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Ausrine Stundyte as Cio-Cio-San, Elizabeth Janes as Butterfly’s child and Sarah Larsen as Suzuki in Seattle Opera's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Photo by Elise Bakketun.
North American Works Directory Listing
Nico. Sphinx aus Eis
Ari Benjamin Meyers
Werner Fritsch, Nina Gühlstorff, Ari Benjamin Meyers and Hans-Georg Wegner
Ari Benjamin Meyers, Music Director; Nina Gühlstorff, Director; Volker Thiele, Set and Costume Designer
Sabine Brohm as Nico, Martin Wölfel as Dionysos/Jim Morrison, Stefanie Jonas as Aphrodite/young Nico, Barabara Hoehne as Persephone/Diva Nico
June 03, 2005
Semper Opera Dresden
The celebrated German author Werner Fritsch created a theater monologue on which Ari Benjamin Meyers based the libretto. The entire opera takes place as Nico lies dying on a boiling hot Ibiza street. In the delirium of her last moments there appears to her three strange figures who reveal themselves to be gods, mythic figures: Aphrodite, the godess of beauty, Dionysos, the god of intoxication and excess, and Persephone, the godess of destruction and of the underworld. These gods lead Nico on one last journey through the various stations and relationships of her life and accompany her on her quest to be reunited with her one true love: Jim Morrison.
Nico (born Christa Päffgen) is without doubt one of the most fascinating female figures of the recent past. For Andy Warhol she was his beloved “moon goddess” from “Nazi Germany.” Her husky voice and unique singing style influenced rock music and her beauty made her legendary: Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Alain Delon and many others all fell under her spell. With 17 she was the world’s first super model, working for Coco Channel in Paris. She went on to appear in Fellini's La Dolce Vita and other films. Her interest in acting brought her to America, Andy Warhol, and eventually The Velvet Underground. But it was her affair with rock legend Jim Morrison that motivated her to start writing her own songs. She began to search for her true self and in doing so began to systematically destroy her own beauty, her heroin addiction greatly helping this along. She died as the result of a bicycle accident on Ibiza in 1988; Language: Deutsch, English translation in progress
vln, vc, klav/harm, elec-gtr
The composer's attempt was to try to create a kind of modern baroque opera. The forms are therefore all based on Baroque forms, while the instrumentation and writing is more agressive and at times has an almost rock-music like character. The vocal writing, in a nod to Nico's own style, is very lyrical and melodic.
Ari Benjamin Meyers

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