Kopernikus (1978), an opera placed under the sign of fire and water, is an ode to humanity in its deepest aspect. Who better then Peter Sellars, committed visionary and famous American director, to adapt for the stage this rare and fascinating work by Claude Vivier.
Since its beginning, opera has always “represented” the archetypes of history, the deepest human desires. “Representing” means showing a story and its characters in their pure and then excessive actions. Opera, as a form of expression of human history and soul, cannot die. Human beings will always need to represent their phantasies, their dreams, their fears and their desires. Interacting with Agni, the central character, some mythic historical figures: Lewis Carroll, Merlin, a witch, the Queen of the Night, a blind prophet, an old monk, Tristan and Isolde, Mozart, the Master of Water, Copernicus and his mother. Maybe they are Agni’s dreams accompanying him towards his total purification and eventually his dematerialization. There is no actual plot but rather a sequence of scenes making Agni move towards total purification and becoming a pure spirit. The characters of his own dreams are there to initiate him. “Kopernikus” poetics takes equally after the vivid sensitivity of the composer and the many different layers of articulation of such oneiric elements. The work is indeed a meditation on different poetic and cultural conditions.
Extrait du texte de Claude Vivier, figurant dans la partition de Kopernikus
composer Claude Vivier direction Peter Sellars
Ensemble L’instant Donné / Ensemble Vocal Roomful Of Teeth rehearsal director Éric Dudley Choreographer & Peter Sellars's Collaborator Michael Schumacher lighting design Seth Reiser