The Rage of Life


The Rage of Life

Elena Kats-Chernin

From 24/04/2010 in Antwerp - from 08/05/2010 in Ghent

  • Daniel Inbal
  • Liesbeth Devos
  • Tobias Hächler
  • Zofia Cieszynska
  • Iris Luypaers
  • Birgit Langenhuysen
  • Musical direction: Daniel Inbal
  • Helena: Liesbeth Devos
  • Leif: Tobias Hächler
  • Jury Chorus/Sonja/Inmate Chorus/Nurse: Zofia Cieszynska
  • Jury Chorus/Sister/Inmate Chorus/Bum 4: Iris Luypaers
  • Jury Chorus/Mother/Inmate Chorus/Police Officer: Birgit Langenhuysen

Leif (18) reacts with cool denial to the news of the death of his great love Helena (19). The bringer of this bad news witnesses no sorrow or despair, but is treated with scorn. Leif runs off, and makes himself scarce. He knows where Helena has hidden from the world, and she is alive. And he does find her, at their ‘place’ near the mouth of the river. But Helena has now become singularly unapproachable, and wants to go away for good...

This is The Rage of Life, a tragi-comedy halfway between the youthful yearning for real life and a stunning disregard for death. The librettist is Igor Bauersima. In 2003 and 2004, the work of this Swiss film and stage author, director and designer was the most frequently performed by any German-language playwright. His play Norway Today, which has received several awards, has been translated into twenty languages.
In The Rage of Life, the protagonists’ radical rejection of the status quo in society plays an important role: the main dramatic motif is the attempt by messed-up young people to escape from a world they experience as corrupt.
The heroes of The Rage of Life flee from a land of shadows that has long lost all connection with reality, to a life which they know for certain exists – even though they have never been there before.
Elena Kats-Chernin, an Australian with Russian roots, is the perfect composer for Bauersima’s tragi-comic genre. While a student of Helmut Lachenmann in the eighties, she wrote several operas and musicals, always succeeding masterfully in crossing tragedy and comedy in music. Her works combine an extremely complicated and virtuoso composing technique, based on serial music, with an unmistakable sense of enthralling operatic drama. The musical director is the young new-music specialist Daniel Inbal. The Belgian soprano Liesbeth Devos and the Swiss baritone Tobias Hächler sing the leading parts together with five soloists from the Flanders Opera Chorus.


Surtitles: Dutch.




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