Sun&Sea (Marina) An Opera-Performance

… by three Lithuanian artists; One of them Rugilė Barzdiukaitė, who stood for the direction and scenography, was to kind to invite me knowing my enthusiasm for art and culture in her country. The texts were made by Vaiva Grainytė, translated from Lithuanian by Rimas Ugiris and the Music and musical direction by Lina Lapelytė. 

It’s a one hour show where (in Copenhagen) we the audience were “watching from scaffolding above the stage, looking down on a sandy beach, complete with sunbathing visitors, a mosaic of towels, bright bathing suits, and plastic toys.” A quote from the website of the CC, Copenhagen Contemporary, where you may also find the libretto, song by the opera singers lying on the beach – here is the link:

Yes, from above, lovely, joyful making us remember our behaviour when at the beach with children, with playing badminton, building sand castles, talking, caressing…

Here are some few words from the libretto:

”Hand it here, I need to rub my legs…‘Cause later they’ll peel and crack, And chap.Hand it I will rub you… Otherwise, you’ll be red as a lobster…Hand it I will rub you…”

”What a sky, just look, so clear!Not a single cloud…What is there? – seagulls or terns?I can never tell… O la vida, la vida”

”What’s wrong with people – they come here with their dogs, who leave shit on the beach, fleas on the sand!…”

”I flew to a Portuguese corrida –A short trip, just for fun.But then the pilot had to land the plane in London:So I called up my friends. And stayed over for a couple of days. And from that day on, Linda and I never been apart.”

The libretto is wonderful – I sang it for my wife this morning (!), the whole performance is amazing. I asked Rugilė afterwards if it was hard for the singers/actors, especially the kids. No, she said, the kids are the survivors, they find new games. When I was there there were 4 shows in a row, no problem the director said but we have had 8 in a row… The opera-performance won at the biennale in Venice.

Yes, the Lithuanians know how to surprise and make poetry out of something ordinary, going to the beach that we aill all do very soon.

PS. I knew Rugilė Barzdiukaitė from her – also original – multilayered documentary “Acid Forest” that I praised here


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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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