Libretto by Royce Vavrek, Direction by Karmina Šilec
The Old Man and the Sea is an opera that weaves the renowned narrative by Ernest Hemingway of an aging fisherman and his battle with a giant marlin off the coast of Cuba with devised installments that reflect on the nature of later life and our relationship with aging. A principal cast of five performers in later life, preferably all over the age of 60, will be engaged to create the work that not only dramatizes Hemingway’sPulitzer Prize-winning novel, but also offers personal reflections on the evolution of their lives, career, and nuances of the human voice.
We are all aging from the day we are born. Our egos, just as Santiago’s ego, are transcendent objects that don’t dwell in our consciousness and can only be viewed from a distance. Aging can contain the anxiety of loosing of dignity and identity. Older people often grow old feeling alienated, excluded, oppressed, and being treated as if they are dying. We wish to investigate this particular place in a person’s life, often filed with ageism, prejudice, stigmatization, discrimination, and oppression aimed at a particular person or group of people because of their years lived.
PAST ITS PRIME
OVER THE HILL
In this project we are interested not in how to avoid becoming old, but rather how not to become “the other”. Hemingway’s Santiago is a priest of time. He fights against losing his will. For him, that failure would be the loss of manhood itself. Our project mediates on Santiago’s power of will which replaces the power of flesh; on the wisdom, pride and humility which replace the arrogance of youth; and the supreme victory of spiritual will. Santiago’s struggle itself links us to the holy, forcing us to weigh both life and death in the face of love. Santiago is a timeless monument of power of the will which defeats an age. That is his sainthood.
The Old Man and the Sea seeks to understand the meaning of life, death, people and things in this context.
life is living dead is dying a fish is a fish a fisherman is fisherman