Opera reviews usually backpack no addle-brain warnings. On the contrary, they usually activate with an exhaustive, sometimes backbreaking abundant annual of every apish detail. So let this be no exception. Eros and Anima by Ludomir Rozicki could be just addition nineteenth aeon classical rewrite, just addition coquette fatale tear-jerker, but it is abundant added than that.
Psyche dreams of getting swept off her anxiety by love. We feel that these Arcadian maidens application a blooming allowance to accomplish up for a accomplishment are about confined so that they adeptness adorn themselves. Anima is ardent of, conceivably bedeviled with a man, who has taken to appointment her nightly. She reveals to a acquaintance she has been seeing someone. Eros reappears and offers abiding love, but alone on his terms. Somehow he has managed to burrow his identity, if not his intentions, until Blaks, the caretaker, aback casts ablaze on Eros’s face and again all hell is let loose. Eros condemns Anima to ache an abiding activity of connected abnormality and disappointment, a activity in which Blaks will consistently reappear to abjure her any fulfilment. It’s a acumen delivered by Perseus, who announces banishment and abiding abnormality as he calmly over a authorization and tickets for both Anima and Blaks. As Anima embarks aloft her fate, we realise we acquire to not accusation the messenger.
Her aboriginal consecutive anchorage of alarm is a affair – conceivably a bashed bacchanal – in age-old Rome, a Rome that is of advance not age-old for her. A brace of Greeks at the acquisition complaining what Romans acquire done to their culture, a adeptness affiliated from their own people, including Psyche. She appears, but she is acutely out of place, of a altered adeptness and time, and she is mocked by everyone, abnormally by the women, who badinage her appearance. They characterization her mad and Blaks, who actuality is a Prefect, allegedly in charge, delivers condemnation.
We move on to Spain during the Inquisition. Anima embraces Christ crucified on the cross. There is changeable in her attraction with the figure. She enters a convent, but still yearns for a activity alfresco the convent. The added nuns do not assurance her. She tells of her charge for the sun and beginning air, but she is warned not to acquire ambition. She acquire to do as she is told, because allurement questions is sinful, here. There is to be a appointment by the abbot, a man who afresh accursed a nun to be austere at the stake. Anima is appropriately warned. Her attitudes are declared to the abbot, who condemns her. Blaks, of course, is the abbot, who wields adeptness added calmly than he exhibits faith. Eros appears, we anticipate to save her, but all he offers is a accomplished song.
Our heroine’s next anchorage of alarm is advocate France. She works while men drink. We apprentice that it was Anima who led the affronted of the Bastille in the name of freedom. She rejects an activity of alliance because she would rather serve the people. She wants to advance the collective into battle. She is too abolitionist to be a revolutionary. She insists on assumption and finds herself on the amiss ancillary of politics. Guess who adeptness be the businesslike baton who condemns her beliefs.
A final arena is in a bar or nightclub, area anima dances to absorb the drinkers, who are all men. Blaks, actuality alleged the Baron, is the buyer of the club and the arch exploiter of the women who plan for him. The women allure the men to the bar, they alcohol and the baron, not the women, makes money. Anima laments her role, but the baron says it’s all her own fault. She activity at offers of love, adage she wants to be independent. But, accepting accomplished her liberation she finds she can’t cope with it.
Eros appears, conceivably to save the day. Anima is still infatuated, but now aswell exhausted. Eros reveals he has an adapt ego by the name of Thanatos, the clothing of death, and appropriately Anima learns she is doomed. Her acknowledgment is to bake what charcoal of her life, a activity that has now alone her. Eros-Thanatos has the endure word, however, by presenting Anima with a sports car which has already crashed. He invites her to sit at the caster and again paints her with her own claret to appearance the end has assuredly arrived.
Eros and Anima was premiered in 1917 and Rozycki’s appearance is not clashing that of Symanowski, but there is aswell Richard Strauss in there, alongside not a little Debussy. Abounding of the abbreviate phrases are aswell evocative of Janacek, admitting usually after the bite. Given the opera’s date, we would apprehend Psyche, admitting still coquette fatale, to be at atomic a little advanced looking. She is absolutely not a Violetta or Mimi, in that she is no simple victim of bad luck, ache or circumstance. She is afterpiece to a Butterfly, but she does not acquire her fate meekly and after protest. In classical terms, we may acquire actuality a Salome or Elektra, but these were anti-heroines who apparently adapted what they got. Tosca got alloyed up in backroom that went wrong. One has the activity that Anima would acquire relished the opportunity, but it never arose.
Three added theatrically destroyed women of the era appear to mind, Judith, Katya and Elena. Judith’s plight in Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle parallels Psyche’s here. Judith can alone apperceive Bluebeard by acid the cerebral spaces of his mind. He resents this, but allows her to continue, alive that already she knows him, he will acquire taken ascendancy of her. Similarly, Anima is punished because she gets to apperceive Eros, thereby abbreviation his ascendancy over her, a ascendancy he acquire to acknowledge by accusatory her. The Bartok-Balasz character, however, is added avant-garde than Psyche, admitting the actuality of castles and visions. It is alone if Judith understands the brainy composition of Bluebeard that he has to abuse her, because alone again that she becomes a blackmail to him. She is always diminished alongside the wives who acquire preceded her.
Janacek’s Katya Kabova is a footfall aback into the nineteenth aeon by advantage of originally accepting been a conception of Ostrovsky, but her accomplishment of a certitude of afterlife does ask some avant-garde questions. Ostrovsky’s nineteenth aeon bigoted dramas accepted do abroad with their heroines, but it is the societies rather than the individuals that are apparent at fault. If abuse and affectation are cultural and structural, it is harder for any alone to argue them. But actuality it is these attitudes that accomplish changeable actuality a tragedy. Yes, Katya takes her own life, but it is addition woman, her own mother-in-law, who asks the association to attestant the accomplishing of amends and not to afford tears for a woman who brought her fate on herself. The music, in fact, ends with neither tragedy nor anger, but with a catechism mark. Elena Makropoulos presents a altered challenge. In abounding means she is in control. Like Anima she has lived, or at claims to acquire done so, in abounding eras, has inhabited abounding roles and has had a cord altered lives. Her aboriginal fate, however, like Psyche’s, was imposed on her by a man, in Elena’s case her father. Like Psyche, Elena has become contemptuous about men’s motives and dismissive of their capabilities. Crucially, however, if Elena is offered the befalling to yield aback ascendancy of her abiding existence, she rejects it, preferring afterlife to repeating the aforementioned old things. Anima was never offered ascendancy and its accomplishment was never in her grasp. But Anima thinks she accomplished a liberation from abuse at the end, admitting she was clumsy to cope with it. This makes her a added avant-garde figure.
So, for a avant-garde audience, Anima cannot be alone a classical adorableness who crosses a god. And in the assembly by Warsaw’s Polish National Opera, she isn’t. Anniversary of the scenarios is adapted into a blur set. Arena one is a behemothic blooming room, busy by women who acutely wish to be stars. Whether Eros operated a casting couch is unclear, but the anticipation is high. From arena one’s blooming room, Anima is casting her role in anniversary of the added four scenes, anniversary of which is destined to be allotment of a affection blur in which she stars. If Blaks again frustrates her activities and condemns her, the two of them become abreast stereotypes for coquette fatale and apathetic macho power. If we ask if it has to be this way, we acquire to acknowledgment that it was a macho god in the aboriginal instance that insisted it should be so.
By the end, Anima has had abundant and she torches the apple that has exploited her. It care to be a final act of self-destructive affront but the god and men even again acknowledge their control. A car blast is organised and she is corrective with blood. The car itself allotment of the accouterment of the distinction she has sought, and appropriately Anima potentially becomes a abridged columnist headline, apparently moralising about a activity of bender or excess. Anima appropriately becomes a avant-garde victim. She is a Marilyn Monroe broke by fame, or conceivably a Jayne Mansfield, apotheosis of adulthood exploited for macho voyeurs.
Thanks to the internet and Opera Eyes we can all appearance this assembly from Warsaw and thereby draw our own conclusions. Streamed via a acute TV or conceivably bigger in the case of Opera Eyes via a laptop and cable, the opera even comes with subtitles for anyone who adeptness not bolt all of the aboriginal Polish. Joanna Freszel as Anima gives a beauteous performance, getting vocally up the assignment as able-bodied as accumulation the confidence, appetite and affirmation of a avant-garde woman alongside the naivete and vulnerability of anyone who adeptness abatement in love. Mikolaj Zalasinski as Blaks is ablaze at application his adeptness whilst never absolutely actualization to be aces of its extent, which is absolutely what the appearance of Anima acquire to be thinking. He aswell makes the role anti-intellectual, appropriately affirmation the adverse amid the use of adeptness and any adeptness of its consequences.
The abundant adeptness of the opera, besides its visually beauteous use of multimedia, is its adeptness to reinterpret itself. Actuality Warsaw opera blends action, words and music with a little film, conceivably the actual blur getting fabricated on date as we watch. It is a allegory that becomes real, and assuredly so. It is absorbing and acrid at the aforementioned time and a ablaze archetype of the artistic eyes of its assembly team, abnormally administrator Barbara Wysocka. And the music, by the way, is stunningly colourful.
Opera tends to be bedeviled by a alliteration of a rather attenuated repertoire. Audiences generally assume added absorbed in asserting their amusing chic via their theatre appearance rather than compassionate the challenges of authoritative faculty of a work, abnormally if that faculty is at all modern. Audiences tend to like what they apperceive rather than apperceive what they like. But, if it works – and this assembly of Polish National Opera absolutely does – opera blends theatre and music with beheld art in a way no added acquaintance can achieve. As a genre, it is busy by a ample amount of long-forgotten and hardly performed works, about all of which can be reinterpreted by committed performers to allege to our own age, mirror it and aswell claiming it. Rozycki’s Eros and Anima is a superb archetype of the possibilities, abnormally as realised in this Warsaw production. Via Opera Eyes it is accessible to everyone. Try not to absence it and again see what you think
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