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Black Days Libretto

Synopsis There is an

Synopsis There is an undefined war going on and the situation is very dangerous. The scene is set as the despot brags about how he came to power thereby describing how he views the world and the people. A father with his son (about 6 years old) is fleeing from the war. The wife/mother has already been killed. The father is on the brink of madness by grief, fear and panic, but cannot show it and have to keep spirits up for the child's sake. The child does not know that his mother is dead. The child loses his dearest asset, a teddybear. It is being torn apart by a dog. They show great sorrow together over the teddybear and thereby his father can sing his grief over his dead wife too. They share a meal with a stranger, and afterwards, the father speaks to his son about kindness and generosity being the most important. After a while the stranger comes back and betrays them, showing the soldiers where they are. The soldiers attacks and they flee. Shots are being fired. The child gets hit by a gunshot in the stomach. They flee forth, trying to survive. They see a church and tries to seek shelter. The door is closed, the people inside sings the psalm "A mighty fortress is our God", but they will not open up the door. When the child dies the father goes mad; believing that his son is still alive, that the war is won and that his family is not dead. He hallucinates that his dead wife is alive. The bombs that he hears, he interprets as drums of victory and fireworks of celebration. It ends with a happy aria of victory while the world burns. The despot celebrates his success in the war, while the father sings of joy. "Everybody" is happy. Inspired by: - «Der Erlkönig", poem, Johann W. von Goethe - «Life is Beautiful", movie, http://www.imdb.com/title/ tt0118799/ - «Pierrot Luniere", melodrama, Schönberg/Giraud - «The dictator", movie, Charlie Chaplin - «Piken med svovelstikkene", fairytale, H.C. Andersen - «Du må ikke sove" ("Dare not to sleep"), poem (1937), Arnulf Øverland - 12 lines from the hymn "Vår Gud han er så fast en borg"/"A mighty fortress is our God"/"Ein feste burg ist unser Gott" is used in the libretto. Text: Martin Luther

PROLOGUE FATHER These are black days. People are standing silently in line wearing tetanus smiles. An endless line of people who ceases to be. I stare shamelessly into strangers dead eyes. No one cries when one of them dies. I try to remember something lovely. But the soldiers have boots in my eyes. They sing so ugly like nasty beasts of horror Hope is no more These are black days 1

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