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JM Coetzee Writes Libretto for Slow Man – The Opera

Slow ManAlert! While we sleep, Slow Man is steadily being transformed into an opera at the hands of Belgian composer, Nicholas Lens, and the man himself, JM Coetzee. Coetzee is at work on the libretto, intended for three main singers – safe to assume Paul Rayment, Elizabeth Costello and Marijana Jokic?

According to Lens, rather than a literal adaptation of the text, the opera aims to “evoke and accentuate the poetry of the inner reflections of three of the main characters”. Slow Man is expected to premiere in July 2012 at the Malta Poznań Festival in Poland.

The musical style of Nicholas Lens in Slow Man will be hardly comparable to his earlier work, as the score shows a much bigger theatrical complexity in respect of rhythm and tonality.

Rather than closely following the original story, it is the intention of Slow Man in its form of contemporary opera to evoke and accentuate the poetry of the inner reflections of three of the main characters.

Die Belgiese komponis Nicholas Lens het aan ­Willem de Vries vertel van ’n kontemporêre opera wat hy en J.M. Coetzee ontwikkel.

Die skrywer John Coetzee, ’n wenner van die Nobelprys vir Letterkunde, skryf die libretto vir die opera Slow Man. Die komponis van die opera is Nicholas Lens.

Hulle same­werking het in 2002 begin. Coetzee het Die ­Burger se vrae oor die ­libretto en opera na Lens verwys.
“Ek en John Coetzee korrespondeer al sedert 2002 nadat ek aangebied het dat ons aan ’n ­projek saamwerk,” sê Lens.

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Photo courtesy the Nicholas Lens Facebook page


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