Dai Fujikura: THE GOLD-BUG – Music Theater for Young People from Age 8

Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz, Hochschule für Musik Basel, Switzerland


The close collaboration of the opera studio OperAvenir – one that has existed for many years with singers and musicians of Basel’s music academy Hochschule für Musik Basel – will be continued with this composition commission supported by the EvS Music Foundation for a piece of music theater for young persons from age 8 forming the framework for the start of a series of commissions. A key feature here will be a collaboration of the young artists with an experienced, professional production team and an encounter between students and the composer: Dai Fujikura.
Over the last decade Japanese composer Dai Fujikura has carved out a great reputation for himself and has been awarded many prizes. His works are studied by performers like Pierre Boulez, Péter Eötvös and Susanna Mälkki and performed by orchestras and ensembles like the Symphony Orchestra of Bavarian Broadcasting, the Ensemble Modern, the London Sinfonietta or the Ensemble intercontemporain. A key motivation for selecting this composer was his humorous tonal language and his imaginative instrumentation. Furthermore, he boasts a high degree of interest and empathy for repertoire, tonal language and narrative method for young people.
The short story "The Gold-Bug" by American author Edgar Allan Poe is perfectly suited both in length and content for the intended composition. The story plays out on a treasure island in the ocean and tells the both exciting and comical story of a mysterious bug, enigmatic secret codes and languages, invisible ink, an obscure researcher, a gold rush and hidden pirate treasure. In literary interpretation not only the linguistic level of the different secret codes used but often also the politico-social level are examined, thereby shedding light on the not clearly determinable power relationship between the individual protagonists. Often the search for the pirate treasure is interpreted as an alchemistic search for the stone of wisdom, realization and truth. The combination of the different thematic strands of the story seems ideal to us both for a young female AND primarily also male audience. Following the wish of the composer, librettist Hannah Dübgen was chosen who will write the libretto in English and German.


March 9, 2018
Theater Basel, Kleine Bühne


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