Institut Ramon LLull



Hèctor Parra presents the opera ‘Das geopferte Leben’ at the 2014 Munich Biennial

Music.  Munich, 20/05/2014

The composer Hèctor Parra will be presenting the first performance, at the 2014 Munich Biennial, of the Baroque opera ‘Das geopferte Leben’ (The sacrificed life) with a libretto by the French writer Marie N’Diaye. The work presents a version of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and will be having its first performance on 20 May, which means that it will be closing the Biennial. After the first night five more performances have been scheduled in Munich on 23 and 23 May, and from 27 to 31 May and 1 June in Freiburg.   

Hèctor Parra’s opera proposes a new version of the myth of Orpheus. The idea is to see the story, in which Orpheus descends into the Underworld to search for his wife Eurydice, the other way around. This time the man returns from among the dead to his wife and mother, who have mourned and reshaped their lives after the death of their husband and son. The condition for the return to life is that Death will remain at Orpheus’ side until one of the two women feels a sufficiently strong and powerful love. From there the story develops, accompanied by music which is sometimes forceful and sometimes very gentle, with modern instruments and a Baroque ensemble. The constant dialogue between dichotomies, earthly and not earthly, life and death, has musical equivalents on different levels: from Baroque to modern, from vocal to instrumental. The opera will be performed by singers from the Freiburg Opera Company and directed by Vera Nemirova, who combines the musical and theatrical sides to perfection. The Freiburger Barockorchester and the Ensemble Recherche  are in charge of the instrumental part.

The Munich Biennial, an international musical theatre festival, was founded in 1988 by Hans-Werner Henze and is held every two years, bringing together young performers from all over the world. The aim of the opera festival is to give young composers an opportunity to introduce themselves and their work on a large stage and in front of an audience. The festival is an international exchange platform through which many musical talents who are now world famous have passed: Mark-Anthony Turnage, Hans-Jürgen von Bose or Toshio Hosokawa.

Hèctor Parra, the composer of the work, a Catalan creator with great fame and abroad. He trained at the Municipal Conservatory in Barcelona and studied composition with Carles Guinovart, David Padrós, Brian Ferneyhough and Jonathan Harvey. He also studied at the Haute École de Musique in Geneva and the CNSMD in Lyon and has a master’s degree in electroacoustic composition from the university of Paris VIII. His works, frequently performed at the leading international forums for contemporary creation, have been given their first performances by the Ensemble Intercontemporaine, the Arditti Quartet and the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège and the Orchestre National d'Ile-de-France, among others.

The opera is based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, the music is by Hèctor Parra and the libretto by Marie N'Diaye

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