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LES TROIS SOUHAITS

Film Opera by Bohuslav Martinu / ca. 3h /
mixed media / 2014

Tired of loving – what would a couple desire if a fairy appeared and offered three wishes? Mr. and Ms. Juste are fortunate but then overwhelmed. Finally they wish what ruins their marriage at all: luxuriancy, eternal adolescence and unconditional love.

The jazz- and film-opera was composed in 1928/29 and was performed in Berlin 2014 for the first time.

The 20’s have already experienced a multiple renaissance, be it as golden transfiguration or as a starting point for modernity as well as postmodernity. In this sense, at first glance it seems strange that Bohuslav Martinus’s opera „Les trois souhaits“ (The Three Wishes), which was written in Paris in 1929, was never performed during the composer’s lifetime.

The video work merges image collages, stop-motion-animations, by actors inscenated scenes (live and pre-produced), found footage and analogue film material. Besides the main projection surface (behind the portal of the stage) two LCD screens were used as devices for showing video. The singers and actors interacted directly live with the screens on stage.

The libretto plays already consciously with a lot of what we still associate ideally with the twenties today. Film as leading medium, hit, jazz and even a male quartet à la Comedian Harmonists. The story also has a topical effect: a young couple of lovers is introduced to the current film during a cinema screening and plays his own future in this dream world, led by a little trusting fairy called „Zero“. While in the end the woman with a new lover literally disappears into the virtual reality of the film.

The three wishes / Les trois souhaits, UniT theatre, University of Arts, Berlin, Germany, Première: July 4th, 2014, Directed by Frank Hilbrich. Colaborational video work with Marc Trompetter.