"Love and Other Demons" - World première by Peter Eötvös at Glyndebourne
The world première of Peter Eötvös' new opera Love and Other Demons opens at Glyndebourne on 10 August 2008. The full length work, directed by Silviu Purcarete, was co-commissioned by Glyndebourne and the BBC. Glyndebourne's Music Director, Vladimir Jurowski, conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Marisol Montalvo (soprano) and Nathan Gunn (baritone) taking the lead roles. Peter Eötvös is one of the most widely commissioned opera composers in Europe and his operas, which include The Three Sisters, Le Balcon and Angels in America, are amongst the most frequently performed in the contemporary repertoire.
Love and Other Demons is a story of forbidden love set in the exotic and magical world of 18th-century Colombia. Adapted from the short story "Del amor y otros demonios" by Nobel prize-winner Gabriel García Márquez, the libretto was written by the famous Hungarian author Kornél Hamvai.
One Sunday in the slave market in the port of Cartagena de Indias, a young girl is bitten by a dog. The girl is Sierva Maria of All The Angels, the daughter of the Marquis. Although Sierva herself seems unhurt, the dog is rabid and in a town where reason and superstition are at war, soon the talk is not of rabies, but of possession. Sierva finds herself imprisoned in the Convent of St Clare, where Cayetano Delaura, the bishop's exorcist, comes to drive out her demons. But soon it is Delaura himself who is possessed, consumed by love, 'the most terrible demon of all'. As the lovers' obsession grows, so too does the desire of the authorities to purge this sickness from their midst.
Unusually, Love and Other Demons consistently uses multiple languages. Peter Eötvös and Kornél Hamvai have given the different levels of narration and action in the story their own characteristic language: English is the 'everyday language' of the noblemen, Latin is the language of the church rites, Spanish is used by Delaura whenever his conversations with Sierva touch on personal feelings, and Yoruba is the 'secret' language of the slaves.
Love and other Demons - Trailer (3 parts)
Costume Design: Helmut Stürmer
Photo Peter Eötvös: Guy Vivien