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<<  -- 2 --  Tess Crebbin    LIFE AND DEATH

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Shadowtime is about the life, death and works of Walter Benjamin, the Jewish philosopher and poet, who killed himself in September 1840 on the Spanish-French border while trying to flee from the Nazis.

'The older we get, the fewer possibilities are open to us,' Ferneyhough said before the world première in Munich. 'Until, eventually, there is only one option or, when we die, none left.' Ferneyhough's many years spent in Germany explain why he speaks the language so well and, in part, also his love for German literature and philosophy.

A scene from 'Shadowtime'. Photo © Regine Koerner
A scene from 'Shadowtime'. Photo © Regine Koerner

Shadowtime is an extremely visually engaging opera, which is carried in part by a truly extraordinary libretto, written by the poet Charles Bernstein who is Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. 'I believe that it is important that a libretto is real poetry, as it was in the days of Verdi, and not just a vehicle to carry someone's music and story. Libretto writing as an art form has all but disappeared these days and so I try to counteract this trend', Bernstein said after the première.

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Copyright © 3 June 2004 Tess Crebbin, Germany

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