Montag aus Licht

Opera

Monday is Eve’s day, the day of motherhood, fertility and eroticism.  Eve is the cosmic mother of all living beings, dating back to figures from the bible or even earlier, such as Lilith and Inanna.  Montag is one of the two childhood operas in the cycle;  it is a grand ceremony based on tales from mythology, showing the naivety of childhood and the powerful aspiration to learn.

Team: 14 soloists, 7 children soloists, 21 comedian, choir, girls choir, children choir & ‘modern orchestra’
First performance of the production: 15 novembre 2021, Philharmonie de Paris
Color: green | Celestial body: Moon | Spiritual features: ceremony and magic

Production Le Balcon, Philharmonie de Paris & Festival d’Automne à Paris


Montags-Gruss | Monday’s Greeting
As members of the audience enter the theater, they have the impression in the foyer that they are under water.  Projected around them is a recording of music played on the basset-horn;  they can admire the statue of a woman,  the new incarnation of Eve, the Coeur de Basset.

Act 1 : Evas Erstgeburt | Eve’s First Birthgiving
The stage is a large beach with a statue of a naked woman about to give birth.  The large statue, protected, admired and revered by a group of women, gives birth to fourteen hybrid creatures, including seven with male human bodies and animal heads.  Men, somewhere in the water, cannot be seen but are heard singing.  Aboard a sailing boat come seafarers bearing gifts.  Lucifer, dressed as a fisherman, rises from the sea, screaming at the infants to go back inside the statue then, disgusted, calls out:  “Let’s have a break!”

Act II : Evas Zweitgeburt | Eve’s Second Birthgiving
Three groups of girls enter, forming a procession and singing.  A grand piano appears between the legs of the statue, and a parrot-headed pianist plays Klavierstücke XIV.  Seven boys, one for each day of the week, are born to the accompaniment of the girls’ choir.  The heart of the sculpted Eve opens up, and Cœur de basset steps out and plays Evas Lied. One boy after another is taken over to Cœur de basset who, during the Circle of the Week, plays an individual song to and for each one who then sings his own song.

Cœur and the basset-horn players dance around the boys, keeping time together, and with increasing exuberance, suddenly disappearing only to re-appear in a different spot, unsettling them, charming them, bewitching them, before finally spiriting them away, out of sight, for an Initiation.

Act III : Evas Zauber | Eve’s Magic
The boys have grown into men.  A female flautist named Ave appears.  Cœur de Basset and Ave embark on an erotic duo.  Children crowd around and Ave turns away from Cœur to start a virtuoso performance with the children, combining imitation and enchantment.  The children imitate Ave, singing notes that go higher and higher, while also gradually ascending into the sky where they are turned into birds.  The large statue of Eve dries and crumbles, forming a mountain.  As the audience leaves the hall, they can still hear the bird-children.

Montags-Abschied | Montag’s Farewell
As the audience leaves, they see a life-size sculpture of Ave playing the piccolo with two children.  The foyer is filled with green clouds.  The music of Monday Farewell continues for a long time:  a polyphony of children’s voices, now bird calls, and melodies on the piccolo.


Monday’s Greeting
Tape : Bassethorn, electronic keyboards, sound projection.

Act 1 : Eve’s First Birthgiving – 1h33mn
3 sopranos
3 tenors
1 bass
1 actor
1 women choir
1 ‘modern orchestra’ (3 synthetizers, 1 percussionist, tape)
1 conductor (invisible)
1 sound projectionnist
Tape

Act II | Eve’s Second Birthgiving – 1h06mn
7 solo boys singers
1+3 bassethorns
1 pianist
Choir played by 21 actresses
Girls choir
‘Modern orchestra’
Sound projectionnist

Act III : Eve’s Magic – 57mn
Bassethorn
Alto flute with piccolo
Choir
Children choir
Conductor (invisible until the entrance of Ave)
‘Modern orchestra’
Sound projectionnist

Monday’s Farewell – 28mn
Tape : piccolo flute, multiple soprano voices, electronic keyboards, sound projectionnist.

Premiere of the opera
7 mai 1988, Teatro Alla Scala, Milan

Premiere of our version
November 15th 2021

Philharmonie de Paris
Grande salle Pierre Boulez
Festival d’automne à Paris
Duration : 4h38mn.

Conception & musical direction Maxime Pascal
Conception & staging Damien Bigourdan
Conception & visual creation Nieto
Sound projection Florent Derex
Computer music design Augustin Muller

Cœur de Basset Iris Zerdoud – Cor de basset | Bassethorn
Ave Claire Luquiens – Flute
Lucipolyp Damien Pass – Bass
Budgerigar Alphonse Cemin – Piano