Out at S.E.A. chamber opera production

2016.01.09. - 2016.01.31.

Co-operation of the Peter Eötvös Contemporary Music Foundation, the Budapest Music Center and the Ulysses Network.

“The compositional idea is as absurd as the theatrical play of Mrozek itself. Three different people meet in the story, completely different characters. They respond to events in a very different way, so it was obvious each character should be composed by another composer. In all known operas one composer writes the material for every character, so they have one hallmark. In this chamber opera each of the characters arrives from a different part of the world, from a different culture, and they try to “row in one boat”. The “boat”, in other words what holds the three characters together, was put together by us, from the submitted material, though we did not change the characters imagined by the various composers or their individual compositional materials.” - Peter Eötvös

In a joint project, the Péter Eötvös Contemporary Music Foundation and BMC chose Sławomir Mrożek’s Out at S.E.A., a one-act absurd drama, to provide an opportunity for young composers to make a joint chamber opera summarizing the characteristic phenomena of the modern age (issues of alienation, abuse of power, conformity and the limits of freedom) into one grotesque situation, where the problem of the part and the whole is reflected in the opportunities offered by form and technique.
Altogether 51 people from 23 countries (Austria, Australia, Brazil, Chile, South Korea, the United States, Greece, Georgia, Israel, Japan, China, Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Germany, Italy, Russia, Peru, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Singapore, and Slovenia) applied for the chamber opera workshop. Eventually 37 of them participated in the four-day course in April.
As a start to the creative process, which lasted for several months, there was review and discussion of the special solution opportunities of the libretto, the dramaturgy and the compositional technique. The joint work, managed by Péter Eötvös, Luca Francesconi, Balázs Horváth and András Almási-Tóth, was rounded off each evening by an opera screening and discussion, where the focus was on a work by one of the invited professors.The workshop was followed by individual work, after which six composers were selected to compose the three singer and three instrumental characters of the chamber opera.

Out At S.E.A. performance was invited in the framework of the Ulysses Network in 2014 to several European cities: Paris (IRCAM), Milan (Divertimento Ensemble), Brussels (Flagey) and Mazsalaca (International Workshop for Young Composers).

About the opera:
“Three people, abandoned, on no-man’s land, on the open sea, in the world of the media. The participants of a reality show, their situation is that of modern man, lonely in community; depending on each other, they would devour each other; they are selfish and without emotions, acting for show, as if someone was always watching them and evaluating their performance. Three protagonists, three different worlds… the topic of... Mrożek’s one-act Out at S.E.A. appears in a totally new context: within the well-known claustrophobic, yet public framework of reality shows, in the form of an opera. In addition, the story can be seen twice, the two identical, yet different variations reflect on one another, leaving the feeling of eternity, repeatability, and substitutability in the audience. The three protagonists think they are exceptional characters, yet they are only mass products on the metaphysical media market: tomorrow others will come and the same will happen to them…” - András Almási-Tóth

Out at S.E.A. 123
Máté Gergely BALOGH - Thin
Diana SOH - Medium
Christian FLURY - Fat

Out at S.E.A. 456
Samu GRYLLUS - Medium
Mariana UNGUREANU - Fat

You can find the short bio of all composers of Out at S.E.A. at the Artists page.

For further information about the world-premiere in Budapest, please check out the News page here.

Venues of the European tour in 2014:

26. February, Milano (Auditorium Gruppo 24 Ore)

09. July, Paris (Centquatre)


Supporter of the Out at S.E.A. workshop:

Supporter of the Out at S.E.A. performance: