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Swedish premiere of the opera “The Blind” by Lera Auerbach in Gothenburg

The extraordinary choral opera "The Blind" by Russian-American composer Lera Auerbach is to have its Swedish premiere in Gothenburg on 15 May 2020 at the "Point Music Festival" after various premieres in many countries. This production is directed by the British opera, film and television director John La Bouchardière. "The Blind" will be shown five times in Gothenburg between 15 and 17 May.

The special thing about this work, based on a subject by Maurice Maeterlinck, is that the audience is sitting in the dark for the duration of the performance. Moreover, with regard to the cast, it is a novelty in the history of the genre.

Lera Auerbach comments: "My first thought was, this is a perfect anti-opera. my second thought was, it’s crazy, there’s no such thing as a cappella opera, it's just not possible. And before I knew it, I started to sketch the libretto and the thematic material. A few weeks later I had a complete manuscript of the opera. To this day it is one of the strangest creations in my catalogue. It was not commissioned, nobody seemed to want it. So, it initially disappeared into my desk, where it remained for many years, until 2011 when the Berlin Chamber Opera learned of its existence and asked for the score."

A short summary of the opera:

In a lonely clearing, a group of blind people wait for the return of the priest who had had led them there to enjoy the last rays of sunshine before the onset of winter. Only the sound of the sea nearby can be heard. The longer the period of waiting drags on, the more restless the blind become: Despairingly, in their helplessness, they realise they are unable to move. Their fear increases to naked horror when they discover the body of the priest. The blind form a circle around the dead man and begin to pray for forgiveness and salvation. During their prayer steps become discernible. The presence of something sinister stirs panic of the blind, who become more and more fervently absorbed in their prayer. In the arms of his mother, the little child, the only person in the group with healthy eyesight, bursts out crying in fear. What does the child see? Is it the proximity of that so desperately hoped for salvation, or is it death?

Sweden. EA Lera Auerbach,
Choir opera “The Blind”
(Director: John La Bouchardière)
– as part of the Point Music Festival –