About Fire and Running Man

Nano opera

Long ago, when humankind hid in darkness and silence, there lived in the world the Running Man who hurtled without stop day and night, chasing after time. He ran so fast that time could not escape him, and so they would chase each other without beginning or end.

One day Fire visited humankind. In those times she was free to roam where she pleased. The humans were glad that the warm Fire visited them, but feared her at the same time. Little by little they began to voice their grudges against her louder and louder, and when she would hear such talk, Fire would jump at them and give them burns. The humans understood that Fire would only give warmth to those who silently move out of her way, and would burn those who would talk too much; so they quieted down. Fire continued to walk among humans, wandering off into the fields, and every once in a while meeting the Running Man.

Once the Virgin noticed the beauty of Fire and more and more often she would look at her with fascination. The people kept reminding her of the old wisdom about Fire’s burning heat, but the Virgin did not step back, instead she would follow Fire around, praising her beauty in her mind. Once, separated from the crowd, she secretly saw Fire dance and this sight was so overwhelming, that she raced to join in, singing louder and louder. Upon hearing her, Fire set the Virgin on flames. Thrashing around she saw people rushing to her rescue, when all of a sudden the Running Man appeared and carried her off on an endless journey with him.

In the end, humankind gathered their courage to avenge all the terror brought upon them by Fire; united they captured and imprisoned her for eternity. As for the Running Man, he still chases after time restlessly, carrying the flaming Virgin around the world.

Mythology, symbolism, and philosophy come together in this nanoopera. The main subject is the origin of self-centred person’s maximalism, which is approached along the unfailing theme of time. It is a formation that follows a person throughout the whole timeframe of his / her existence; the shapes thereof change yet the essence always remains the same. Main elements of nature, directly and continually affecting us are brought into play: fire, air (the Virgin), earth (like a ticking time bomb that we tread on every day, as if we became part of the clock’s mechanism). In fact, one could produce an endless number of libretti on such global subjects and the operas could last days, whereas here we have only five minutes… It is a strange and non-traditional challenge to express a clear thought and to communicate an articulate message in such a short timeframe.

Director Marija Simona Šimulynaitė