HAVE A GOOD DAY!
Opera for 10 cashiers, supermarket sounds and piano
by Vaiva Grainytė, Lina Lapelytė, Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė
The opera focuses on the inner lives of cashiers in a shopping centre: showing what lies behind their mechanical “Good afternoon!“, “Thank you!“, “Have a good day!”, and fake smiles. Faceless, robot-like shop workers found in everyday life are transformed into unique and lively characters. Their secret thoughts and biographies are turned into short, personal dramas. The characters of different sales clerks, embodying universal archetypes, convey the predominant social landscape. The libretto is a revealing mosaic of spoken, literary language and documentary.
The atmosphere of the supermarket is established through the glimmering and buzzing installation of daylight lamps and environmental sounds, connecting the audience to the stage and the 10 cashiers. The set itself is very minimalistic. Real goods – the recognizable décor of a shopping center – exist only in acoustic and verbal form.
The monotonous beep of each item being scanned is a key sound through the whole opera. It gets louder and quieter, but it is always present. Songs that accompany the beeping are as monotonous as the process of shopping and selling. Instead of becoming the main point of the opera, music serves the thoughts of the cashiers – it facilitates their voice.
To avoid any moral or condemnatory suggestion, a critical attitude towards capitalism is expressed through humor, paradox, irony and poetry. The mosaic of different destinies is transformed into one poem suggesting the pleasure of consumption.
Librettist Vaiva Grainytė
Composer and music director Lina Lapelytė
Director and set designer Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė
Lighting designer Eugenijus Sabaliauskas
Costume designer Daiva Samajauskaitė
Sound engineer Arūnas Zujus
Cashiers: Indrė Anankaitė-Kalašnikovienė, Liucina Blaževič, Vida Valuckienė, Veronika Čičinskaitė-Golovanova, Lina Valionienė, Rima Šovienė, Milda Zapolskaitė, Rita Račiūnienė, Svetlana Bagdonaitė, Kristina Svolkinaitė
Security Guard: Kęstutis Pavalkis (piano)
In 2013 “Have a Good Day!” was selected by an International Theatre Institute (ITI) jury for a presentation at the final of the worldwide competition “Music Theatre NOW” (Biennial for Performing Arts, Jönköping, Sweden), where the work was awarded Globe Teana-Theatre Observation prize. In 2014 “Have a Good Day!” was awarded Golden Stage Cross prize for the best Lithuanian Authors' Performance and two Baltic Theatre Festival prizes. In 2015 opera was awarded Main Prize of the Fast Forward festival in Braunschweig (Germany). Performance was presented in various music, theatre and opera festivals in Lithuania and abroad (Shanghai International Contemporary Theatre Festival ACT, Contemporary Music Theatre and Opera Festival PROTOTYPE in New York, Theatre festival GOLDEN MASK in Moscow, Baltic Theatre Festival in Riga, AUTOMNE EN NORMANDIE in Le Havre, NEXT Festival in Villeneuve d’Ascq, EXIT in Creteil, PASSAGES in Metz, HORIZON in Mulhouse, THÉÂTRE EN MAI in Dijon, SONIK in Quimper, FAST FORWARD in Braunschweig, EUROPOLY in Munich, THEATERFESTIVAL BASEL in Basel, GOGOLFEST in Kiev, Le Festival les Boréales in Caen, MIDWINTER NIGHT’S DREAM in Tallinn). Opera was also broadcasted on Lithuanian National Radio and BBC3 Radio.
'Clever, charming and quietly subversive. Whatever critique of capitalist entrapment and consumerist obsession might be implied is conveyed with subtlety and wit.'
Steve Smith, The New York Times
'It’s a tour de force of deadpan comedy... comes wrapped in a score of incantatory, almost liturgical serenity.'
Justin Davidson, New York Magazine
'...minimalist textures that evoke the swirl of everyday life – banality transformed into art. The opera is witty and poignant.'
Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal
'A tightly constructed, multi-layered creation, its humor pierced by melancholy.'
Alex Ross, The New Yorker
'It's like a mini masterpiece. It's just nothing to take away, nothing to add – it's very solid, very simple and very real.'
Jonas Mekas, jonasmekas.com