the mysteries of the opera

Rejtélyek az operában [The Mysteries of the Opera] (2005)
Los misterios de la ópera
Written by Carlos Rodero
Based on the short novel The Mysteries of the Opera by Javier Tomeo

Translated by Mester Yvonne

Performed by:

Bordán Irén, Vallai Péter, Papp Dániel & Tulu Icözü

Dramaturg: Dedinszky Zsófia

Props and Costumes: Parditka Magdolna
Music Director: Popara Maria
Production: Barsi Gizella
Interpreter: Ágnes Biczo
Directing Assistent: Kudella Magdolna

Directed by Carlos Rodero


Los Misterios de la Ópera [poster]

The Inner Dephts of an Opera House


«Writing is opening a window to narrate people a landscape either
Javier Tomeo



Javier Tomeo: an accidental playwright

The Mysteries of the Opera is originally a narrative with attractive to enhance it and enrich it in a version for the theater enough. It is basically a form of interrogation dialogue in which lies a disturbing theatricality and suggesting a dramatic situation full of possibilities that would undoubtedly reinforced on a stage with its own visual and sound elements of theater. The characters, with a symbolic but extremely human cargo, played by actors, transmit the drama that breathes through a sly humor with haunting notes with the very physicality of theater. The drama unfolds in a timeless and universal, moral and ironic space naked starkly presenting the essential features of that drama. Characters sore stricken small and insignificant catastrophes that feed themselves from mindless microcosm.

The theatrical version and adaptation

Text amendment to the theater emphasizes obviously in the dialogue of two characters removal of parts that would be repetitive but trying to keep the tone clearly obsessive replicas of both characters. Tambiés have streamlined some time looking for the proper synthesis of the dramatic situation and given the treatment of spoken language but have respected the very pedantic and baroque style atmosphere that characterizes the author and the characters, especially the language of the judge.

The translation, which was made from the theatrical text is Ivonne Mester, a professional too well known in this field and specialist author. She is the Hungarian translator of the works of Javier Tomeo and, among others, include their version of Beloved Monster, Castle encrypted and Dialogue in D major letter.



Characters overwhelmed by circumstances beyond their control at all, displaced antiheroes who fail, despite a try, find their own space in reality undergo a kind of exorcism that pushes them to a forced reflection on the way we choose to be.

Syndrome of fear of success, fear of going outside, to appear before all others to “join the world scene.”

Surround long dialogue of two obsessed and tormented characters. As a counterpoint, the presence of a mute persoanje (assistant judge) and apparition (the Brunilda impossible in the failed performance of “Götterdämmerung“.)

Never clearly see the reason for this suffering, reinforcing the absurdity of the situation.

Peripheral and completely subjective view of reality. Handling of the “principles of reality.”

The closure, underground space, claustrophobic, the perfect nest for loneliness, social uprooting, helplessness, frustration and madness.

Start discreet scene with minimal elements, based on the interpretation and direction of actors, almost empty space, decorated envelope.

Representation is a ceremony, a ritual. A ceremony that aims to entertain and disturb the viewer. It is an even police sometimes seemingly civilized, correct, but full of little aggressiveness, tiny pin pricks, long silences disturbed by the fall of a pencil or a cough judicial authorities. Of empty phrases thrown into a pathetic cry for help.

One multitd of unknowns that are never resolved at all in the scene arises. Perhaps only through small patterns the viewer can reconstruct or interpret the role as their experiences.

Tragicomedy and game that traps tend again and again, playing pretend, to lie, to betray imposed until reality is confused.

Sadomasochistic ritual nuances, which gently, subtly, pain becomes pleasure.

Constant play of chiaroscuro, a mood, sometimes black and shiny, lighten the dense moments, the tragic thickness.

The characters, especially Bridget, are the starting point and the focus of the drama. Bridget is a real character who finds himself in a nightmare situation. This nightmare, however, has the appearance of reality and only through small details and the sum of these viewers can finally feel that it is a manipulated reality. The spectator must sympathize with Bridget, if not identified.

The situation that we see on stage perhaps could pass in the mind of Bridget, a kind of projection of his fears and insecurities. If we accept that it is a fairly lackluster soprano now, somewhat late, he gets his chance, and just before culminate it is a crisis, then we can understand that everything is kind of alucinanción caused by frustration and failure. In this delirium self-injure staging a mock trial and it is punishable by an interrogator filled with sadomasochistic references.

At the same time he laughs at itself and unfolds into an exalted Brunilda he is playing at the time the opera and Bridget never be interpreted. It is the part of herself that has stood the test and, ironically, is just a character that will live long duration of the opera.
In space we establish two worlds.

1) The place where the interrogation takes place (below) is a deep basement of the Opera House perhaps has been used as a warehouse. This is the main, unique and real space in the staging. The scenery. It intended to be closed, dark and sinister, dirty, damp and enveloping, ie when the viewer enters the room, you have the feeling of entering the basement.
2) the opera stage where (UP) is represented and where Brunilda interprets passages of Wagner opera that reinforce, complement or contradict the parallel path of the character of Bridget below. This is an open, bright and unreal space, he hinted at the staging, which appears and disappears into space by deleting or overlapping 1.
Working with actors trying to hide the intentions of the text and hasten the keys to understanding through physical actions a world full of suggestions that what the characters are saying. The body work is important because through a metamorphosis of attitudes and behaviors of the body create the details that give the appearance of nightmare that ceremony with lifelike.

It will also work and will emphasize comedy that atmosphere that enhances and enriches the proposal. The actress who plays Bridget develop its work in almost naturalistic terms. She should be recognized as an ordinary person, with behaviors within normal limits. His double, the soprano who plays Brunnhilde, belongs to the world of pure dramatic fiction and also participates in the codes and conventions of grand opera at its most topical aspect.

The other two characters, from an inside job likelihood, have some traits of distancing or slightly expressionistic or Brechtian characterization. Both can have some small detail of animal behavior. The judge, a dog. The assistant, a monkey. This may suggest parallels with some of the great silent film comic characters such as Buster Keaton, for example.



In the basement, dark and punk, they are the just furniture: a table and a small bench arranged on the fly, as if they had just been discovered under a blanket. Everything is decadent, old and dusty. Everything is precarious. Next to the table is a gramophone.

Bridget dressed as Brunnhilde, as it was about to go on stage. Brunilda saw as the most typical of Brunildas. The judge and assistant lead past fashionable clothes, very worn, with some patches and ripped.

The music serves two functions. Extracts from The Twilight of the Gods help us create this parallel plot that unfolds above the scene of the opera. And the other author’s suggestions (the Requiem of Berlioz, Offenbach’s cancan or Dvorak) are incidental music that creates the atmosphere necessary for the development of the ceremony through direct manipulation from the stage, for example, thanks an old gramophone that runs the wizard reluctantly.