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I have never lost faith in melody.|
To me, dodecaphony and serial music were dubious paths in the history of music.
Not because they created new scopes, for this they must be given high credit. But their priests and apostles appeared to be bureaucratic and constricting. They created rules, which narrowed the means of expressions of the artists and just prohibited so many things. Tonality was dismissed as done, and the traditional term of beauty was stigmatized as naivety and kitsch. Luckily, those times have been overcome. Today there are several very good composers who dedicate themselves to beauty again, although the term itself is vague. Vague for good reason, it has to be left to the subjective definition of the creative individual. I consider tonality (and I don't refer to the conventional definition of this term - to me even Wozzeck is tonal) to be one of the most important achievements of mankind. Rebellion against it was just coherent, and even more logical was the late comprehension that art is allowed to do anything it has set its mind on.
During the desastrous 20th century the agreement that art had settled with its audience for thousand years was neglected: the (mutual) obligation to entertain. The consequences can be realized clearly: opera houses have become museums where a repertory of 150 evergreen works is cultivated. In the long run, this will be the death of this genre, its mummification as a sentimental relic of the educated middle class. But I still do believe that the opera has a bright future, and this future will naturally produce operas again which also attract people without elitist education. We only need the courage that has to be summoned up every few decades, the courage to question and renegotiate simply everything.
I do believe that the audience today as yesterday as in a hundred years can be enthralled with sensual music and intelligent, gripping libretti.
THE NEW MELOS I hope this term will never be handled as aggressive as in some earlier manifestos of those dark ages when much more was prohibited than invented. I am a man of the opera. I want it to become again, what it once was, another kind of church, a bubbling cauldron, a great circus, a panopticon, an emotional rollercoaster, Pandora's jamboree bag, a platform for all means of overpowering, with all necessary affects and effects, a wonderland for everybody, meant to create lasting works and values. Music as sex, revolt, ecstasy and the manifestation of total freedom.