Haiku opera SNOW

Librettist and composer - Jonas Sakalauskas
Director and choreographer - Rūta Butkus
Set designers - Sigita Šimkūnaitė, Arūnas Paslaitis
Costume designer - Sandra Straukaitė
Lighting designer - Nerijus Mačiulaitis
Sound director - Kastytis Narmontas

Performers:
Agnė Sabulytė (mecosoprano)
Elena Marcinkevičiūtė (violin)
Ginta Kriščiūnaitė (violin)
Kęstutis Pleita (viola)
Mykolas Rutkauskas (cello)

About the Opera:
"Snow" is a conceptual and meditative story about the fragility of life, love, self-sacrifice and secret desires. Translations* of poems of the minimalistic genre, haiku, written by the most famous Japanese poets of the 18-19th centuries captured attention with its unusual syntax aesthetics and became the starting-point for the play.

The opera also adopts a short extract from the novel Snow by Maxence Fermine. The whole action is contracted into one scene, where the main character of the novel, the young poet Juko Akita, sees a woman, a tightrope walker, frozen in ice.

The opera "Snow" is composed of 12 haikus - a dozen autonomous opera acts, each of which has been written in different tunes by moving along the circle of quarts and quints (C, F, B etc.).

* "Drugelis sniege: haiku", translated by V. Dumčius, Kaunas: Gaivata, 1999.

An Extract from the Novel Snow by Maxence Fermine:
"She was walking on air. ... Not even once did she trip. ... But the tightrope broke. No doubt it was poorly tightened, so it loosened and, falling from the height of at least one thousand feet, took the young woman and the balancing pole with it. As they watched Snow disappear in the midst of the Japanese Alps, people took her for a bird diving down from the sky. No-one ever found her body, which was devoured by the mountain gap. Snow turned into snow and slept all covered in white. ... She was there. Someone as beautiful, naked, bright and fragile as snow. She was dead. Still, she looked alive. ... She was not entirely naked, ... but the clothes of the tightrope walker had been in ice for so long that the cloth was almost transparent."

Duration - 50 minutes.
Premiered during the 4th Contemporary opera festival NOA (New Opera Action), April 9, 2011 at the State Small Theatre of Vilnius.

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