FLASH FLASH, an opera composed by Juhani Nuorvala, tackles the world and reality through the eyes of American artist Andy Warhol (1928-1987).
The premiere has been a long time coming; the opera was completed already in 2008 but, so far, only sections of it have been performed. The complete opus premieres finally in February 2019. A joint production by Espoo City Theatre, Musica nova Helsinki, University of the Arts, Aalto University and MiklagårdArts, there will be six performances: two at the Helsinki Music Centre – Musiikkitalo, and four at Espoo City Theatre’s Revontulihalli.
Juha Siltanen’s libretto draws a portrait of Andy Warhol as a lonely man surrounded by the masses. Warhol’s life as a visual artist, film maker, media personality, and a thinker crystallise much of the cultural and societal change driven by consumerism in the West. “I’m intrigued by the similarities between Andy Warhol and Donald Trump. Trump represents an end point of the dead end that Warhol sketched out for us”, says the opera’s director, Erik Söderblom.
FLASH FLASH is an incandescent requiem that encompasses – just as Warhol’s art does – serenity and passion, religious art and pornography, trash and diamonds. The opera’s at once seductively melodious, yet also occasionally wholly pop-inflected pulse takes its beat from the rhythms and intonations of speech. Nuorvala utilises an unusual microtonal tuning system, known as extended just intonation, that places exceptional demands on both the cast and the orchestra, but also imbues the stage with a distinct brand of reality entirely of its own making.
FLASH FLASH – the two deaths of andy warhol. Performances at Espoo City Theatre, Revontuli Hall on Wed 13., Thu 14., Fri 15. February at 7 pm and on Sat 16. February at 3 pm.