JOSÉ M. SÁNCHEZ-VERDÚ (b.1968): Aura.
Catalogue Number: 10M101
Description: Sánchez-Verdú's opera is based on a story by Mexican author Carlos Fuentes in the Latin American tradition of magical realism and ghost stories, of which the shifting, unstable realities of the fiction of Gabriel Garcia Marquéz, or Borges' fluid, quasi-realistic mythologies are probably the most internationally recognized examples. The story begins with a character answering an advertisement to sort through the legacy of a deceased General. The ancient widow and her young niece, with whom the historian falls in love, begin to blur together in identity, and ultimately the historian blends with the General in a world in which reality and fiction, the past and history, are the same thing. Sánchez-Verdú's music - much of it describing the action without text, or with fragmentary statements from the characters substituting for dialogue - is appropriately mysterious, ethereal and deliberately insubstantial, with very rare excursions into furious activity. A floating, suspended sense of time predominates, with unusual instrumental combinations and electronics - gongs excited into resonance by acoustical signals an especially effective addition to the sonic texture - adding to the strange, dreamlike atmosphere of the work. Spanish-English libretto. Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, Duo Alberdi & Aizpiolea, Joachim Haas (auraphon), José M. Sánchez-Verdú (conductor).