REQUIEM FOR THE LIVING
One Act Chamber Opera
Vocal parts: Soprano, Baritone, Bass-Baritone.
Instrumentation: flute, clarinet in Bb, horn in F, trumpet in Bb, violin, viola, cello, 2 percussion.
Libretto: Amikam Kovner.
Premiere: Mannes College, May 2009 (as a part of the CIRCE prize).
Production history: Mannes College (2009), Thompson Street Opera (2014).
"Requiem for the living" is the story of a man who is notified by his doctor that he has one more week to live.
Shocked and confused, he immediately goes through the five stages of grief: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally – acceptance.
He is left alone in the room, trying to find a meaning to his ending life: one after the other, central people in his life appear: his wife, his son, and finally - the priest. The scenes with the three of them are taking him through a journey of grief, love, and reconciliation.
In the end, it all turns up to be a case of mistaken identity. Our hero celebrates his life and the coming death of the anonymous gentleman - so quick to forget the bitter truths he discovered only moments ago.
The Requiem is a dark comedy about a dying man. The opera tries to deal with questions such as the meaning of life, the futility, banality and absurdity of existence, the question of faith, and the fragility of human love. Those themes were taken very seriously and respectfully, however, they are delivered with humor, irony and, we hope - compassion.
- Amikam Kovner (2010)