Angels in America
Libretto by Mari Mezei
In English with German surtitles
Work commissioned by the Théatre du Chatelet / A co-production with the New York City Opera
The world is in a chaotic state, but God isn’t dead. Disappointed in angels and mankind, God has retreated and disappeared. This is the message delivered by a perplexed angel who suddenly crashes through the ceiling of the hospital room of Prior Walter and orders him to save the world. As the saviour, Walter is to prevent disaster, stop progress and restore peace among the angels.
Who am I and what world am I living in? What significance do humans have in the world and to what extent can they influence their own fate? How ethical is humanity really and is there a God? In his monumental drama “Angels in America”, on which composer Peter Eötvös has based his opera, US writer Tony Kushner presents a manifold political and existential psychobiography of mankind and a tableau of religious hysteria in America. Faced with the AIDS epidemic and the political and ecological shifts of the 1980s, the characters experience their own existence as a constant state of emergency.
The opera “Angels in America” saw its world premiere in Paris in 2004. It focuses on the individual fates of the protagonists of Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play.
Peter Eötvös (*1944) is one of the most successful opera composers of our time. His music blends together elements of pop music, jazz, minimal music and everyday noise to create a musical interpretation of Tony Kushner’s (*1956) play with a very strong focus on sound.
The production reinvigorates the artistic collaboration between the New York City Opera and the Salzburg State Theatre that began with the guest performance of the Salzburg production of “Brokeback Mountain” in New York. Sam Helfrich is one of the most talented and promising directors in his generation. His productions have delighted audiences from Spoleto to Boston.