Opera is an art form of affliction. It’s a genre that has long made a specialty of giving trauma stature and structure.
But even by that standard, the marquee productions of this year’s Prototype, the festival of new music-theater that sprawls throughout the city and runs through Sunday, are extreme. There are scenes in “Prism,” “ThisTree” and especially “4.48 Psychosis” of almost cataclysmic suffering, the kind of pain that lingers without reason or resolution.
“4.48” is an adaptation of the final work by Sarah Kane, the British playwright who died in 1999. A fragmented, incantatory immersion in clinical depression, filled with descriptions of psychotropic drugs, sets of numbers, angry rants and stark wordplay, the script specifies neither characters nor precise plot, nor even the number of performers.
Seen on the page, the words scattered amid expanses of white, it can seem more like modernist poetry than theater. It is, in other words, as easily made into a score as into anything.
In his opera, which had its premiere with the Royal Opera in London in 2016, the composer Philip Venables has found in Kane’s material a landscape of iciness and sensitivity, in which speaking and singing flow into one another with uncanny ease.
Six women — one a loosely defined protagonist, the others her echoes and tormentors — chant and babble in shifting configurations, sometimes glassy and sometimes full-cry. Faint drones of organ (produced by synthesizer) rise to Grand Guignol surges, helped along by accordion. Heavily amplified, almost cartoonish stomping, heavy on low brass, gives way to coolly rending lyricism, like a Baroque lament by John Dowland, thinly frosted by violins playing in their highest register.
The score, played here by the ensemble Contemporaneous under William Cole’s direction, ingeniously translates some fraught conversations between a doctor and patient into a percussion duet. Syllables are rhythmically tapped out as the words appear, projected on the set, while waiting-room Muzak plays — softly, infuriatingly — in the background. A hammer harshly clinking against a pipe, with a bell providing the question mark, is answered by despairing deep thwacks of fists on a drum: Mr. Venables gives us wit, hostility and poignancy, all at once.
Ted Huffman’s clean yet passionate, intimate production adds, intentionally or not, a newly bitter element. The main performer, Gweneth-Ann Rand, is black, and the other five women are white, giving their relentless persecution of her yet another facet of horror. All in all, this “4.48” avoids neither the text’s moments of pitch-black humor nor its passages of luminous air; it doesn’t prettify Kane, nor does it make her brutality unendurable. Elegantly ferocious, it is this unclassifiable play as music.
“Prism” (the creators make the title lowercase and place spaces between its letters) is also an attempt to depict the brutality of interior life. Its first act poses an intriguing mystery: What is this strange scene?
A mother and her daughter, dressed in white, are locked in an immaculately clean room — outside of which some strange force, referred to as Blue, threatens. The daughter seems to have a progressive wasting illness that has left her with barely any use of her legs. Together they repeat lines of seeming nonsense — Roxie Perkins’s libretto is full of the ominously capitalized words of dystopian fiction — and follow eerily precise rules as they try to cure the daughter’s illness.
Ellen Reid’s score is accessible in the best way, disconcertingly sweet without being syrupy, with occasional whispers of choral voices so soft they’re almost more odor than sound. The truly prismatic Choir of Trinity Wall Street is astonishing here; Trinity’s new-music ensemble, Novus NY, plays beautifully under Julian Wachner.
It’s a haunting beginning, but the next acts answer its questions too literally. Jumping back in time, we learn that the daughter, Bibi (Anna Schubert), was raped after being left alone at a dance club by her mother, Lumee (Rebecca Jo Loeb), the aftermath of which is rendered as painful pricks of sound and the barest noise of voices breathing.
In a violent reaction of remorse and PTSD, they retreat together into a messy rat hole — the reality of the pristine idyll we saw at the start — in a grimly ineffectual attempt at healing. The question: Can Bibi escape the regressive world her mother has invented to protect her?
James Darrah’s staging is striking, with the locked room a frightening terrarium and the club a sea of low-hanging disco balls. But visual elegance can’t take away from the fact that that thumping club scene and the rushed-feeling finale come off as letdowns after Ms. Reid and Ms. Perkins’s spookily suggestive opening.
Leah Coloff’s “ThisTree” is mellower than “Prism” and “4.48 Psychosis,” but still unstinting. A cellist, composer and vocalist, Ms. Coloff leads a six-woman band in what is, at heart, a cabaret show: a series of memoir monologues alternating with folky, bluesy numbers sung in her sometimes feathery, sometimes husky, sometimes warbly voice.
She intertwines her family’s pioneer past and the parentage secrets it kept with an account of her struggles with infertility. This is forbidding stuff, but Ms. Coloff’s touch is light, her presence warm. She’s not sentimental — and idiosyncratic touches, like a giant red bonnet, an enormous hand-stitched denim cape and tough-to-pin-down lyrics, keep things helpfully weird — but she isn’t unemotional. She is, simply, honest.
These aren’t the only productions in this year’s Prototype, presented by Beth Morrison Projects and the arts center HERE. “Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance,” composed by Graham Reynolds and with a libretto by the collective Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol, is a cozy, bilingual, semistaged oratorio for two singers (including the soaringly sweet tenor Paul Sanchez) and a rollicking roadhouse band.
Reflections on the famous revolutionary’s life and death — and, pointedly, on the gringos who watched the war in which he took part from the safe distance of the title — are interspersed with quietly riveting footage of interviews with a Mexican teenager who claims to have heard voices urging him to immerse himself in Villa’s story.
Written and directed by Michael Joseph McQuilken, “The Infinite Hotel,” a shotgun marriage of “A Star Is Born” and a ghost story, is an ambitiously busy show that fills the Irondale Center in Brooklyn with cameras and screens. (You may think of Ivo van Hove’s signature style of self-reflexive multimedia explosion.) Some of the audience watches from above, with the sound mix coming through headphones. Some participate as extras — directed in real time — in the filming of the production, which results in a unique feature-length creation from each performance.
Often sounding uncannily like Lady Gaga, Leah Siegel sings with earthy rock authority as a subway singer-songwriter turned arena sensation. But all the technical bells and whistles, while smoothly produced, ultimately feel less like integral elements than a distraction from stock characters and a thin, overlong plot.
“The Infinite Hotel” ends with the mawkish spectacle of a dead father holding his daughter. “4.48 Psychosis” closes with apocalypse — and inevitably, for all of us who see it now, with thoughts of Kane’s actual suicide. “ThisTree” concludes with moving modesty: the simple recognition that this is how things are.
And does Bibi escape at the end of “Prism”? In a culture so single-mindedly focused on personal empowerment and victory over victimization, how could she not? But this rings false. Opera doesn’t need its heroines merely to suffer. But it needs their victories to feel genuine rather than tacked on.
【那】【女】【人】【不】【甘】【心】【地】【咬】【了】【咬】【唇】，【做】【出】【一】【副】【自】【以】【为】【很】【了】【解】【宋】【轻】【染】【的】【样】【子】，【又】【说】【道】： “【慕】【太】【太】，【您】【不】【必】【这】【样】【仇】【视】【我】。【世】【上】【没】【有】【不】【偷】【腥】【的】【男】【人】，【就】【算】【不】【是】【我】，【也】【会】【是】【别】【人】。” 【她】【话】【音】【一】【转】：“【何】【况】【您】【和】【慕】【总】【是】【因】【为】【家】【族】【联】【姻】【才】【在】【一】【起】【的】，【一】【点】【感】【情】【基】【础】【都】【没】【有】，【两】【个】【人】【互】【不】【干】【涉】，【各】【玩】【各】【的】，【难】【道】【不】【好】【吗】？” 【这】【话】【听】【起】
【调】【酒】【师】【阿】【悟】【也】【认】【出】【了】【他】，【啧】【啧】【称】【奇】【道】：“【老】【板】，【你】【可】【算】【是】【回】【来】【了】，【你】【倒】【狠】【的】【下】【心】，【这】【一】【走】【就】【是】【五】【年】，【这】【五】【年】【里】【老】【板】【娘】【可】【没】【少】【为】【你】【挡】【去】【那】【些】【烂】【桃】【花】。” 【原】【来】，【她】【竟】【是】【一】【直】【未】【嫁】。 【心】【底】【升】【起】【一】【抹】【惊】【喜】，【蹭】【蹭】【蹭】【的】【就】【上】【了】【楼】，【门】【并】【没】【有】【关】【紧】，【似】【乎】【是】【有】【意】【为】【他】【而】【流】【的】【一】【般】。 【在】【窗】【前】【抽】【烟】【的】【身】【影】【那】【么】【熟】【悉】，【柳】【奕】【丞】【喉】
【桃】【夭】【是】【一】【首】【祝】【贺】【年】【轻】【姑】【娘】【出】【嫁】【的】【诗】，【尼】【楚】【贺】【只】【是】【随】【口】【赞】【了】【一】【句】，【但】【是】【听】【的】【人】【却】【是】【由】【此】【想】【多】【了】【话】【里】【的】【意】【思】。 【皇】【后】【本】【是】【不】【将】【郭】【络】【罗】【氏】【放】【在】【心】【上】【的】，【但】【是】，【垂】【下】【眼】【睑】，【赏】【赐】【了】【她】【几】【匹】【桃】【红】【色】【的】【缎】【子】，【才】【令】【其】【退】【下】。 “【纳】【喇】【氏】，【马】【佳】【氏】，【两】【位】【妹】【妹】【身】【怀】【有】【孕】，【有】【什】【么】【问】【题】【尽】【管】【来】【寻】【本】【宫】。” 【被】【点】【名】，【两】【人】【顶】【着】【所】【有】【人】
【这】【个】【话】【题】【略】【显】【沉】【重】…… 【但】【的】【确】【不】【能】【不】【谈】。 【事】【实】【上】【张】【姓】【大】【佬】【能】【把】【天】【赋】【剥】【离】【器】（【基】【本】【天】【赋】）【交】【给】【王】【维】，【本】【身】【就】【代】【表】【了】【大】【秦】【对】【王】【维】【的】【信】【任】，【后】【续】【的】【话】【说】【的】【狠】【了】【点】，【只】【不】【过】【是】【为】【了】【防】【止】【王】【维】【突】【兀】【升】【起】【歹】【心】。 【毕】【竟】，【人】【心】【难】【测】…… 【尤】【其】【是】【在】【王】【维】【看】【到】【了】【战】【士】【的】【天】【赋】【的】【前】【提】【条】【件】【下】。 【收】【起】【天】【赋】【剥】【离】【器】（【基】【本】【天】【赋】六合藏宝图诗“【您】【来】【好】【好】【看】【一】【看】，【这】【个】【地】【方】【虽】【说】【是】【简】【陋】【了】【一】【点】，【但】【是】【性】【价】【比】【绝】【对】【是】【够】【高】【的】，【厨】【房】【和】【洗】【浴】【间】【都】【有】，【就】【是】【卧】【室】【小】【了】【一】【点】，【但】【是】【也】【绝】【对】【对】【得】【起】【价】【格】……” “【嗯】……” 【润】【提】【着】【刚】【刚】【买】【来】【的】【被】【褥】【和】【衣】【服】，【环】【顾】【了】【一】【下】【眼】【前】【这】【个】【狭】【小】【的】【空】【间】，【这】【个】【出】【租】【屋】【甚】【至】【比】【她】【之】【前】【租】【的】【那】【一】【个】【还】【要】【更】【小】，【但】【也】【更】【便】【宜】。 【就】【之】【前】【的】【工】
【白】【灵】【却】【没】【往】【赌】【坊】【的】【里】【间】【走】，【而】【是】【站】【在】【大】【厅】【平】【静】【道】：“【一】【共】【六】【万】【三】【千】【四】【百】【文】，【老】【板】【是】【当】【面】【结】【清】【还】【是】？” 【老】【板】“【呃】”【了】【一】【声】，【眼】【珠】【子】【转】【了】【转】，【笑】【道】：“【我】【们】【一】【般】【是】【当】【面】【结】【清】【的】，【就】【是】【可】【能】【需】【要】【一】【点】【时】【间】，【您】【两】【位】【要】【不】【先】【去】【里】【面】【喝】【个】【茶】？” 【白】【灵】【婉】【拒】【道】：“【不】【了】，【我】【们】【等】【会】【儿】【还】【要】【去】【城】【主】【府】。” “【哦】【哦】，【对】，【你】【们】
【正】【在】【和】【诺】【斯】【萨】【坦】【星】【人】【大】【军】【战】【斗】【的】【陆】【游】【虽】【然】【看】【到】【了】【这】【一】【情】【况】，【可】【是】【面】【对】【整】【个】【诺】【斯】【萨】【坦】【星】【人】【大】【军】【的】【攻】【击】，【纵】【然】【陆】【游】【想】【要】【拦】【截】【也】【是】【心】【有】【余】【而】【力】【不】【足】。 “【现】【在】【只】【能】**【团】【他】【们】【能】【顶】【住】【了】。”【陆】【游】【脑】【海】【中】【闪】【过】【这】【个】【念】【头】，【然】【后】【开】【始】【专】【心】【的】【和】【诺】【斯】【萨】【坦】【星】【人】【大】【军】【的】【战】【斗】。 ——————————————— 【就】【在】【陆】【游】【和】【诺】
【闻】【言】，【我】【只】【觉】【心】【脏】【猛】【然】【收】【紧】，【喉】【咙】【干】【涩】【得】【厉】【害】，【我】【想】【问】【她】【到】【底】【是】【什】【么】【下】【场】，【可】【话】【到】【嘴】【边】【如】【何】【也】【说】【不】【出】【来】。 【只】【得】【捂】【住】【胸】【口】【死】【死】【盯】【着】【她】，【她】【似】【乎】【变】【了】，【眼】【中】【再】【没】【有】【叫】“【六】【哥】【哥】”【时】【的】【神】【采】。 【她】【面】【无】【表】【情】【望】【着】【我】，【木】【着】【声】【音】【道】，“【他】【死】【了】。【平】【叛】【尾】【声】，【他】【死】【于】【叛】【军】【头】【领】【笑】【康】【盛】【之】【手】，【好】【在】【皇】【上】【领】【援】【军】【到】【得】【及】【时】，【否】【则】【就】