Klassik  Oper
Nationaltheater-Orchester Mannheim Hans Thomalla: Dark Spring (2020) OC 994 2 CD
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Format2 Audio CD
Ordering NumberOC 994
Release date26/11/2021

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      Hans Thomalla - Dark Spring (2020)

      Wendla: Shachar Lavi
      Ilse: Anna Hybiner
      Melchior: Christopher Diffey
      Moritz: Magid El-Bushra

      Nationaltheater-Orchester Mannheim
      Alan Pierson

      popularity contests at school or at college, and to perform romantically or sexually. The pressure has become entirely internalised as parents or teachers are absent and the protagonists are left alone with late capitalism’s demands of permanent self-optimisation. The conflict between the expectation to succeed on the one hand, and the sense of powerlessness and unattainable self-determination in an era of constant stagnation on the other, grows increasingly acute until it eventually flips into violence: into Melchior’s sexual aggression and Moritz’s suicide.

      The opera focuses less on the narration of the four young protagonists’ story and more on their attempt to articulate and understand the often contradictory feelings that come with it: feelings of meaninglessness and alienation in a society that values only productivity and success but makes it unreachable for almost everyone; feelings of pain, both as suffering and as sexual experience; feelings of love and kinship that briefly appear between the protagonists but nevertheless bring a sense of vulnerability. In a hyper-competitive world the display of emotions is seen as a weakness and a liability. The longing to open up to someone else, to reveal and feel oneself and one another, and to find an expression for that longing seems unsettling and dangerous.

      The four protagonists of Dark Spring sing songs. They articulate their feelings through the mask of the distancing formalisation of rhyme, meter, stanza and refrain. Under the surface of the objectified schemata of song, however, an almost raw and undomesticated sound-world simmers that breaks through at crucial points of the plot – a sound-world of noise, screams and silence.

      Tracklist hide

      hide CD 1
      • SCENE 1
        • 1.This dress is not too short (Wendla, Ilse)00:55
        • 2.Song: Boys! Boys! (Wendla, Ilse)01:40
        • 3.Melchior Gabor, he told me once he does not believe in anything (Wendla, Ilse)00:41
        • 4.Song: He told me once (Wendla)04:02
      • SCENE 2
        • 5.I’d like to know why we really are on earth. (Melchior, Moritz)01:30
        • 6.Song: I am telling you this place is a dark wood (Moritz)04:30
      • SCENE 3
        • 7.Song: Wendla, I keep thinking I can hold you in a name (Melchior)03:41
        • 8.It ’s me! (Wendla, Melchior)01:50
        • 9.Song: Would you like to beat me? (Wendla, Melchior)03:30
        • 10.Zwischenmusik 102:16
      • SCENE 4
        • 11.Song: One must, one must, one must love! (Ilse, Wendla)03:02
      • SCENE 5
        • 12.Song: I don’t know, I don’t care! (Moritz, Wendla, Ilse, Melchior).01:33
        • 13.I passed, I passed, I passed! (Moritz, Melchior, Wendla, Ilse)03:12
        • 14.Song: I feel so strangely spiritualized (Moritz)03:18
      • SCENE 6
        • 15.Here is where you’ve hidden yourself! (Wendla, Melchior)01:00
        • 16.Song: Don’t kiss me, Melchior! (Wendla, Melchior)05:05
        • 17.Zwischenmusik 201:08
      • Total:42:53
      more CD 2
      • SCENE 8
        • 1.Don’t you sleep? (Moritz, Melchior)02:31
        • 2.Song: I have no desire (Moritz, Melchior)04:32
      • SCENE 9
        • 3.Song: I do not know, indeed I do not know (Wendla)06:16
        • 4.Zwischenmusik 301:52
      • SCENE 10
        • 5.Song: All day it looked like rain but did not rain (Moritz)02:44
        • 6.Song: What are you hunting, what have you lost? (Ilse)03:07
        • 7.Why did you frighten me so? (Ilse, Moritz)01:40
        • 8.Song: Do you remember how we used to play? (Ilse, Wendla, Melchior, Moritz)03:41
        • 9.I must go (Ilse, Moritz)00:59
        • 10.Song: It ’s getting dark (Moritz)06:03
        • 11.Zwischenmusik 401:46
      • SCENE 11
        • 12.Song: Be cheerful, Wendla, be cheerful! (Wendla, Ilse, Melchior)07:14
      • Total:42:25