Have a Good Day!

Opera for 10 voices, electronics and piano

Opera Have a Good Day! is a peculiar ode for capitalism illustrating the inevitability of consumption. The anonymous cashier, a person one meets every day, becomes a collective character.

Performers renounce the classical mode of singing: arias of the cashiers tend to sound like repetitive, trite melodies, reminding of an endless monotonous movement of goods on the conveyer. Minimalist music of the opera is composed of various environmental sounds and the acoustic diversity of a shopping centre.

The plot of the opera revolves around the inner life of cashiers in a shopping centre: everything that is disguised behind the mechanically uttered Good afternoon. Thank you. Have a nice day! and a smile. The inner monologues reflect personal characteristics, education, manner of speech and personal concerns of each cashier. Faceless, robot-like shop workers one meets daily become striking characters in the opera. Secret thoughts of the cashiers and their biographies revealed to the spectator turn into brief, personal dramas. The mosaic of different destinies is transformed into an ode suggesting the pleasure of consumption. The viewers are given the privilege to spy into the inner world of every cashier, moreover – they are offered an opportunity to recognise themselves as participants of the inevitable circle of earning and spending.

I have always been curious about the cashiers. Each time I visit a shopping centre I wonder about the people behind the “Odeta”, “Renata” or “Jelena” name tags. When packing my groceries I try to imagine the lives of all these women: what do they think while scanning the items, what do they do when they return home, why do they work there and what does their past look like. Thus, the opera characters were derived from certain anthropological observations, candid attempts to overhear the manner of speaking or to take a closer look at the appearance of the cashiers.

Author of the libretto Vaiva Grainytė