HAVE A GOOD DAY!
Opera for 10 cashiers, supermarket sounds and piano
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. It transforms the faceless, robot-like shop workers found in everyday life into unique and lively characters, whereas their secret thoughts and biographies turn into short, personal dramas. The characters of diverse sales clerks, embodying universal archetypes, convey the predominant social landscape. The libretto represents 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 minimalist. Real goods – the recognizable décor of a shopping centre – exist only in acoustic and verbal form.
The monotonous beep heard each time an item is scanned is a key sound throughout the whole opera. It may be louder or quieter, but it is always present. Songs that accompany the beeping are as monotonous as the very process of shopping and selling. Instead of becoming the main point of the opera, the music serves the thoughts of the cashiers – it facilitates their voice.
To avoid any moral or judgemental suggestion, critical attitude towards capitalism is expressed through humour, paradox, irony and poetry. The mosaic of different destinies transforms into a single 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 finals of the worldwide competition Music Theatre NOW (Biennial for Performing Arts, Jönköping, Sweden), where the work was awarded the Globe Teana-Theatre Observation prize. In 2014, “Have a Good Day!” was awarded the Golden Stage Cross prize for the best Lithuanian Authors’ Performance and has also garnered two prizes at the Baltic Theatre Festival. In 2015, the opera was awarded the Main Prize of the Fast Forward festival in Braunschweig (Germany). The performance has been presented at diverse music, theatre and opera festivals in Lithuania, United States, China, Russia, Latvia, Estonia, France, Germany, Switzerland, Ukraine, Portugal, The Netherlands and Italy. The opera was also broadcasted on Lithuanian National Radio and BBC Radio 3.
“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)
Duration – 50 minutes
Première – September 28th, 2013, Arts Printing House, Vilnius, Lithuania