06 novembre 2021

 

Non veniva presentata da oltre un quarto di secolo, pochi giorni fa è andata in scena per tre sere di fila - con pubblico presente in sala, secondo tutte le cautele del periodo - al Roulette di New York: eL/Aficionado, opera tra le più celebri di Robert Ashley (1930-2014).

eL/Aficionado is the story of a person on trial - on trial for her character and the quality of her answers, on trial for her skills of perception and her intelligence, on trial as a human being. The principal character (the Agent) is being cross-examined by two persons (Interrogators) under the direction of a third person (First Interrogator), who directs the narrative and comments on the Agent’s answers throughout the opera. The Agent is required to recount her actions and explain her behavior in carrying out certain assignments. She does not explain whom she works for, or even why she does what she does, but she is expected to respond without question to some deep obligation or contract with the past. Although the opera’s mysterious mood owes much to John LeCarré’s world of espionage, it is not a spy story. The four scenes of the narrative are progressively concerned with events of an otherworldly nature while delving into the Agent’s different life stages, from the present time to her earliest memories. Throughout the First Interrogator’s remarks, there are passing references to analysis and to the world of dreams. eL/Aficionado is the trial of a mind or an imagination, of “every person” coming in contact with something foreign - the unknown.