am back home, writing my pocket opera, "IBU". It is commissioned by Jakarta Opera to be performed in Jakarta on June 7th this year. The libretto is based on a monologue by Seno Gumira Ajidarma, and it is a sequel to "Mengapa Kau Culik Anak Kami". So, since I will write it only for one soprano and nobody else, I am thinking it to be accompanied by a very small group of musicians. In fact, only 2 : piano (myself) and a flute doubling piccolo. That's the idea of "pocket" opera : an opera which can be carried easily, toured easily. I am happy that my friend, the excellent soprano Aning Katamsi has agreed to do it.
I am trying to do something terrifying in this opera. I mean, terrifying to myself. I am going to write lots of "arias" , but all of them will be without a finishing cadence. In fact, even sometimes without reaching a climax. The idea is to evoke desperation of a mother whose husband and son has gone. No hope is fulfilled. It is all dark, sadness and gloom. And anger.
I wonder how people will react with arias which just start and do not continue. Look, the whole idea of the original text is not meant to entertain. Seno Gumira wrote a very dark monologue. So, I treat this as one BIG aria, from beginning to end. Will I succeed ? I dunno. But one has to try things at least once in their lifetime.