martes, 14 de junio de 2011

What's a real man?

OK, it's now official. Scarily official. I have started writing my next opera, this time a real mini pocket opera, and I am happy to tell about it. It will be for 2 singers (mezzo-soprano & soprano) and I (or for the future productions another pianist) will accompany it. No other instruments except some small percussions which I bring with myself. It will be produced by its commissioner, Bimasena, in October this year.

This opera is based on a very short story by Putu Wijaya, a renowned Indonesian writer who has written more than 1000 short stories. The title, which will also be for my opera, is Laki-laki Sejati (A real man), and the story is a dialogue between a mother (a (high) soprano who's wisdom is solidly based on her knowledge of men!) and her daughter in her late teens (sung by a mezzosoprano or high alto who --unfortunately-- can be (much) older than that, since it does happen, and often, in real life) who is desperate on having a boyfriend. The story starts with her asking her mom, "Mom, what is in fact a real man?" and ends with a catchy conclusion of what, or where, or how, a real man is indeed.

I spent most of the time during my flight from Bilbao to Jakarta last weekend in making the plans from Putu Wijaya's script. I am now waiting for his approval of my cuts and small editions, which will make the duration of the opera about 24 minutes. In fact I have been looking for a script with 3 characters involved, one of them a male, since I am writing this to be premiered by the winners of the Ananda Sukarlan Vocal Competition (Tembang Puitik AS) last April: coloratura soprano Evelyn Merrelita, mezzosoprano Indah Pristanti and the tenor Adi Nugroho, the latter had performed with me 2 months ago in Magelang and will again do so in Makassar, hopefully in October. After I browsed Putu Wijaya's many short stories (for a long time I've been thinking to do something with his works) I found this kind of tragi-comedy, brilliantly written by this Balinese writer, and decided to do this for now. Adi Nugroho will have to wait, but I am sure I'll get hold of a nice script for an opera for him to be involved.

It will be too soon to say more about Laki-laki Sejati, since I barely written the notes (I did start a chaconne for an introduction to an aria for the mezzosoprano on the plane), but I really would like to discover "the other side of me" with this opera, not me who people call "romantic". I refuse to be called a romantic. I prefer to be like Winnie the Pooh, a bear of very simple brain who doesn't like difficult words (nor music).