Music Theatre | 2004

Last desire

Last Desire is a one-act musical theatre project in seven scenes, focused around the idea of waiting, and many of its possible associations (expectation and fear, but also the grotesque and prosaic, everyday comic elements revealed by Rossini in Il viaggio a Reims, fragments of which are recalled here).
The play begins but Salomé is not there. Three men and a boy are waiting for her. Only one of them, a blind viola player, seems to be able to get in touch with her, at least temporarily. The viola produces a shadow of sound like an echo of Salome’s presence and this is all the men can perceive of her. But the shadow does not follow their projections and they start to develop surreal lives of their own until a macabre ‘dance of Salomé’s echo’ becomes a lethal fight.
On a different level of the text, Wilde provides the dialogues of an underground world in continuous evolution and complex interaction: everyone - soldiers, the religious, the poor and the indifferent- are standing around the Royal palace. A crowd is waiting, not for Salomè but for some clarification, some answer, for a reason to go on. They speak of the Tetrarch and Julius Cesar, of Jesus of Nazareth and angels. The surrealistic dialogues of this vast ring of people, who orbit around the centre of the stage, cause the tension to ease and at the same time mock the personal demands of the characters at the centre. The singing voices of the main characters themselves are projected onto these others.
The scenic space spans from Salomè’s room, a private place of weaknesses and caprices, to an exterior obtained through the acoustic diffusion of the dialogues. The listening experience spreads throughout the visual space with reiterated acoustical visits to the multiethnic population living around Salomè’s room.
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A Tragedy in One Act
Music theater for treble voice, countertenor, bass, viola and live electronics
Text based on Oscar Wilde’s Salomé in an adaptation by Tina Hartmann (2003-2004)
Commission: Forum Neues Musiktheater, Staatsoper Stuttgart

Forum Neues Musiktheater, Stuttgart, 2004
Staatsoper Unter der Linden, Berlin, 2010

First performance:  Forum Neues Musiktheater, Stuttgart, 20 December 2004
David Dorne (treble voice), Daniel Gloger (countertenor), Andreas Fischer (bass), Luca Sanzò (viola)
Carl Faia (live electronics), Sebastian Hannak (stage and costume design)
Michael von zur Mühlen (director)

Publisher: Edizioni musicali Rai Trade RTC 1517
Duration: ca. 50 m
Recording: DVD Neues Musiktheater Stuttgart