notes from underground
Opera in seven scenes by Jack Symonds
Libretto by Pierce Wilcox
(after the Dostoyevsky novella)
Dostoevsky’s “Notes from Underground” is daring and wild. Set in colourful, torturous St Petersburg, it is a pessimistic indictment of the weaknesses of human will, containing one of the most extraordinary central characters in nineteenth century literature. Spiritually destitute, this man rages manically about himself, and then goes on to flesh out his soliloquy with anecdotes about the events ‘aboveground’ leading to his eventual retreat ‘underground’ as he rejects society and human relationships.
Acclaimed director Netta Yashchin stages a bold new operatic adaptation of “Notes from Underground” by Jack Symonds, to a libretto by Pierce Wilcox, for Sydney Chamber Opera. This adaptation finds the links between the underground tirade and the aboveground narrative and draws them simultaneously together. We can’t read the novel’s two halves at once, but music can fold time; it can fuse it, freeze it. Through music we can hear the two halves together, and so the opera is born: past and present in confrontation.
Cell Block Theatre
Forbes St, Darlinghurst