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VAN GOGH'S LETTERS. Mono Opera in two parts

Composer: Frid, Grigori
Subtitle: Based on Van Gogh's letters to his brother Theo
Lyricists: Frid, Grigori (Libretto)
Playing time: 73:00
Opus/Year: 69 (1975)
Genre: Opera
Instrumentation: Voice(s) and chamber ensemble
0, 0, 1, 0 0, 0, 0, 0 2 Schl (I: Trgl, 4 Valdai-Glckchen, Peitsche, KuhGl, Holzbl, 4 Tempelbl, Tamb, kl.Tr, hg.Bk, Glsp, Xyl II: Trgl, Peitsche, KuhGl, 2 Bongos, 4 Tomt, kl.Tr, hg.Bk, Tam-t, Amboss), Klav, Streichquartett (auch chorisch), Kb - Bar

Content:

It is not the description of the pictures of this ingenious painter that are at the centre of focus of this opera, but the inner life of the artist. The basis is formed by excerpts from the numerous letters from the painter to his brother Theo, with whom he was bound by a deep sympathy. Vincent, whom fate first took to England, then later back to Holland and to the south of France Arles wrote to his brother almost every day.
In the first part Vincent tells about his studio, in which he feels well, about his work, the encounter with Christine whom he wishes to marry, about a trip to the country, about a sojourn in cheerful, noisy Antwerp and about the sudden, first signs of his illness.
The second section begins with a description of his life in Arles. A letter with memories of childhood shows the tenderness of his love for his brother. In a fit of madness, during an argument with Gauguin, van Gogh cuts off one ear. He is committed to a sanatorium and writes his next letter as the man with the cut-off ear. In the following letter, the words of the painter again sound like an inspired hymn to nature. The work ends with van Goghs tragic departure from this life.

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