Kongen Af Himmeby-Demo/Utopiaville-Demo
for Symphony Orchestra (2009).
The Utopiaville-Demo is commissioned by Finn Schumacker for The Odense Symphony Orchestra.
Repertoire operas occationally have orchestral suites: Bits and pieces of overture, interlude, etc. tied up in a bouquet of 'schönste Tränen'. Contemporary opera usually wither after the first season, so the focus is on getting people to come and have a sniff before it's too late. Consequently it seemed obvious to me to start making orchestral excerpts from my operas that are meant to be played before the premiere (and after, please); I call them 'opera trailers' when they're substantial enough to be considered independent works, and 'opera demos' when they're relatively short and more appetizer-ish.
The Utopiaville-Demo is a fast-and-furious cinemascope 3D THX-demo for my chamber opera 'The King of
Utopiaville' which is sort of a mix between a reversed revolutionary opera (reversed because it's about a revolution
that flops) and a rhythm'n blues theatre concert.
The opera takes place on the remote tropical island of Honga-Tonga where a mayor form Europe is taking a much needed holiday as far away as possible from his home town Utopiaville. The mayor desperately needs to get away:
He has overstepped his authority blatantly and broken every rule of law he felt like in order to create a modern liberalistic society where sanitation, medicare, hospitals, schools, the police, and all other public institutions are sold to private investors and then leased back by the public - that way noone will ever have to pay taxes because everything finances itself, the mayor says, and in order to keep reality at a safe distance, he drinks massive amounts of insanely expensive french claret, all in the best interest of the inhabitants of Utopiaville, of course.
Honga Tonga can't get any further away from Waikiki Beach: It looks something like the 1933 version of King
Kong, and the mayor's excessive entrepeneurism blossom: He is about to create a new Utopiaville.
The Utopiaville-Demo gives you in quick succession Honga-Tonga scenery (dark and scary jungle), the mayor's song about wine (Chateauneuf des Papes, Chevery Chambertin, Baron Rotschild, and so on), and finally the climax of a scene where the mayor at the hight of his powers, and still only on the 5th bottle of wine, explains the benefit of his version of liberalism for the natives and their stately and very womanly queen.