15-17 March 2024
Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Studio Boekman
Dark comedy about singers who have no say
I always feel very uncomfortable in the Final Scene.
But what can we do?
That is the way the opera is written.
We have no control over such things.
Inspired by Luigi Pirandello’s meta-theatre, composer Tom Johnson wrote a piece for a group of singers who have only four notes at their disposal (A, B, D and E) and couldn’t sing about anything other than the opera they are now performing in. Of course, such is an impossible situation: the opera ends in utter rigidity.
Fifty years ago, the Four Note Opera was a mocking reflection on opera norms. What about now? Is the play itself out of date, or is the criticism still relevant? How much influence do today’s singers have over the roles they play? And how much influence do opera directors have over their own creative process?
Libretto Tom Johnson
Stage direction Kenza Koutchoukali
Scenography Yannick Verweij
Dramaturgy Wout van Tongeren
Singers Members of Dutch National Opera Studio
Co-production with the Nederlandse Reisopera and Opera Zuid
DNO AND HNB