Montag aus Licht

Opéra

Production : novembre 2021.

Le Lundi est le jour d’Eva, de la maternité, de la fertilité, et de l’érotisme. Eva est la mère cosmique de tous les êtres ; elle se ramène aux grandes figures des cultures bibliques et pré-bibliques, comme Lilith et Inanna. Montag est aussi, au sein du cycle, un des deux opéras de l’enfance ; c’est une grande cérémonie bercée par la mythologie des contes, par la naïveté du jeune âge et la puissance du désir d’apprentissage.

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Montag – Monday from Light – is the third of the seven operas written by Karlheinz Stockhausen, assembled under the name LICHT. It is centered on the character of Eve, one of the three archetypes of the cycle, with Michael and Lucifer.

Monday, the day of the moon, focuses on the feminine part of humanity. It is, all at the same time, the day of love, of motherhood, of erotism and fertility. The whole opera takes place on a beach, with the mysterious sounds of sea weaving with the music.

The opera is also a magnificent dream of childhood : children characters are imagined through the three acts ; also, it features music written for children choirs.

Like many works written by K. Stockhausen, Monday from Light resemble to a great magical ceremony, inspired by japanese, christian, egyptian, greek and roman traditions, as well as the composers visions.

Download the presentation kit : 

Salut du Lundi |Monday’s Greeting – 34mn

Bande : Cors de basset, claviers électroniques, sonorisateur | Tape : Bassehorn, electronic keyboards, sound projectionnist. 

Acte 1 : Le Premier enfantement d’Eva | Eve’s first birthgiving – 1h33mn

  • 3 sopranos | 3 sopranos
  • 3 ténors | 3 tenors
  • 1 basse | 1 bass
  • 1 acteur | 1 actor
  • 1 chœur de femmes | 1 women choir
  • 1 chœur d’enfants (7 sopranos et 7 altos) 1 orchestre moderne (3 synthétiseurs, 1 percussionniste, bande). | 1 ‘modern orchestra’ (3 synthetizers, 1 percussionist, tape)
  • 1 chef d’orchestre (invisible) | 1 conductor (invisible)
  • 1 sonorisateur | 1 sound projectionnist
  • Bande | Tape

Acte II | Le Second enfantement d’Eva | Eve’s Second Birthgiving – 1h06mn

  • 7 jeunes chanteurs masculins | 7 solo boys singers
  • 1 soliste + 3 cors de basset | 1+3 bassethorns
  • 1 pianiste | 1 pianist
  • Chœur de 21 actrices | Choir played by 21 actresses
  • Chœur de jeunes filles | Girls choir
  • Orchestre moderne | ‘Modern orchestra’
  • Sonorisateur | Sound projectionnist

Acte III : La Magie d’Eva | Eve’s Magic – 57mn
Cor de basset |
Bassethorn
Flûte alto avec piccolo |
Alto flute with piccolo
Chœur |
Choir
Chœur d’enfants |
Children choir
Chef d’orchestre (invisible jusqu’à l’arrivée d’Ave) |
Conductor (invisible until the entrance of Ave)
Orchestre moderne |
‘Modern orchestra’
Sonorisateur |
Sound projectionnist

Adieu du Lundi | Monday’s Farewell – 28mn
Bande : flûte piccolo, multiples voix de soprano, claviers électroniques, sonorisateur |
Tape : piccolo flute, multiple soprano voices, electronic keyboards, sound projectionnist.

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

Création Le Balcon | Premiere of our version
Novembre 2021 | November 2021

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

English version below

Le Salut du lundi

Les spectateurs, pénétrant dans le foyer du théâtre, ont l’impression d’être plongés sous l’eau. Ils entendent une musique enregistrée au cor de basset diffusée tout autour d’eux, et admirent une statue de femme,  représentant une nouvelle incarnation d’Eva, Cœur de Basset.

Acte 1 : Evas Erstgeburt / Le premier enfantement d’Eva

La scène est une grande plage avec, au centre, une statue de femme nue en position d’accouchement. Cette grande statue, admirée, louée, protégée par un grand nombre de femmes, donne naissance à quatorze créatures hybrides, dont sept garçons à tête d’animaux. On entend le chant d’hommes invisibles tapis dans la mer. Des marins, arrivés en voilier, apportent des présents. Vêtu en pécheur, Lucifer émerge de la mer et hurle aux enfants de retourner dans la statue : « On fait une pause ! », crie t-il d’un air dégoûté.

Acte II : Evas Zweitgeburt / Le Deuxième enfantement d’Eva

Trois groupes de jeunes filles chantent et marchent en procession. Un piano de concert apparaît alors entre les jambes de la statue d’Eva, et un pianiste à tête de perruche joue la pièce Klavierstücke XIV. Sept garçons, pour chaque jour de la semaine, naissent alors au chant du chœur de jeunes filles. Le cœur de la sculpture d’Eva s’ouvre. Cœur de basset y descend, et joue la pièce Evas Lied. L’un après l’autre, les garçons sont amenés à Cœur de basset qui, au cours du Cercle de la Semaine, joue à chacun d’entre eux sa propre chanson qu’il chante ensuite. Cœur et les joueuses de cor de basset commencent une danse synchrone, dansent autour des garçons avec de plus en plus d’exubérance, disparaissent et réapparaissent en d’autres lieux, les troublent, les séduisent et les envoûtent. Finalement, elles les emmènent à l’abri des regards pour une Initiation.

Acte III : Evas Zauber / La magie d’Eva

Les garçons sont devenus des hommes. Une flûtiste, Ave, fait son apparition. Cœur de Basset et Ave entament un duo érotique. De nombreux enfants s’approchent, et Ave délaisse Cœur pour commencer un jeu virtuose avec les enfants, d’imitation et d’envoûtement. Les enfants, imitant Ave chantent de plus en plus aigu, et montent progressivement au ciel, se transformant en oiseaux. La grande statue d’Eva se dessèche, puis se métamorphose en montagne. Alors que les spectateurs sortent de la salle, les cris des enfants-oiseaux sont encore audibles.

Montags-Abschied / L’adieu du lundi

Les spectateurs, en sortant, voient une sculpture grandeur nature d’Ave jouant du piccolo avec deux enfants. Le foyer est plein de nuages verts. Pendant une longue durée, la musique de L’Adieu du lundi peut être entendue comme une polyphonie de voix d’enfants – qui sont devenus des appels d’oiseaux – et des mélodies de piccolo.

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Monday’s greeting
Upon entering the theatre foyer, the audience sees a life-like EVE sculpture of the basset-horn player Cœur de Basset, who appears in Acts II and III of MONDAY from LIGHT. This is surrounded by 12 life-size photographs of 12 of her playing positions set up in the order of the notes of the mirrored EVE nuclear formula. The impression is that the entire foyer is underwater. The four-channel basset-horn music of MONDAY GREETING sounds from all around.

Act 1 : Eve’s First birth-giving 
MONDAY from LIGHT is celebrated as a regularly recurring ritual commemoration at a large EVE sculpture by the sea. EVE, naked, is seated in the sand leaning back on her hands. She is as large as a lighthouse, and looks towards the sea. It is a moonlit night. In the transparent throat of the sculpture, EVE – as the figures of three women – hums and sings her secret names and the consecration of the days of the week. Laughing and singing women arrive, bringing beach carts and vessels, cloths, sponges, baskets, ladders, umbrellas with them. They wash the figure and prepare her for a celebration of birth. Men’s voices sing like the souls of invisible seamen who live in the sea. The individual stages of human birth are experienced aurally and visually in nine moons of development and a first birth-giving with four labour pains in early morning flood-waves.
EVE’S FIRST BIRTH-GIVING procreates seven strange human-animal hybrids: a boy with a lion’s head, twin boys as a pair of swallows, a boy with a horse’s head, triplet boys as parrot, budgerigar, little dog.
In a rain shower, 7 Heinzelmännchen1 somersault out of the EVE figure as well. Out of the dusk, a black Lucifer-appearance emerges, hoots “Repulsive!” and disappears.
The three EVE sopranos sing a First BIRTH-ARIA in gratitude for the birth of the two-times-seven boys, accompanied by the women’s choir and the invisible seamen.
A sailboat carrying three sailors brings fruits, beverages, flowers, a swan. They sing a Second BIRTH-ARIA, accompanied by the EVE sopranos and the choir. With an ADIEU! the sailors and the EVES take leave of each other.
The animal boys and Heinzelmännchen begin a BOYS’ HULLABALOO and are driven around in beach carts by the women to a Baby Buggy Boogie (with spicy refreshment pauses) – to the delight of the three EVE sopranos – until an increasingly rapid tempo ends in a crash and all fall over each other into a screaming tangle. An ice-cream vendor on a bicycle brings little relief.

A monstrous LUCIPOLYP surfaces from the sea as black double-octopus, sings, hisses, squeaks, grunts, caws his disgust about the disaster with a magic alphabet from “la-tsa-fa afa” to “tsry-tsyn-tsyt!”
The three EVES climb down. From letter to letter they protest togethe with the women and children, who stutter, hiss, yell, and finally – shrieking – rush at LUCIPOLYP and bury him alive in the sand.
The EVE sopranos sing: “Always, always, always LUCIPOLYP spoils the game!” and they climb back into the lighthouse sculpture.
The women conceal the boys beneath their skirts and sing THE GREAT WEEPING from under umbrellas as it hails and rains. From time to time, they scream in dismay about the impertinence of some of the boys.
Draped as a deep sea fisherman, LUCIFER emerges from the sea in the rain, rages, yells (becoming increasingly hoarse), stares at the boys, points to the womb, and explodes: “Everyone back in!! The whole thing again from the start !!!” The boys dash back into the womb. Everyone stares after them. Suddenly he calls hoarsely: “Let’s take a break !”

Act II : Eve’s Second Birthgiving
The second act, EVE’S SECOND BIRTH-GIVING, begins with the mystical ceremony of a GIRLS’ PROCESSION. Singing women hack off chunks of ice at the frozen shore. A girls’ choir approaches: “Eve Mother, we your children jubilate.”
The girls are holding burning candles and move in a procession to the EVE sculpture. There, a concert grand piano rolls between the legs of the EVE sculpture. A budgerigar as pianist plays a CONCEPTION with PIANO PIECE, the girls sing along. In the REBIRTH which ensues, the seven boys of the week are born to the singing of the girls’ choir: Monday-boy to Sunday-boy.
Women melt chunks of ice in cauldrons over hearths, fetch glass sculptures shaped like intricate tubes, spheres, vials and fill them with the steam, which cools and condenses into water flowing through the glass sculptures.
The heart of the EVE sculpture opens. Cœur de Basset descends a glass staircase. She plays EVE’S SONG. One after another, the boys are brought to Cœur de Basset, who – in CIRCLE OF THE WEEK – plays to each of them his own song which he then sings himself: Monday-song to Sunday-song. The boys are very musical, and imitate perfectly the seven SONGS OF THE DAYS with a great deal of humour.

Following the Sunday-song, Cœur multiplies herself into three BASSET-TEASES Busi, Busa and Muschi, who emerge one after another from the EVE sculpture and come to her. The women stop melting ice. They fill transparent watering cans with the collected water and sprinkle the earth, hook up water fountains and inconspicuously disappear.
From now on, dancing and playing, Cœur and the Basset-teases confuse the boys and skillfully seduce them to an INITIATION ending behind the large EVE. The boys sing in a drawn-out way:
MONDAY
Moon-light (hot is the start of the week) EVE-day – Birth of the children Rushing – Courage Green Silver-green – Basset-horn Water – Smelling Ceremony and Magic.
During INITIATION a green lawn has grown out of the sand. A second intermission follows.

Act III : Eve’s Magic
EVE’S MAGIC begins. Cœur returns alone, plays to herself, introverted, among the glass sculptures. A flute sounds in the distance. The boys, who have now grown up into men, curiously approach her in large numbers and sing in adoration.
Women come running up excited and bring the NEWS: “A musicus has arrived. Everyone says that he has magic powers.” Then they run away again, laughing. EVE-Cœur plays a seductively beautiful solo for the men, who sing a hymn of admiration for “Basset-horn, magician among the instruments”, while the invisible flute sounds in the background.
Accompanied by the women, a female flutist dressed as a young man comes running up to Cœur-Eve, playing. The two of them begin a moving duet. The women voicelessly call: “Rushing ravishing rushing…”, individually inserting: “Monday’s-Bright – AVE flute player – silver-green like EVE.” At this, the men enter polyphonically with “Monday’s-Bright…” and “Susani’s Echo…”.
EVE and AVE play their duet with many beautiful and daring poses, ravishing dancing, humour, a lot of charm and erotic allusions. To this, the choir sings its polyphonic commentaries with soloistic interjections, and the scene ends with the two of them in an elegant, entwined pose and a kiss on the hand.
Meanwhile, many children have joined the others, curious. Suddenly, AVE turns her attention towards the children, abandoning EVE who – shocked and disappointed – retreats back into the heart of the EVE sculpture. The adults are equally dismayed and confused, and leave, uneasy. Something unearthly is in the air. AVE turns into the PIED PIPER.

She begins a virtuoso game with the children, during which she completely captivates the children through all sorts of magic, circus-like, spooky, crazy surrealistic sound scenes. She lures the children increasingly into her spell, into her musical world. The children always imitate her. She constantly plays something for them, and the children sing and act identically. But she rhythmically forms everything in such a fashion that the children gradually become like marionettes, which jerkily slow down in huge ritardandi, remain immobile and then gradually get back into motion.
This happens several times, until AVE has finally turned the children into her playthings to such an extent that she takes them away with her in the ABDUCTION, during which she plays the EVE formula on the piccolo flute in 2 x 13 variations. The children, enchanted, sing the formula as often as she does – higher and higher – and are enticed by the musicus along a heavenly street into heaven.
The sounds of the piccolo and the children’s voices disappear in the distance and transform into bird calls.
During this, the large EVE figure becomes wrinkled and shrivelled and transforms into an old mountain. Small bushes, shrubs, animals, flowers and brooks spring from her skin. With crescendoing high cries, large white birds fly in from all directions, and circle the Eve mountain, wings beating slowly. Far away, the children-bird-cries can be heard, continuing in the foyer.

Monday’s Farewell
As the members of the audience leave, in the foyer they are surrounded by the sound of these swarms of piccolo-children-birds. They see a life-size figure of the piccolo-playing AVE with two children, surrounded by pictures of her in 12 poses corresponding to the order of the notes in the EVE nuclear formula. The entire foyer is submerged in green clouds. For a long time, the music of MONDAY FAREWELL can be heard as a polyphony of children’s voices – which have become bird calls – and of piccolo melodies.

en cours de réalisation

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in progress