Composer: Hans Thomalla
Performer: Shachar Lavi, Anna Hybiner, Christopher Diffey, Magid El-Bushra
Orchestra: Nationalthtreater-Orchester Mannheim
Conductor: Alan Pierson
Number of Discs: 2
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Size: 893 MB
Dark Spring (Live)
01. This Dress Is Not Too Short
02. Boys! Boys!
03. Melchior Gabor, He Told Me Once He Does Not Believe in Anything
04. He Told Me Once
05. I’d Like to Know Why We Really Are on Earth
06. I Am Telling You This Place Is a Dark Wood
07. Wendla, I Keep Thinking I Can Hold You in a Name
08. It’s Me!
09. Would You Like to Beat Me?
10. Zwischenmusik No. 1
11. One Must, One Must, One Must Love!
12. I Don’t Know, I Don’t Care!
13. I Passed, I Passed, I Passed!
14. I Feel so Strangely Spiritualized
15. Here Is Where You’ve Hidden Yourself!
16. Don’t Kiss Me!
17. Zwischenmusik No. 2
01. Don’t You Sleep?
02. I Have No Desire
03. I Do Not Know, Indeed I Do Not Know
04. Zwischenmusik No. 3
05. All Day It Looked Like Rain but Did Not Rain
06. What Are You Hunting, What Have You Lost?
07. Why Did You Frighten Me So?
08. Do You Remember How We Used to Play?
09. I Must Go
10. It’s Getting Dark
11. Zwischenmusik No. 4
12. Be Cheerful, Wendla, Be Cheerful!
Dark Spring is an opera about four young people under extreme pressure: the pressure to overachieve academically, to score high in the popularity contests at school or at college, and to perform romantically or sexually. The pressure has become entirely internalized as parents or teachers are absent and the protagonists are left alone with late capitalism’s demands of permanent self-optimization. The conflict between the expectation to succeed on the one hand and the sense of powerlessness and unattainable self-determination in an era of constant stagnation on the other hand grows increasingly acute until it eventually flips into violence: into Melchior’s sexual aggression and Moritz suicide.
The opera focuses less on the narration of the four young protagonists’ story but rather on their attempt to articulate and understand the often contradictory feelings that come with it: Feelings of meaninglessness and alienation in a society that values only productivity and success but makes it unreachable for almost everyone; feelings of pain both as suffering and as sexual experience; feelings of love and kinship that briefly appear between the protagonists that nevertheless bring a sense of vulnerability. In a hyper-competitive world the display of emotions is seen as a weakness and a liability. The longing to open up to someone else, to reveal and feel oneself and one another, and to find an expression for that longing seems unsettling and dangerous.
The four protagonists of Dark Spring sing songs. They articulate their feelings through the mask of the distancing formalization of rhyme, meter, stanza, and refrain. Under the surface of the objectified schemata of song an almost raw and undomesticated sound-world simmers, though, that breaks through at crucial points of the plot – a sound-world of noise, screams, and silence.