The New Stage is the venue at which the National Theatre Opera has traditionally presented projects pertaining to 20th- and 21st-century music. Of this ilk is the 2002 video-opera Three Tales, by the contemporary American composer Steve Reich (b. 1936), branded one of the fathers of musical Minimalism. The piece responded to the milestones of science and modern technology, which opened to humankind horizons of dizzying heights and abysmal depths alike. Employing a singular audio-visual language, combining chamber instrumentation with five human voices and authentic documentary materials, Reich “narrates” the story of the Hindenburg airship disaster, tells of the infamous nuclear tests on Bikini Atoll in the Pacific, as well as the cloning of Dolly the Sheep. In the 2016/17 season, alongside Kadeřábek’s No Man and Kašlík’s Krakatit, Reich’s Three Tales constitutes one of the three productions demonstrating that opera need not necessarily only turn to ancient myths, or fictitious worlds and subjects.
We would like to extend our thanks to the U. S. Embassy in the Czech Republic, Prague
Approximate running time: 65 minutes, no intermission