Brett Dean, Mozart, Frankfurt discussed on Aria Code
The tradition of composers writing roles for specific singers goes back way into the sands of time to the very beginnings of opera. It's not a new thing, but it is new in the sense that so much of our operatic repertory has been for so long a museum repertory where we're constantly reviving older pieces, so that singers are used to opening up a score and that's it, you know, maybe in a handle Arya or a Bel contour, they can ornament it. But other than that, they are stuck with what Mozart wrote for his sister in law with the freaky high voice. And they have to sort of fit into a role like Cinderella into the glass slipper. However, there's a great luxury and a great opportunity to be part of a creative process when a singer gets to collaborate with a composer and particularly composer who is as collaborative as Brett dean is. When you're a rehearsal studio for any opera, there comes a point no matter what show is. However, while it's known, whether director says, oh, for God's sake, if only Mozart were in a room. What the hell did he mean by the end of Don Giovanni about what hell am I supposed to do? And for this process, you can do that. Brittain was sitting three meters away with a score during a pencil and you could say Brett want earth who thinking when you wrote this music and he went oh, I thought this and this and this. And you go, oh, okay, fine. And sometimes he would say, look, I've written this, but actually, having seen what you want to do with the role or have you seen the staging or having, you know, just things like balance, you know, this doesn't work. I can't hear you. So let's put it off an octave. Or let's, you know, let's rewrite it. And so the day of the first night, I was emailed a new setting off this page of music. I was like, oh good, and I learned that in the interval. I mean, thankfully, glad bond has an hour and a half interval. So that was quite, you know, that was quite interesting and it's a perfect example of what happens when you have the composer living and in the room. They can change things as later as first night. The vocal and dramatic demands of the role of Hamlet are really quite formidable and a lot of that has to do with Alan Clayton. His capacity says an artist and all of that is written into this role. I had a sort of mini breakdown, not long afterwards. I got home and I was to go straight to Frankfurt to do a new again. And I got in the cab to the airport. And I just let my girlfriend during the process of Hamlet. I'd moved how straight afterwards. My dad is dad. I don't have a relationship with my mom. So there's all these sort of things. I think I was in the cab to the airport. I said, I don't think I can go to Frankfurt tomorrow. I don't think I can start rehearsals. And so I went to terminal 5 at Heathrow, I went to the bar before security, and I just watched my flight go the departed until it said left. It departed. And I got on a cab went straight home, and I said to my agent, I'm really sorry. I'm not going to rehearsals before. Can you please? Apologize to Frankfurt. For me, this is awful. I mean, I've never done anything so I'm profession in my life. But it was just those few months of everything going on with the terminal of everything. And it was what that was the reaction that my mind and body took. So Brett brilliantly uses a version of the speech that people know less well, which is from Q one, the bad quarto, which is basically a pirated copy of the play. This is what we call a memorial reconstruction of Hamlet. In other words, it's the play as remembered by somebody who was in it. It makes a deliberate decision to say, not to be or not to be, that is the question, but to be or not to be either the point. As the point and you think, yeah, kind of 7 other go. You're nearly there. So yes, Brett has very cleverly taken something that we think we know. And set it doubly in ways that wake us up. First of all, using a version of the speech, which was the first ever published version of it. And secondly, by setting it to music. The accompaniment continues in a very sparse way, very delicate pianississimo as quiet as can be. And the vocal line gradually gradually ramps up a little higher a little higher. Set in a very fragmentary way, a lot of rest between these sort of halting phrases. To die to sleep no more. And by a sleep to say we end the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to. Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished to die to sleep. To sleep perchance to dream, there's the rub. For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil. Must give us cause. He's in so much pain that he thinks that death, nothingness would be better than the pain that he currently feels..