Chrononhotonthologos

Music by Andy Vores
Libretto adapted from the play by Henry Carey
Stage direction by Nick O’Leary


SHOWTIMES
Friday-Saturday, November 3-4, 2017 at 8 P.M.
Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 2 P.M.
Tickets not yet on sale.

LOCATION
Ipswich Hall at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee
132 Ipswich Street, Boston, MA – directions

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
Download the libretto (.pdf)

Chrononhotonthologos is a world premiere opera commissioned by Guerilla Opera. The libretto is based on the absurdist, satirical play by Henry Carey from 1734. An example of English nonsense verse, it uses nonsense words as substitutes to perhaps mock public figures of its era as well as the high theater from which it takes its form. It parodies the high-blown style of revenge tragedies and operatic libretti, while attacking the amorality and depravity of the rich, privileged, and powerful. It is sung in English and will be approximately 75 minutes in duration.


Filmed and edited by Niko Matses.

Guerilla Opera presents the Introduction, Prologue and Scene 1 from “Chrononhotonthologos” by Andy Vores. Libretto adapted from the play by Henry Carey (1734). A chorus and a Poet, Matthew DiBattista, who later plays King Chrononhotonthologos, introduce the opera. The two courtiers gossip news about the King and his troops until they are interrupted by the King himself. (Cast: Aliana de la Guardia as QUEEN, Douglas Dodson as ALDOBORONTIPHOSCOPHORINIO, Matthew DiBattista as KING/POET and Brian Church as RIGDUM-FUNNIDOS. Filmed and edited by Niko Matses.)


SCENARIO
King Chrononhotonthologos and Queen Fadladinida of Queerummnia face an invasion by the Antipodeans (inverted people from the other side of the world). The king defeats the entire Antipodean army, leaving behind only the Antipodean king, who is taken to prison. The Queen sees the captive king, falls in love, and mourns her virginity (for the king had never consummated their marriage). She prays to Cupid and Venus, and gets her wish to lose her virginity and her husband, although we are to hear nothing more of her belovéd King of the Antipodes.

Chrononhotonthologos, in camp, takes deadly offense at his general, Bombardinian, and slaps him. The general’s heroic pride forces him to stab the king in return.

When the doctor confirms the king’s death, Bombardinian tells him to go to the next world and fetch the king’s soul back (and stabs him), only to say to the air, in mock tragic grief and kills himself.

The Queen is thus a widow and free to marry. The two courtiers, Aldoborontiphoscophornio and Rigdum-Funnidos, vie for her affections and she decides to marry them both.

While this final bloodbath and bigamy is unfolding the Poet, who had presented the Prologue at the start of the evening, returns and gradually frames the action through a setting of Matthew Arnold’s Dover Beach. This slow, sad, appraisal of the loss of moral anchors, of purpose, of the human condition and its cycles of ignorance and violence covers and closes down the increasingly ludicrous behavior of these cartoon-like characters.

(Some passages adapted from Wikipedia.)


This opera marks the second collaboration between Guerilla Opera and the composer Andy Vores, following his operatic adaptation of Jean Paul Sartre’s “No Exit,” the second opera that Guerilla Opera premiered. “No Exit” is the most performed work from our cannon having received fully staged productions by both Florida Grand Opera and Chicago Opera Vanguard. “Chrononhotonthologos” will be of a similar musical and theatrical style, but will incorporate a slightly larger cast and musical ensemble while still within the parameters of our production aesthetic.

The opera will incorporate Guerilla Opera’s core performers (a cast of five singers and an instrumental quartet) with additional ancillary roles and an instrumental antiphonal “satellite” ensemble culled from the Boston Conservatory’s student body. This “satellite” ensemble will perform a secondary layer of musical material underscoring, and at times punctuating, the principal onstage action of the opera.

Guerilla Opera has always been interested in ongoing collaborations—developing multiple operas by one composer with the understanding that these long term associations result in a shared musical and theatrical language. Andy Vores has been a part of Guerilla Opera from its inception. He is an exceptional composer with a truly rare musical wit as well as an innate gift for the lyric theater.