Its dramatic-musical text jeopardizes, in an absolutely contemporary way, the genre of opera. The idea of staging an opera out of the last work of the always controversial Argentinian writer Copi is quite risky and perfectly appropriate at the same time. The original text is written in verse and set in a poor tenement house, with the neighbors acting as choir. The protagonists Cachafaz -a decadent pimp-, la Raulito -his transvestite lover- and the corrupt policeman stand completely apart from any traditional opera character, but, at the same time, they are built with great dramatic and musical intensity.
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Its dramatic-musical text jeopardizes, in an absolutely contemporary way, the genre of opera. The idea of staging an opera out of the last work of the always controversial Argentinian writer Copi is quite risky and perfectly appropriate at the same time. The original text is written in verse and set in a poor tenement house, with the neighbors acting as choir.
The protagonists Cachafaz -a decadent pimp-, la Raulito -his transvestite lover- and the corrupt policeman stand completely apart from any traditional opera character, but, at the same time, they are built with great dramatic and musical intensity. The opera is based on the final work of the controversial Argentine author and cartoonist Copi. His corpus of music theater works includes twelve stage pieces and countless chamber works that have been performed in festivals and at concert halls across the globe.
Since then, he has staged more than thirty productions. Maritano also boasts an extensive teaching career in Argentina and abroad.
Since , he has also served as a guest acting coach at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. He has recorded and produced over thirty CDs with major pop and classical artists. The opera was performed abroad later that year at La Villette in Paris. Do you understand Cachafaz as a way to attack the traditional and perhaps elitist language of classical opera?
Oscar Strasnoy OS. I am not losing any sleep with issues related to the traditional, cult, classic, elitist language. I think these are false problems linked to a dialectical-materialist fetishism of another generation. As a composer of musical spectacles widening the perhaps narrow word "opera" , what worries me is to create a world in which the text and the sonic universe form a coherent whole.
The world Copi presents in Cachafaz is a world of impoverished immigrants crammed into a tenement house in Montevideo during the first half of the twentieth century.
The music should serve that purpose. And he must do this while trying to respect his own style, his personal identity. It is an unstable and dangerous balance, but an interesting one. Given the marked location that language and stage have in the text, how are the musical genres from the Rio de la Plata referenced in your music? The references are straightforward and perfectly identifiable. But they are somehow hidden behind the frosted glass of my own musical conception, my personality and my professional deformation.
The text from Copi seems to ironize and redefine elements from Greek tragedy for instance, the choir of neighbours. Are there in the composition allusions or quotations from other musical eras as well?
Yes, absolutely. The reference to the Greek chorus is obvious and inevitable. Let us not forget that the Greek theater, with its choruses and , was the imaginary and idealized model of the new Florentine Opera in the early seventeenth century. Copi, who was a refined and cultured man, refers to the classical world in his works, particularly in Cachafaz. There are references to the Greek world as well as classical operas, specifically Tosca.
The reference to Puccini's verism is evident, and, in addition to the rioplatense winks, I took this into account as well. Some of the incredible situations in the libretto could very well transpire in any of our Latin American countries. The jury selected this work because of the quality of the music and the production. In particular, however, we found that Cachafaz represents the interest that opera still enjoys in the region from Mexico to Argentina.
It is a genre that is very much alive with local subjects. Writers speak directly to their Latin-American audiences and, by extension, to a wider public. On top of all this, it is not often that we encounter a contemporary opera buffa. And this is an excellent one!
Synopsis and Team. Jury Statement.
Synopsis and Team
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Cachafaz - La Sombra de Wenceslao (English, Spanish, Paperback)
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