AZIONE MUSICALE by LUCIANO BERIO; libretto by Talia Pecker-Berio
consisting of a Prologue and Five Scenes:
L'assedio (The Siege) / Il campo (The Field) / Il torre (The Tower)
/ La casa (The Home) / La piazza (The Plaza)
This is an opera not of plot but of situations, of memories reminiscent
of biblical events that come back to life in a special place -
the Felsenreitschule: a space carved out of a
rock on a mountainside in Salzburg, made up of a wall that in
the opera serves a multiplicity of functions (wall of music, home,
depository of memories...), and a stage - the piazza - upon which
the memories unfold.
The Prologue is comprised of music that evokes memories:
of the siege of Jericho, of an unnamed field of ill omens,
of the Tower of Babel, of people fleeing from home,
of a place of impending ruin
The events are chronicled through music resounding from the wall
and through the solitary voice of the woman R.
The world premiere
' was a BIG success! The audience cheered and stomped and yelled.
Berio's music, they said:
"...arresting and beautiful..."
"...a sensational prelude to the Festival..."
And of Hildegard Behrens:
" ...even in the most extreme passages, the voice did not
give up any of its white-hot splendor, her acting and hypnotic
presence beyond description."