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One-act opera for 4 soloists and chamber ensemble

As time moves farther from our past, and history obscures what we've left behind, we are left with Partial Memories. The opera follows the composer Judith and four singers as they travel through a series of past events that have been changed, compromised, forgotten, or erased. The opera is about coming to terms with partial remembrances where we don’t even know what is missing. For Judith these include the creative contributions left out of history by mothers and women. Works of art that were forgotten but nevertheless existed and resonated in the world. These creative acts are perceived by the characters onstage through their own voices. Sounds from the past are collected, remembered, and re-sounded in the present. A sculpture is built onstage to identify their memory.

The title Partial Memories also refers to the harmonic partials of the overtone series. Every note that is sounded is a composite of a series of ever higher overtones that become imperceptible to us. Many of these natural overtones lie between the notes of what we are accustomed to, they are microtonal. Yet these harmonic overtones exist, have existed and will continue to exist in our physical world. We are forever perceiving them whether we can hear them or not, they are there. All shades of pitch are resonating in a virtual continuum. The opera is about hearing these resonances. Similarly, the past, of which we have only partial memories, continues to resonate, whether we acknowledge the source, understand it, or erase it completely.

PREMIERE: 28. 6. 2022, Divadlo Antonína Dvořáka 

DIRECTION: Viktorie Vášová

MUSIC: Judith Berkson
LIBRETO: Judith Berkson
DIRIGENT: Bruno Ferrandis
SCENE AND COSTUMES: Natálie Rajnišová

PERFORMERS: Mikaela Elson, soprán, Elliot Menard, mezzosoprán, Judith Berkson, alt, Vojtěch Šembera, baryton
Ostravská banda, mezinárodní komorní orchestr

PHOTO: Martin Popelář

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