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The Cave
Composer:Steve Reich
Librettist:Beryl Korot
Synopsis
The main narrative thread that runs through the opera is the story of the life of Abraham, as it is told in the various religious texts, and how this story is now understood and interpreted, using modern-day accounts by individual people from three different major religious and cultural contexts. During the individual interviews, Steve Reich and Beryl Korot asked questions such as "Who is Abraham?", "Who is Sarah?" and "Who is Ishmael?" and recorded answers that were given by Israeli, Palestinian and American interviewees. These three groups of people viewed the story of Abraham/Ibrahim and his immediate family in varying ways. Brief spoken extracts from the interviews were used both as they were recorded during the interviews, but also as repeated musical phrases. The melodic phrases used in the opera are all taken directly from the intonation, tone, stress, and rhythm of the natural spoken phrases and sentences used by the individuals interviewed. In other words, the musical phrases are based on the prosody which can be heard in the phrases and sentences spoken by the individuals. Images of the interviewees are also shown on an array of video screens.

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Opera for the Eighties and Beyond 1990

Title Information

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Number of Acts
3



 
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