Opera for everyone
Composed in 2016, «Desdemona» is set at the interface of early music rediscovery and present-day taste. Premiered at my degree of Maestro al Cembalo (historically oriented conductor), it was an outstanding musical adventure for many young artists that thrilled the audience. I got the proposition to make it known, thanks to your support, with 20 instrumentalists and 2 singers, in the form of a selection of passages, on the stage of Geneva’s Victoria Hall!
But what is it more precisely ?
Starting from a free re-reading of immortal Shakespeare, the play on the one hand explores Othello’s eloquent humanity - he who, by his virtue alone, could work his way to the top of felicity but under the influence of jealousy and wickedness led his life to chaos - and on the other hand, how Desdemona - wife and victim of Othello’s change - reacts and influences the plot in her own way. This is not a second version of Shakespeare’s masterpiece: it departs from the original and unravels other horizons.
In this «Opera for everyone», you’ll hear each character express themselves and take action, and the music addresses universality by seeking a language as human as it can get.
The present and the past in dialog
The libretto as well as the music were written in 2016. The plot is borrowed from Shakespeare and the musical style from great musicians of the XVIII century. Beyond these seemings of anachronistic incoherences, an old topic is reread from a modern perspective and teachings for the present are harvested from the past, whose novel marriage you will get to discover.
It is firstly apparent in the title: we are used to referring to the tragedy as «Othello», whereas my title is «Desdemona». Is it a feminist opera ? It’s up to you to gauge this ! It undoubtedly differs from the original and its historical context in some points, in order to put in balance the weight given to each character. «Othello» as we usually know it, gives primarily focus to Othello’s states of mind, his wife appearing as an object of desire, jealousy and manipulation. Not only does «Desdemona» scout out the personality and the emotions of Desdemon, it also pushes her to take initiatives that… actually will change the outcome of the story!
On rousing emotions from tenderness to fury, from courage to despair, from humility to wickedness, XVIII century’s musical style thrives particularly well. This period, golden age of opera (although it sometimes is forgotten), of «musical rhetoric» and of the embodiment of human passions, actually sounds very close to our present-day feeling and emotional expectations. Opera is the ultimate vector to blend sentiments and ethical topics and to stir up our modern hearts’ humanity.
Far from trying to seem a mere reference to past uses, my music in «Desdemona» aims to speak to the feeling of today through the teachings from the past. And its libretto adds to the psychological glance inherited from Shakespeare a new philosophical assertion. Through the torments and horrors of the plot, a proposition of optimism works its way with determination and sincerity.
Paying the performers
As you can guess, the professional musicians hired in this project need to be paid duly. We’ll have 20 instrumentalists and on the 9 singers of the opera, 2 will participate in the selection of passages. Thanks to your support, we’ll be able to make sure they get paid decently.
20 instrumentalists getting 400chf, amounting 8000chf
2 solo singers getting 600chf, amounting to 1200chf
Hence the need of 9200chf
All donations, should they be comparable to the price of a pizza, a big treat or a more extensive support, will definitely be useful and warmly welcome (nominatively or anonymously). Many thanks in advance !!