2 semi-staged one-act mono-operas
20 November 2014
Salvatore Sciarrino’s Vanitas (1981) sets 16th century texts on the subject of the vanity and ephemerality of human life. Sciarrino’s beautiful falling lines, chords which fade away a single note at a time, and ambiguously pitched harmonics give the opera one of the most gorgeously-textured soundworlds in the post-war modernist tradition. But they also serve to illustrate the underlying instability of human life.
Based on the Noh play of the same name, Matsumushi addresses a similar subject from a more Buddhist-humanist perspective. Life continues after death – not a supernatural phenomenon but a natural one which links all living and even non-living things together. A World Première
The most important Italian composer of his generation. Largely self-taught, his works have a delicacy and attention to colour unique in contemporary music. His operas – including 1981's Vanitas – have revolutionised the genre, opening up new worlds of expression and new ways of writing for the voice. His music has been performed by major ensembles all over the world, and more than 100 CDs of his music have been released.