Various - absolute opera


Drawing on the narco-corrido contrabando y traición as a point of departure, our video-opera reconstructs the "true story" of Camelia La Tejana, a trafficker in marijuana between Tijuana and Los Angeles, and a murderer for love. We approximate this narrative because clearly, it resembles the classic tragedies and plots historically employed in opera. Moreover, both genres of narco-corrido and opera share such archetypical concepts as love, treason, a weapon, and death. Then again, our mythical portrait of Camelia not only recreates situations that are identifiable in reality, it also makes fiction out of reality and invents new characters in this story.

"The rhythm of bar 1 is incomplete and demands a note at the beginning of bar 2. The substitution of such a note by a whole-bar rest therefore gives the effect of a suppressed sound, as if one were about to speak but then refrains at the last moment. The 'suppressed sound' is then repeated in bar 4, and 'developed' (by being doubled) in bars 7 and 8." Grove (1898 , p. 355) writes of the "strange irregularity of rhythm in the sixth bar" of this movement. [7] Much has been said about the harmony of the opening to Richard Wagner ’s opera Tristan und Isolde , which Taruskin (2010, ) calls "perhaps the most famous, surely the most commented-on, single phrase of music ever written." However, Wagner’s strategic use of silences between phrases intensifies the troubled ambiguity of the music: "The chord that fills the ensuing silence in the listener’s inner ear… is the unstated – indeed never to be stated, and ultimately needless to be stated – tonic of that key." [8]

Malin Byström takes on the title role in Richard Strauss’s searing opera, as featured in the V&A exhibition Opera: Passion, Power and Politics .

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