ANYA17 COURAGE | AGAINST IMPOSSIBLE ODDS
As our North American premiere of Adam Gorb’s Anya17 draws nearer, we’ve been exploring the timeless operatic themes which connect Anya with great operas of the past. Starting with Betrayal and Evil, on through Justice we arrive at our final theme, Courage.
Anya has been betrayed by her lover Uri and enslaved by evil incarnate Viktor. Gabriel, a client who has fallen in love with her, becomes an instrument of in a climactic confrontation. But does Anya survive? Does she find freedom?
At the risk of their very lives and against impossible odds, Anya and Elena plot their escape from the evil Viktor. They know the violence he is capable of committing, but their deeply loyal sisterhood and their determination to regain freedom give them the resolve to maintain hope and seize the opportunity. This manifestation of courage, in the face of overwhelming adversity, is a hallmark of Anya17.
Opera abounds in examples of personal courage:
- In The Abduction from the Seraglio Constanze’s steadfast determination to free herself from the imprisoned life of the harem led Mozart to write one of his longest and most demanding soprano arias “Martern aller Arten” (“Tortures of all kinds”).
- Pamina’s suffering in The Magic Flute leads her to the serenity, and even the wisdom, to become Tamino’s guide through the “trials of fire and light.”
- Verdi’s Nabucco, and in particular its famous Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves “Va pensiero”, became the voice of his countrymen’s aspirations for liberty and self-determination.
- Falsely accused of inciting mutiny, Britten’s Billy Budd finds new courage as he awaits his execution. The ecstatic ballad he sings haunts Captain Vere as he experiences remorse for the young sailor’s death.