Thursday, 16 October 2008

The new Oslo Opera House today


- a chamber opera of life and death

Stage 2

The death penalty as entertainment? Yes, not only possible, but desirable.

- When lives are taken in the name of the state, is it execution or murder?

With this question the Norwegian composer Cecilie Ore started her research on a topic which is both current and has strong roots in our history: the death penalty. Going through masses of literature on the subject, Ore found one source of texts which stood out among all the others:

- These were words spoken and written by the condemned prisoners themselves: their ‘final words’ and their orders for a ‘last meal’, Ore says.

Cecilie Ore’s opera Dead Beat Escapement is entertaining, but it also causes us to reflect. Cecilie Ore has created a work in which the question of the rights of the individual and the needs of society are illustrated in a highly original way.

Six soloists and six dancers, all men, perform this opera, which will break all bounds of convention about opera as epic melodrama. Nursery rhymes, poetry and gospel combine with knife-sharp musical expression and gripping documentary text. Try it, if you dare!

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