WALLONTU MAPU - Experimental Opera
“...In the beginning, the Mapu is all darkness, darkness and flatness. Nothing moves.There are no lakes, no volcanoes, no mountains.
There is no time, time does not yet flow...”
WALLONTU MAPU is an experimental chamber opera in four movements for mixed media (string quartet, voice and quadraphonic sound system).
Like all operas – the most all-inclusive genre of all the arts– it embraces numerous forms of artistic creation. Music, literature and set design join forces to create a world that invites the audience to immerse themselves into a unique experience.
The most innovative aspects of the opera are the language used, the
Mapuche language, Mapudungún, and the plot of the work itself, based around Mapuche cosmogonic myths.These ancestral myths have been dramatized to create a unique story, the writing of which involved consulting with anthropologists, ethnologists and archivists in order to respect the original creators’ profound ritual meaning.
The music, in keeping with the libretto, is inspired by the musical roots of the Mapu (land of the Mapuche people) and consists of three main styles: ethnic, classical and electronic.
The ethnic element is provided by singer Flora Yungerman, whose a colourful lead voice lends itself perfectly to a specialist knowledge of ethnic song that is instantly identifiable with Native South American music. Her presence is accompanied by prerecorded Mapuche instruments issuing from a quadraphonic surround-sound system.
The classical element is present in the string quartet, with the traditional formation of two violins, viola and cello accompanying the singer.
And lastly, electronic music makes an appearance in the processing and reproduction of the various sounds (human voice, strings and Mapuche instruments) to create a unique soundscape.
Wallontu Mapu (Live)
WALLONTU MAPU creator, Oliverio H. Duhalde, remarks that “the fusion of these seemingly dissimilar elements means that we can combine different stages and expressions of our culture.
Although they coexist at the same time they have only sporadic contact with each other.The
memory of the Americas has a great deal to offer and can enhance our urban, essentially European, world.We need to explore our deepest roots and connect with this voice that is so
essential to us, the voice of the land, even when it is combined with western tradition and cutting edge musical technology”.
WALLONTU MAPU aims to show how different elements can compliment each other to stimulate and rejuvenate, emphasizing the richness of our culture as a single whole.
WALLONTU MAPU brings together three radically different expressions with both an aesthetic and spiritual objective: the understanding that only from ‘co-existence’ can truth and beauty arise.
Wallontu Mapu (Backstage)
“... She roamed by the riverbanks, along the seashores, through the hills and over the plains.The grass grew from the footprints left by her bare feet.When she brushed against the grass with her fingers it grew wider and harder, and she lifted the araucarias, and when she touched the flowers with her long fingers out flew butterflies.The butterflies blossomed into birds, and so, one by one, all the beings of the Mapu were born...”