Libretto: Albert Ostermaier It would appear that the opera genre is experiencing a new golden age: each year, the musical dramas of Péter Eötvös play to packed houses in Europe, with his first opera, Three Sisters, having already surpassed 140 performances. The composer and conductor's latest opera is to be premièred in October 2013, and will be presented to a Hungarian audience some three months later. The work is based on an adaptation of the drama by the young German playwright Albert Oste...rmaier. In the original story, on which Eötvös based his opera, The Devil’s Tragedy (premièred in 2010), Lucifer is the main protagonist. In Paradise Reloaded, however, he puts the spotlight on Lilith, examining the hypothetical question of what might have happened if our Bible-based culture regarded Adam’s first wife Lilith, not Eve, as the original mother of mankind. The opera begins with Lilith being expelled from Paradise and being forced to live in the wilderness as a demon mother. She returns to bear a child to Adam, who frees her from her demonic existence. However, Adam’s second wife Eve stands in the way of Lilith achieving her goal, and it is this conflict between the two women that runs through the piece. The legend has it that Lilith was created by God in the same way as Adam, as an equal, while Eve was created from Adam’s rib. Lilith represents independent will, strength and conspiracy, while Eve stands for femininity, purity and self-sacrifice. The structure of the opera is similar to that of Madách’s drama The Tragedy of Man: the human couple cast out from Paradise travel through the past, present and future with Lucifer as their guide. At the same time, events take shape according to the wishes of Lilith, who eventually attains her goal, although at the end of the story Adam still does not choose her as his partner. Here Adam’s choice is not between life and death, as in Madách’s play, but between two women with different outlooks on life; his choice will determine the fate of the generations to come. The end of the piece signifies a new beginning for all the characters – hence the Reloaded of the title – which might prove to be a new Paradise, but which will no longer be the same as the one they left. Presented by: Palace of Arts
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