THE BITTER GRASS
An improvised opera by Diego Jascalevich with orchestra, choir and soloists.
After a novel by Adolfo Jasca.
Diego Jascalevich- Concept, Music
Miguel Jascalevich- Libretto
Beeke Dummer / Jochen Reiss- Translation
Improvisation as the musical guiding principle of an opera whose plot is firmly predetermined in a libretto and thus serves as a source of inspiration for the spontaneous interaction between conductor and musician – that is the basic idea of this unconventional stage project. Opera and improvisation, that seems to be excluded at first because traditionally improvised music does not necessarily belong to the genre of classical music genres. The improvised opera wants to set new accents here and leaves room for unexpected and previously unprecedented sounds.
I became inspired by this piece through my own previous projects, in which I conducted orchestral and group improvisations as a conductor. In an exciting interaction between the conductor, who is also a “composer” at the same time, and musicians, a musical dramaturgy emerges that can exploit its full potential for development in the course of an opera. The blocks of the concept are the libretto on the one hand and a graphic score on the other which reflects the dramaturgical course of the plot. According to this score, musicians and soloists are inspired by the conductor to improvised “actions”. The conductor stimulates, the musician performs, the spontaneous reaction to each other and to each other in the group leaves room for spontaneous sound development.
The story of the opera comes from my father, the late Argentine writer and journalist Adolfo Jasca. The novella “LOS TALLOS AMARGOS” was a great literary success in Argentina in the 1950s. It was filmed in the 60’s by Fernando Ayala; Astor Piazzolla wrote the music for this movie, which unfortunately fell into oblivion. Parts of the movie scenes I would like to use as a stage set. The writer Miguel Jascalevich, my brother, wrote the Spanish libretto, which was translated in Kassel by Beeke Dummer.