“Caliban” – New Chamber Opera by Moritz Eggert
Moritz Eggert composed the opera “Caliban” for the opera house “Opera Front” and the renowned Dutch Asko|Schönberg Ensemble; it will be given its world premiere on 25 March 2017 in Amsterdam under the direction of Steven Sloane during the course of the festival “Opera Now”. The libretto was written by Peter te Nuyl, with Lotte de Beer as producer.
In his latest opera the composer Moritz Eggert chose a figure from William Shakespeare’s drama “The Tempest”. Caliban, who is an ambiguous and highly changeable character in Shakespeare’s play, is the son of Sycorax, who has been banished to an island from her Algerian homeland due to witchcraft. When the wise magician Prospero arrives on this island, Caliban is drawn to him and remains at his side until the end of the play. With his closeness to nature and energy driven by instinct, he forms a contrast to the ever self-controlled and cultivated Prospero. A conflict arises when Prospero suspects Caliban of having raped his daughter. Prospero enslaves the wild man and makes him feel harshness. Nonetheless, the relationship between the untamed man and the educated man remains an unsolved problem up to the end. Caliban, meanwhile, knows how to defend himself. At the first encounter with Prospero, he reveals unexpected feelings by telling Prospero: “Do not be fearful, the island is full of noises, tones and graceful melodies that bring joy and not pain. Sometimes a thousand tinkling instruments resound over my head – and sometimes I hear voices that would make me sleepy again if I were to awaken from a long sleep; then I imagine in the dream that the clouds were opening up and revealing treasures, ready to rain down on me that I scream and cry when I wake up because I would like to dream again.”
Further performances of “Caliban” at the Opera Front will be given on 26 March (5 PM) as well on 30 March 2017 (6:30 & 9:30 PM).
25 March 2017
Opera Front, 5 PM
World premiere: Moritz Eggert
“Caliban”. Chamber Opera for three singers, one narrator and eleven instrumentalists
Libretto by Peter te Nuyl
Michael Wilmering (Caliban)
Lotte de Beer (stage direction)
Steven Sloane (musical direction)
Copyright of the photo: Opera Front