Töchter der Sonne 2016
Hanover Girls’ Choir, Germany
The sun virgins of the Inca are the focus of the new vocal work “Töchter der Sonne” (Daughters of the Sun) composed for Hanover Girls’ Choir by Andreas N. Tarkmann with the support of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation. The composer’s collaboration with the choir already began in 2011 with the successful chamber opera “Didos Geheimnis” (Dido’s Secret).
The new composition deals with a cloister-like community of Inca women, mostly already chosen as young girls to serve the sun for their entire lives, cut off from the rest of the world. When selecting this material the composer attached great importance to ensuring the content and dramaturgy were suited to the young female voices and that it was able to tell a story the singers can identify with.
How can the girls have lived? What was it like for them in the community? What were their feelings, hopes and dreams? Questions like these are picked up on by the singers as they tell the story of the sun virgins’ lives in song, chants, solos, dances and choral chants. Here it was possible to enlist academic, Inca expert and South America researcher Dr. Markus Pohlmeyer as the librettist who compiles a line-up of songs that perhaps fictitiously but still credibly tells the story of the “daughters of the sun” from their own perspective.
The planned 45-minute cantata by Tarkmann consists of 18 songs that are alternated by instrumental movements. These also have a dramaturgical function. For instance, they represent dances and ritual music. Accompanying the girls’ choir will be a chamber ensemble whose line-up is oriented toward the mood of the Inca material: strings, harp, woodwinds and percussion. A solo clarinet part as a call for freedom from the imprisoned girls raises the instrumental section beyond a purely accompanying role.