Andrej Rozman Roza, Davor Božič
14 March 2009
Writer, actor, and playwright Andrej Rozman Roza is one of Slovenia’s most original and prolific contemporary authors. His libretto for the pop-rock opera Nero was inspired by the treasury of world history – by Ancient Rome, the basis for nearly all subsequent political models and template for the problems of rulers and subjects even today.
The story of Nero, one of Rome’s most notorious emperors, is both entertaining and cruel. It is reflected in modern times, in which the only thing people seem to care about, besides politics, are celebrities. And even celebrities seem to be appreciated primarily for their boldness and notoriousness rather than for talent or achievements. After careful research, Roza decided he had found in Nero a perfect example of a ruthless autocrat with high »artistic« aspirations. Roza’s Nero (like the real Nero) does not care as much about ruling as he does about his popularity and approval by the masses. He is certain of his numerous talents and thirsty for boundless glory and fame. His teacher Seneca reproaches him, saying that he unscrupulously abuses his power and debases social values and norms. Seneca suggests that in his artistic enthusiasm Nero is losing his sense of reality, behaving ruthlessly, literally stepping over dead bodies—even of those closest to him. Politics, art, sex, power, megalomania, madness, parties and executions all intertwine in this “historical” opera. As with all tyrannies, we find rulers surrounded by countless flatterers while victims die. Nero wishes to destroy everything in order to rebuild it, to make it grander and more beautiful, and, especially, to create a monument to himself. His striving for tragedy as the ultimate art form results in a cruel, tragicomic, ironic, humorously condensed lecture about the downfall of a dynasty. Yet another historical tale from which we learn nothing.
The music for Nero was composed by Davor Božič, a young musician and singer, and the author of numerous compositions including musicals and music for television and films.
Nika Rozman, Vito Weis, Gregor Luštek, Maša Kagao Knez, Klemen Janežič
Roman Ratej (drums), Janez Hace (bass guitar), Andrej Pekarovič, Uroš Usenik (classical guitar & acoustic guitar), Jure Koncilja (electric guitar), Davor Božič (keyboards), Rok Zgonc, Žiga Cerar, Jerneja Pačnik, Barbara Rajevič (violin), Vanja Ivankovič (flute), Eva Tušar Suhadolc (oboe), Maja Burger (French horn), Miha Kadunc (trombone), (trumpet). Choir: Jernej Malik, Jure Bizjak, Matija Vodopivec, Tina Gačnik, Eva Knafec, Maja Brank
Jernej Malik, Jure Bizjak, Matija Vodopivec, Tina Gačnik, Eva Knafec, Maja Brank
Andrej Rozman Roza – Prešeren Fund Award (also) for the libretto for the pop-rock opera Nero
Days of Comedy Festival in Celje