David Chesworth - Experimental Operas

Insatiable 450X325 W100

30 mins
Music & Libretto by David Chesworth
Text by David Chesworth after Roland Barthes

Using Roland Barthes' 'A Lover's Discourse' and Schoenberg's opera 'Erwartung' as references, Insatiable is a stylised, abstracted musical drama presenting ideas about the nature of performance: What does it mean to 'perform'? Who is giving the performance? What is the audience's position in all of this? 

Four people arrive at an old theatre for an audition and each must wait their turn to perform. As they wait, the characters gradually reveal - through recitatives and arias - more about the roles they are playing and speculate on their future lives. 

The music is derived from four melodic themes that recur throughout. Stated simply at the beginning, each becomes more complex as the piece progresses. They are: an anonymous piece of Medieval Organum, a simplified version of the cantus-firmus from Guillaume Dufay's 14th century mass 'Se la face ay pale', an operatic melody based on the notes of the major triad and a sequential chord progression similar to that used in TV title music. Music plays a crucial role in the narrative and it becomes thematically linked to the unfolding of the story. The use of non-natural symphonic sounds is an essential element in the work.

Jacqui Rutten - soprano 
Di Emery - actor/singer 
Lloyd Fleming - tenor 
John Concannon - actor/singer 

Performances at Performance Space, Sydney and Kaleide Theatre, Melbourne
Recorded by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Filmed as a television opera

'Chesworth's music simultaneously seduces and distances...It is double edged from beginning to end. Insatiable understands the ritual of operatic form and it delights in the artifice and formality.'
 - Cinema Papers

1607 Chesworth Richter Meinhof Opera 0124c 500X486 W70
Richter/Meinhof-Opera can be found at Installations: Richter/Meinhof-Opera

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