Montsalvatge: Babel 46 View larger

Montsalvatge: Babel 46

1CM0288

B-12947-2012

Babel 46 is an opera in four episodes of Xavier Montsalvatge, with a composer's libretto in several languages.

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Babel 46 is an opera in four episodes by Xavier Montsalvatge. The libretto, by the composer himself, is in Catalan, Spanish, English, French, Portuguese and Italian, with a few sentences in Hebrew and German. Composed in the 1960s, it was entered into a contest organized in 1967 by the Gran Teatre del Liceu but the contest was declared void. It was first performed at the Cadaqués Festival in 1994 in a version for small orchestra. Shortly afterwards in August of the same year the original version for large orchestra was staged at the Peralada Festival. The version presented in the 2003-2004 season at the Liceu, by music director Antoni Ros-Marbà  and stage director Jorge Lavelli, is a coproduction with the Teatro Real de Madrid, where it was premiered in 2002. The action is set in 1946 in a refugee camp in an unidentified location in Central Europe. The Second World War (1939-1945) has just ended and several people from different countries are waiting for their repatriation papers to arrive. United only by the instinct of self-preservation, they are of different tongues and ethnic origins and are living in a sort of Tower of Babel, the situation referred to in the title. The opera constitutes a bitter reflection, based on this forced cohabitation, about the difficulty of human relations. The necessary solidarity the characters display at the beginning proves false when the safe-conducts arrive: everyone has lied and apparent bonds of affection and friendship are severed, leaving the individuals totally alone.

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Montsalvatge: Babel 46

Montsalvatge: Babel 46

Babel 46 is an opera in four episodes of Xavier Montsalvatge, with a composer's libretto in several languages.