The Illuminated Traces of Ligeia

The libretto is based on two  novels by Gabriel García Márquez and one novel by Edgar Allan Poe. In between these stories there 11 poems by Nordic poets, as Stig Dagerman, Inger Christensen, Harry Martinson. Pentti Saarikoski, Maria Wine & Göran Sonnevi.

This is an on-going project. It will be 90-120 minutes long and includes:

4 solo singers, 1 dancer, 10 singers in the choir, 8 musicians and 1 conductor. And all the other persons backstage: scenographer, stage-manager, sound- & light technician etc.

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Summary of the libretto for the chamber opera ’The Illuminated Traces of Ligeia'

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Traces (El rastro)

'Traces' is written inspired by the novel ’The trail of your blood in the snow’ by Gabriel García Márquez

A man and a woman, Nina & Will, are in an intimate relationship that is under change. Nina is experiencing pain while Will is getting more and more distant. They don’t connect anymore and he ends up alone.

Video from the dress rehearsal at the opera workshop at Darmstadt festival 2014 See

Video documentation at the Darmstadt festival 2014 about the opera workshop (3’46-5’42) See or Here

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Ligeia [Information found on internet]

The unnamed narrator describes the qualities of Ligeia, a beautiful, passionate and intellectual woman, raven-haired and dark-eyed, that he thinks he remembers meeting "in some large, old decaying city near the Rhine." He is unable to recall anything about the history of Ligeia, including her family's name, but remembers her beautiful appearance. Her beauty, however, is not conventional. He describes her as emaciated, with some "strangeness." He describes her face in detail, from her "faultless" forehead to the "divine orbs" of her eyes. They marry, and Ligeia impresses her husband with her immense knowledge of physical and mathematical science, and her proficiency in classical languages. She begins to show her husband her knowledge of metaphysical and "forbidden" wisdom.

After an unspecified length of time Ligeia becomes ill, struggles internally with human mortality, and ultimately dies. The narrator, grief-stricken, buys and refurbishes anabbey in England. He soon enters into a loveless marriage with "the fair-haired and blue-eyed Lady Rowena Trevanion, of Tremaine."

In the second month of the marriage, Rowena begins to suffer from worsening fever and anxiety. One night, when she is about to faint, the narrator pours her a goblet of wine. Drugged with opium, he sees (or thinks he sees) drops of "a brilliant and ruby colored fluid" fall into the goblet. Her condition rapidly worsens, and a few days later she dies and her body is wrapped for burial.

As the narrator keeps vigil overnight, he notices a brief return of color to Rowena's cheeks. She repeatedly shows signs of reviving, before relapsing into apparent death. As he attempts resuscitation, the revivals become progressively stronger, but the relapses more final. As dawn breaks, and the narrator is sitting emotionally exhausted from the night's struggle, the shrouded body revives once more, stands and walks into the middle of the room. When he touches the figure, its head bandages fall away to reveal masses of raven hair and dark eyes: Rowena has transformed into Ligeia.

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Illuminated (Illuminado) 

'Illuminated' is written inspired by the novel ’The light is like water’ by Gabriel García Márquez

Two people ask for a boat in return for ’good' behavior. When they get the rowboat, they break the light bulbs in their home and the light comes flowing out like water. They use the light to navigate around their home every Wednesday, and invite friends to go sailing with them as well. They all end up drowning in the light.