來談談最近在研討會上看到的一部歌劇影碟：Kaija Saariaho “L’amour de loin” (2000)
her first opera, L’amour de loin. A co-commission of the Salzburg Festival and Théâtre du Châtelet and co-production with the Santa Fe Opera, L’amour de loin is based on La Vida breve of Jaufre Rudel, Prince of Blaye, one of the first great troubadours of the12th century. The libretto has been written by the French- Lebanese author Amin Maalouf. L’amour de loin was premiered on 15 August 2000 at the Salzburg Festival, directed by Peter Sellars, conducted by Kent Nagano, with Dawn Upshaw, Dagmar Peckova and Dwayne Croft in the principal roles. Performances in France take place in 2001 and in Santa Fe in 2002.
Love From Afar
Libretto by Amin Maalouf
• JAUFRÉ RUDEL, Prince of Blaye and Troubadour (baritone)
• CLÉMENCE, Countess of Tripoli (soprano)
• THE PILGRIM (mezzo-soprano)
During the 12th century, in Aquitaine, in Tripoli and at sea
Act I – Jaufré Rudel, Prince of Blaye, is tired of the life of pleasure led by young people of his rank. He aspires to a different kind of love, a distant love, that he accepts may never be fulfilled. A chorus of his old companions reproaches him for his change of heart and makes fun of him. He tells them that the woman whom he hymns does not exist. But a Pilgrim, arrived from the Christian kingdom of Outremer, confirms that she does exist and that he has met her. Jaufré becomes obsessed with her
Act II – Returning to the East, the Pilgrim meets the Countess of Tripoli, and admits to her that in the West a troubadour-prince celebrates her in his songs, calling her his ‘distant love.’ Initially offended, the lady begins to dream about this strange, faraway lover, but also asks herself whether she merits such devotion.
Act III- Scene 1. Returning to Blaye, the Pilgrim meets Jaufré and admits to him that the lady now knows that he sings about her, which causes the troubadour to decide to go to her himself. Scene 2. Clémence, for her part, seems to prefer their relationship to remain a distant one. She does not wish to live in a state of waiting, or to suffer.
Act IV – Now on board ship, Jaufré is impatient to find his ‘distant love’ but at the same time dreads their meeting. He regrets having set off on impulse, and his anxiety is such that he falls ill, getting steadily worse the nearer he approaches to Tripoli. He arrives dying…
Act V – When the boat reaches shore, the Pilgrim goes to warn Clémence that Jaufré has arrived, but that he is mortally ill, and that he wishes to see her. The troubadour arrives at Tripoli’s citadel unconscious, carried on a stretcher. In the presence of the woman he has hymned in his songs, he gradually regains his senses. The two ‘distant lovers’ then meet, but the imminence of misfortune causes them to throw caution to the winds. They declare their love, embrace and promise to love each other… When Jaufré dies in her arms, Clémence rails against heaven, then, holding herself responsible for what has just occurred, decides to enter a convent. The final scene shows her at prayer, but her words are ambiguous and it is unclear whether she is kneeling in prayer to her distant God, or to her ‘distant love.’
整部歌劇祇有三位主角從頭唱到尾，音樂織度整體而言也相當一致，事後看了解說才曉得它分成五幕。對它的第一印象是：我很喜歡裡面管弦樂的配器，十分夢幻精 緻的聲響氛圍，以及細膩的音樂語法，真是非常漂亮的音樂。場景安排主要是兩個打滿燈光的旋轉梯、一艘小船與水，並不複雜卻具有凝聚性的視覺效果。而三位歌 者具有美如天籟的歌喉，唱的旋律音色優美，儘管我對它沒什麼概念，這方面也不算特別前衛。
也許因為是「劇」，注意力不自覺會集中在它「劇情式」地發展，而非音樂的走向。以白話文來敘述，男主角所思念、近乎完美的女主角愛人在遠方，中間歷經一些 有的沒的……最後卻在抵達女主角所在的地方，確認彼此心意後死了，剩下向上天獨自祈禱的女主角。前面的焦點完全都在男女愛情上，最後結束前卻成為對神的大 愛；坦白說，身為基督徒的我與學弟妹都覺得有些匪夷所思。原本我是相當認真試圖體驗音樂內容的，在某些片段部分也著實很能深入人心，然而我不太會去形容它 們。劇情的成份也許在絕大方面主導了漂亮的管弦樂，而且還是芭樂拖戲的那種。
唱的部分、歌劇寫作與劇情風格是全然保守的，最末句重複到我都會用法文唱了：「C’est toi. L’amour de loin.」我竟然聽得懂部分法文的台詞，可見它處理得有多白。