The Man of Dreams
A chamber opera by António Chagas Rosa
São Luiz Teatro Municipal
From 3 to 6 February 2022, Lisbon
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Opera in 7 Scenes
Based on the homonymous novel by Mário de Sá-Carneiro “I master my dreams, I dream what I want. I live what I want.”
António Chagas Rosa, Music and Libretto
Jan Wierzba, Musical Director
Miguel Loureiro, Stage Director
Helena de Medeiros, Costumes and Props
Set designer, light designer and video to be announced
Catarina Molder (soprano), Man of Dreams
Christian Luján (baritone), Narrator
Media Partner: RTP2
Production: Ópera do Castelo
Co-production: Projecto Travessa da Ermida, São Luiz Teatro Municipal
(genesis, synopsis, thematic, concept and instrumentation)
THE MAN OF DREAMS – A CHAMBER OPERA
The libretto to this opera was written by the composer himself, based on the homonymous novel O Homem dos Sonhos (The man of dreams) written in 1913 by Mário de Sá-Carneiro, in Paris, city where the Portuguese poet lived, during the last years of his short life and where he would commit suicide in 1916, with only 25 years of age.
As a literary text unfolds esthetical elements typical of Symbolism and Futurism, always with great dramatic intensity, announcing in its own way Modernism and having strongly influenced Fernando Pessoa. Dreams, day-dreams and madness represent relevant topics.
CROSSING THE LIMITS OF HUMAN EXPERIENCE Between dream and madness
“The man of Dreams” tell us the story about a mysterious elegant Russian man, Mário de Sá-Carneiro met in a greasy Parisian café, in his poor student days.
This bizarre character spent one night long, describing his secret and explaining the reasons of his endless happyness: he travelled in dreams to places with new indescribable colors, to cities where one could breathe music, to countries where there were more than two sexes and where soul was visible and body not...Eventually he succeeded transcending his fastidious life boredom, through a continuous oneiric trance: “Well, I’ve managed to change my existence and I do it everyday! I have access not only to everything that exists, but also to what doesn’t exist.”
At the end, the enigmatic man of dreams vanishes. Has he ever existed?
How much from him is real or imagination? Is he mad or sane? Is this character out of a dream?
AN OPERA REFLECTING ABOUT HUMAN CONDITION
Thematic and Conception
This synthetic opera is built in 7 scenes, all alternated with instrumental interludes and was written for a soprano, with a powerful dramatical expression- the poet’s “alter-ego “ incarnating the man of dreams himself, for baritone – the narrator (poet) and an instrumental ensemble of 10 musicians.
Its evasive visionary and timeless thematic resumes on one hand, the eternal human dissatisfaction and continuous obsession in transcending limits. Limits of time, space, color and genre. And on the other hand, the premonitory and structuring fascinating power of dream, which ultimately molds and guides human life in its existential march, as global society or as individual. Everything we are, was eventually dreamed and transformed in visible material – reality.
Violin, Horn, Basse, Flute, Saxophone, Basson, Trombone, Accordeon, Piano, Percussion.