Music Theatre Wales a’r Royal Opera House
Gyda’r London Sinfonietta
Cerddoriaeth gan Gerald Barry
Libretto gan Vincent Deane

Dulyn, 1753. Mae gwaith cyfansoddwr opera rhwystredig a thlawd yn mynd o chwith wrth iddo gwympo am ei brif ganwr castrato – ond yna mae’r castrato yn rhedeg i ffwrdd gyda dyweddi gyfoethog y cyfansoddwr, gan achosi anhrefn a thrychineb i bawb a phopeth.

Mae operâu Gerald Barry yn wahanol i unrhyw beth arall – yn fentrus, yn swreal, ac yn aml yn gwneud i chi chwerthin yn uchel. Ffrwydrodd The Intelligence Park ar y llwyfan yn Llundain yn 1990, gan gyflwyno llais operatig unigryw i’r byd. Bron i 30 mlynedd yn ddiweddarach, mae cynhyrchiad Baróc newydd, cymhleth y cyfarwyddwr/cynllunydd Nigel Lowery yn ailddarganfod ei storfa o emosiynau, cymeriadau ac elfennau absẃrd mewn cwmwl o ddychymyg a realiti, wrth iddo archwilio syniadau o rywioldeb, creadigedd a rhwymedigaeth.


“This production will take Music Theatre Wales in a new direction, referencing the Baroque roots of the opera’s story set in 18th century Dublin and of Gerald Barry’s music (Handel somehow hovers over this music), but in an utterly contemporary and overtly theatrical way.

We’ve never done painted sets and Baroque-inspired costumes before, but this is exactly what The Intelligence Park cries out for and is the treatment it will receive, but don’t be deceived. This is NOT a Baroque opera! Here the Baroque will be exposed and messed-up, enabling us to see into the human drama that lies at the centre of this story, in which things go horribly wrong for an artist who is struggling to create and struggling to survive, yet lives under constant pressure to obey society’s rules, all of which run counter to his instincts.

He falls madly in love (or is it obsession) with the castrato who is officially teaching his fiancée to sing. But worse than that, the castrato and fiancée end up inhabiting the opera he is trying to write, and in real life end up eloping! This is only brought to an end when the fiancée’s father – a powerful and tradition-loving judge - cheats the castrato and his daughter into returning home only for the castrato to be thrown in to prison. “The prison of life” as Nigel Lowery puts it – the rules and regulations that surround us, the expectations placed on us and the limitations placed on our imaginations.

The Intelligence Park rails against all this and cries out for freedom of the imagination, a release from the confines of everyday life in every possible aspect – creativity, sexuality and morality. Barry’s music represents all this, inventing its own rules and defying convention, and it is all the stronger for doing so, but it demands some commitment from the listener too.

When asked to put pen to paper and introduce us to the world of The Intelligence Park, director-designer Nigel Lowery produced an extraordinary statement:

Poetry and music assault a labyrinthine dungeon, intelligence boils out of control…

Suppose a castrato elopes with the daughter of a bombastic judge! Suppose this hungry castrato enflames the lifeblood of a desperate composer! Thus reason becomes trapped within a park of fatal attractions.

And all the while time is in orbit, spinning its melancholic veil, a final curtain to end a performance of sorrow, denial, obsession and horror!

The opera references an historic solar eclipse which Dublin experienced in the 18th century as a portent of doom, but it also represents the upper class of Dublin society as Dummies only interested in playing cards and eating banquets! Lowery’s production will play with the idea of the prison and of crushed hopes, but will celebrate the power of the imagination and the artist, with deliberately painted sets that are not a representation of reality but are more like a Pollock toy theatre where the imagination can run riot.

With all of Gerald Barry’s work the one thing you can expect, is the unexpected.”

Michael McCarthy, Cyfarwyddwr Artistig, Music Theatre Wales

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