Synopsis and Team
Opera GEROS DIENOS!
(Opera HAVE A GOOD DAY!)
Vaiva Grainytė (Librettist, Lithuania)
Lina Lapelytė (Composer and Music Director, Lithuania)
Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė (Director and Set Designer, Lithuania)
Daiva Samajauskaitė (Costume Designer, Lithuania)
Eugenijus Sabaliauskas (Lighting Designer, Lithuania)
Arūnas Zujus (Sound Director, Lithuania)
Producer: OPEROMANIJA (Lithuania)
The opera Have a Good Day! for 10 cashiers, supermarket sounds and piano is an ode to capitalism that illustrates the inevitability of consumption. The anonymous cashier, a person one meets every day, becomes a collective character.
The opera focuses on the inner lives of cashiers in a shopping centre: showing what lies behind their mechanical “Good afternoon!“, “Thank you!“, “Have a good day!”, and fake smiles. Faceless, robot-like shop workers found in everyday life are transformed into unique and lively characters. Their secret thoughts and biographies are turned into short, personal dramas. The characters of different sales clerks, embodying universal archetypes, convey the predominant social landscape. The libretto is a revealing mosaic of spoken, literary language and documentary.
The atmosphere of the supermarket is established through the glimmering and buzzing installation of daylight lamps and environmental sounds, connecting the audience to the stage and the 10 cashiers. The set itself is very minimalistic. Real goods – the recognizable décor of a shopping center – exist only in acoustic and verbal form.
The monotonous beep of each item being scanned is a key sound through the whole opera. It gets louder and quieter, but it is always present. Songs that accompany the beeping are as monotonous as the process of shopping and selling. Instead of becoming the main point of the opera, music serves the thoughts of the cashiers – it facilitates their voice.
To avoid any moral or condemnatory suggestion, a critical attitude towards capitalism is expressed through humor, paradox, irony and poetry. The mosaic of different destinies is transformed into one poem suggesting the pleasure of consumption.
Background / Biographies
Vaiva Grainytė (b. 1984) is a writer, playwright, and poet, engaged in interdisciplinary theatre projects. Latest works – collaborative site specific performance “Lucky Lucy” (2016), radio plays “Axis deviation” (2015), and “Witches do not eat gummy bears” (2015) evince the main qualities of her oeuvre: biographical and collective memory, daily routine and social issues are in equilibrium with poetic, slightly absurd, ironic and surreal overtones. Her book of essays “Peking Diaries” was nominated for Book of the Year 2012 and shortlisted as one of 12 of the most creative books in Lithuania.
Composer and Music Director
Lina Lapelytė (b. 1984) is an artist and musician living and working in London and Vilnius. Her performance-based practice is rooted in music and flirts with pop culture, gender stereotypes, aging and nostalgia. Her works are fueled by expression, marked by pastiche and grotesque, contextual and conceptual musicality, theatrical suggestibility, stylized visuality. Her latest performance works Ladies (2015), Hunky Bluff (2014) and Candy Shop – the Circus (2013/2015) were shown in different contexts and locations including the Serpentine Pavilion in London, the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, the Venice Architecture Biennial and MACBA (Barcelona).
Director and Set Designer
Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė (b. 1983) works as a theatre and film director. One of her creative strategies is exploring the tension between objective and imagined realities as well as punctuating on the gap between the vision and the speech. She is often keen in challenging anthropocentric way of thinking in a playful way. Rugilė completed her studies of theater directing and cinematography at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre and screen documentary at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is currently finishing her full-length documentary “Acid Forest” – anthropological-philosophical research on how humans accept other species and vice versa.
OPEROMANIJA is a Lithuania-based production house, creating and developing experimental new music theatre through diverse artistic collaborations. Since 2008 it has produced over 40 contemporary operas and various multidisciplinary art projects, including world-famous opera for 10 singing cashiers, supermarket sounds and piano “Have a Good Day!” (2013), audio-play “Audiokaukas” (2014–2015), spatial opera in the dark “Confessions” (2015), Baroque theatre noise machine performance “Bad Weather” (2016–2017), etc. Organization runs Contemporary opera festival NOA (New Opera Action) – one of the leading international new music theatre events in the Baltic region.
Awards / Performances
In 2013 “Have a Good Day!” was selected by an International Theatre Institute (ITI) jury for a presentation at the final of the worldwide competition “Music Theatre NOW” (Biennial for Performing Arts, Jönköping, Sweden), where the work was awarded Globe Teana-Theatre Observation prize. In 2014 “Have a Good Day!” was awarded Golden Stage Cross prize for the best Lithuanian Authors' Performance and two Baltic Theatre Festival prizes. In 2015 opera was awarded Main Prize of the Fast Forward festival in Braunschweig (Germany). Performance was presented in various music, theatre and opera festivals in Lithuania and abroad (Shanghai International Contemporary Theatre Festival ACT, Contemporary Music Theatre and Opera Festival PROTOTYPE in New York, Theatre festival GOLDEN MASK in Moscow, Baltic Theatre Festival in Riga, AUTOMNE EN NORMANDIE in Le Havre, NEXT Festival in Villeneuve d’Ascq, EXIT in Creteil, PASSAGES in Metz, HORIZON in Mulhouse, THÉÂTRE EN MAI in Dijon, SONIK in Quimper, FAST FORWARD in Braunschweig, EUROPOLY in Munich, THEATERFESTIVAL BASEL in Basel, GOGOLFEST in Kiev, Le Festival les Boréales in Caen, MIDWINTER NIGHT’S DREAM in Tallinn, UTOPIAS in Lisbon, Operadagen Rotterdam). Opera was also broadcasted on Lithuanian National Radio and BBC Radio 3.
Clever, charming and quietly subversive. Whatever critique of capitalist entrapment and consumerist obsession might be implied is conveyed with subtlety and wit.
Steve Smith, The New York Times
It’s a tour de force of deadpan comedy... comes wrapped in a score of incantatory, almost liturgical serenity.
Justin Davidson, New York Magazine
...minimalist textures that evoke the swirl of everyday life – banality transformed into art. The opera is witty and poignant.
Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal
A tightly constructed, multi-layered creation, its humor pierced by melancholy.
Alex Ross, The New Yorker