Musical drama

A team of young creators leaning towards contemporary opera, who have already created a mono drama-opera Isadora, this year presents a second part of the diptych – the musical drama Joker. This inter-genre of the stage performance featuring one actor has been vaguely analysed in Lithuania, however, the creators have decided to give it a try seeking for harmony of three art forms – operatic singing, dramatic acting and plasticity of dance – encapsulated in a single artistic piece. Plays of the diptych share a common problem related to the loss of identity and the multi-layered nature of personality. In both plays, the world of art and imagination distorts the reality, affecting it and causing tragic consequences.

The musical idea of this play, likewise in the mono drama-opera Isadora, is close to the model of theatre music or film soundtrack. Here the music reinforces and reflects the action, word and scenery on stage. It is an amalgam of several styles, ranging from classical, modern academic music genres to popular music, while the baritone part features both bel canto and popular music vocal styles.

Composer Jonas Sakalauskas

Musical drama Joker is the second part of the diptych. Structurally, the play is divided into two parts. The first conveys the character’s childhood experiences: a boy, submerged into the world of comics and imagination, becomes a witness to strange and tragic events. Immediately after his father wins in the card game (with Joker’s help) and buys him a guitar, lady guitar teacher nicknamed Cat enters his family life. That fatal night, the boy suddenly sees her naked in his parents’ bedroom, where she is “offending” his also naked and “helpless” father. When his mother discovers evidence of that night, the father disappears from home, leaving the Joker card behind. At first, this lost card is kept as a relic, but later, as the vicious circle of dire losses starts to accelerate, it turns into an incarnation of evil and the cause of all misfortunes. The boy realizes he is weak and unable to change his destiny for the better, so he decides to gain strength at any cost.

Action in the second part takes place 20 years later. The boy is now a strong, self-confident and successful man, however, when he meets two young women that remind him of his sorrowful childhood – his strength declines and the destructive powers of the Joker come into force again.

Musical drama Joker is an artistic interpretation of psychoanalytical nature, where the model of childhood images and experiences is transferred into the world of a grown-up character. The code dormant in the sub-consciousness is transformed, heavily affecting and distorting the character’s mind and his relation to the surrounding world. Thus, Joker becomes an inseparable part of the character’s personality and destiny, a kind of personal damnation.