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Saariaho Opera To Receive Run of Seven Performances

The Paris based Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho is to have her second opera, 'Adriana Mater', premiered at L'Opera Bastille on 30th March. The opera, to a libretto by Amin Maalouf, will then be performed a further seven times during April before being taken to the US in the summer of 2008.

The opera, which will be conducted by fellow Finn Esa-Pekka Salonen, is descirbed by Maalouf as being 'set in a country at war. Although none is specified by name, one might think of any province in the Balkans during the last years of the 20th-century. Adriana, a jovial and passionate young woman, is the victim of a rape. Her aggressor is not an enemy combatant, but a man from her own community. The unborn child has inherited both the victimís blood and the torturerís, and Adriana anxiously wonders whether her son will be Abel or Cain. This anxiety haunts her throughout her pregnancy and during the childhood of her son, Yonas. The moment of truth comes when Yonas, grown into a young man, learns that his father ó his motherís aggressor, who had fled ó is back now that the war is over."

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