Young / Opera
German version commissioned by State Opera Hanover
An amplified opera by Philip Venables (*1979)
Libretto by Ted Huffman
German text version by Robert Lehmeier
14. April 2023
1 hour 5 minutes, no intermission
For young people from age 14 and adults
A true story: Two Russian teenagers, Denis Muravyov and Katya Vlasova, hide out in a hunting cabin after an argument with their parents. When a special police force tracks them down, the situation escalates.
The fifteen-year-old couple post incessantly on social media. Reality and digital perception, game and lethal earnest begin to overlap. In the end, Denis and Katya are dead in real life. But the digital world carries on posting.
Romeo and Juliet in times of social media: an opera about two fifteen-year-olds in love who live their lives without compromise, as if nothing but the present moment existed. And everything that happens in reality is posted online, up until their final breath. Philip Venables and Ted Huffman created a new, German-language version for the German premiere in Hanover.
Like in a TV-documentary, “talking heads” alternate with media coverage. Actual people concerned – like Denis’ best friend – are featured along with invented characters: a neighbour, a teacher, a doctor. This opera by Philip Venables and Ted Huffman about the final hours of Denis and Katya builds a bridge back into the analogue world – for real-life theatre audiences.
The acoustic sound of four cellos is picked up electronically and confronted with the beeps and sound codes of our everyday digital world. Live singing meets electro-acoustic, the analogue and the digital merge into a multitude of layers. Singers and instrumentalists, music, lyrics, scene and video are all performers in equal measure, connected by technology and live scenes.