Tutino: Falscher Verrat in Kiel
Marco Tutino’s latest opera is entitled Falscher Verrat (False Betrayal). Book by Luca Rossi, with rhythmic version in German by Wolfgang Haendeler. It was commissioned by TheaterKiel, in Kiel, Germany, to mark the anniversary of the mutiny of sailors in the Kaiserliche Marine, at the port of Kiel in 1918. The world premiere performance is slated for November 3 (with repeat performances through March 16, 2019).
Let’s hear what Tutino has to say about the piece. Here are some highlights from an interview with the composer.
Luca Rossi, Wolfgang Haendeler and I put together a story and a libretto that could provide a narration of past events in a modern way, and communicate some of the original contents to today’s audiences. What is Falscher Verrat (False Betrayal) all about, beyond the simple and well-known historical fact? The mutiny of the sailors in the Kaiserliche Marine at the port of Kiel in 1918 sparked lots of other important events, and doesn’t require much comment.
But what mattered – what matters – to us is being able to suggest a connection between that event and the world we live in today, which is apparently so far away and very much changed. But today’s world is the way it is, also in light of that story and its implications for the future.
So, with that as our background, we tell the story of two men forced into conflict and the woman who loves them both for different reasons. […]
Opera often simplifies things, and transmits a notion that’s highly complex and rich in nuances – like the idea that you can be in love with more than one person at the same time. That means that whoever is doing the writing has to update his or her expressive and linguistic means, to make them worthy of an ambiguous and stratified operation – which is to say, communicating on different levels at the same time.
But we didn’t stop there in our search for a major dramaturgical novelty. Indeed, the two men seek to betray their respective roles. But they don’t succeed […]. What could be worse than being remembered as a hero by someone you despise? Or imagining the shame of being considered a martyr by all after having committed betrayal?
The two cases of betrayal are false because they are not recognized as such; they are different from each other with respect to the motivation behind them. However, both cases force us to consider from another perspective the dramaturgical possibilities for recounting reality, which oftentimes cannot be whittled down to a stereotype.
Today’s man has not yet come to terms with the ambiguities, the contradictions and the paradoxes of realty. We all prefer to be told a linear story, one that’s simple and soothing. In part, in an attempt to avoid dealing with existence’s Monster of Nonsense, and in part because we need stories for consolation. […]
Photo: Theater Kiel, credit Olaf Struck