m u s i c b y
M A R T I N G E O R G I E V
l i b r e t t o by
M A R I K E V A N A E R D E
T H E O P E R A
Based on the libretto by Marike van Aerde.
All music excerpts were recorded at the Royal Academy of Music, London, 10th June 2009.
Performed by the Azalea Ensemble conducted by Jessica Cottis.
The Human sung by Clarissa Miller (soprano).
Death sung by Marcin Gesla (bass profondo).
Life sung by Frederick Long (bass).
As the music unfolds, dim light reveals scattered walls and columns; a labyrinth of broken stone and strange shadows.
The female figure of the Human finds herself trapped in an undefined ruined labyrinth, while she is chased by an unknown pursuer. The first scene shows her inability to identify the object of her fear, and gives voice to the sense of threat that keeps chasing her.
Soon the figure of Death appears, chasing the Human through the ruins as it makes its claim of being her greatest fear, because of the inevitability of its end. But, with the realisation that Death can never be present at the same time as the living Human, it is forced to withdraw.
However, a second figure soon takes Death’s place. The figure of Life comes to trap the Human and claims to be the Human’s greatest fear instead, because of the inescapability of its constant presence.
What ensues is a duel of words and wills between Life and Death, who fight to be recognised as the Human’s greatest fear. Gradually, the Human withdraws to the sidelines, more and more an objective observer. When the duel ends unresolved, the Human remains alone in the labyrinth.
This time, the identity of her fear is revealed in her own mirror image, with the realisation that both Life and Death are merely two parts of her own being, her own humanity.