PROGRAM NOTES – Patrick Mueller, 4/19/2012
It’s important to note that Salon Romantik is Control Group’s first exploration of narrative – we usually organize our works thematically and experientially, allowing a lot of space for personal interpretation. I’ve included the libretto below, but I hope that the work is much more than its story – it’s also a deconstruction of its own narrative, a surreal, imagistic, visceral experience in which we hope that the narrative is a vehicle for access but not the purpose of the work.
That being said, here’s the libretto:
A young adventuress wandering through the wilderness stumbles upon a portal to the Spirit World. At this crossroads she meets a woodsman, who bewitches her, leaving her asleep under a tree, and then transforms into a mischievous, devilish faun. A beautiful wood nymph finds the adventuress and attempts to break the faun’s spell. When this fails she encases the lost traveler in a magical protective circle.
The adventuress dreams of the nymph and the faun, exploring their realm and dancing with them. The dream becomes a nightmare as they both turn on her, chasing her into hiding and leaving her lost and alone.
The adventuress awakes stripped of her memories and her humanity. The nymph finds her and tries to carry her to safety. But the faun captures both of them in an enchantment, and sends the adventuress into the Spirit World. The faun, once a man, has lived at the crossroads for eternity, held there by his love for the wood nymph. With his love now within his grasp, he becomes human again and seeks her favor. But fear overcomes love, and they fight until, drained of power, they both collapse.
The adventuress returns, made powerful and inhuman by her journey into the land of the Spirits. She uses her power to revive both faun and nymph, but in so doing, all three are trapped for eternity in the wilderness between worlds.