(Kopie 1)
04.09.2021 08:02

Glance – Dream – Transition. Manfred Trojahn’s prologue to Verdi’s “Don Carlo”

A prologue has the famous colon at the end. Now, only now do we get down to the plot. What happened in the prologue is about to become history. That’s how I understood my task in this case. It was necessary to develop an idea of what might have been possible as a shared experience for the characters in this piece. Where might they have met? What might have happened between them? The most difficult task which faces the composer of stage works is to forbid him or herself to ‘compose’ a production. The space intended for the production must remain free. The composer’s imagination has its place in the music and in the dramaturgy of the narrative. So in this prologue a plot is not, in fact, developed – what is to be shown is up to the director. Instead, a situation is assumed which has a certain degree of probability: an encounter, a glance – it cannot be more in the prescribed confined space which the opera then goes on to describe. This seems to me in fact to be a piece about social obligation, and about the impossibility of escaping it. But with the glance, a dream can also be triggered, a dream in which everything becomes possible, indeed almost gains a probability, a dream, awakening from which means the fact that reality will be experienced even more mercilessly than was previously imaginable – everything experienced now becomes a threat. This threat can be felt in Übergang (Transition), because the harshness takes up space which surrounds everything in this opera.

Manfred Trojahn
(from [t]akte 1/2020)