Vinko Globokar

Les Emigrés (The Emigrants) (1982-1986)

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Performed by the Ensemble Musique Vivante. A music-theatre work by this composer/jazz trombonist, who lives in Paris and whose works are nearly impossible to classify -- "any model of organisation existing in nature or in culture can become music." Five narrators singing, shouting, and speaking in many languages "give the impression of sitting in a court that is in the process of judging the public," the listener also placed in a similar situation. You are dealing with people who left their countries in order to survive or improve their way of life -- the first part "Miserere" is an historical allegory, letters from Italians who had emigrated to Brazil and also from Turkish emigrants, interviews with women who follow their husbands, and so on. The second part "Réalitiés/Augenblicke (Realities/Flashes)" contrasts hope accompanied by dance music against projected images of potential misery. The third part "Sternbild der Grenze (Border Constellation)" with a text by Peter Handke is a series of nine tableaux performed by giant puppets contriving to cross "a hermetically sealed border" in a clandestine way. At various points, the singers cross the border of the stage and go into the audience. There are also parts for an orchestra, a small choir, two vocal soloists, and a jazz trio.