The Diary of One Who Disappeared
A young man dreams of a forbidden love. An old man dreams of the young man he used to be. Between them lies the forest of myths and memory … From Janáček’s lieder cycle, Ivo van Hove has created an interior drama, in the image of the old Czech composer’s passion for his ultimate muse.
In 1917, a composer aged 63, married and famous, meets a young mother, his junior by 37 years. "Without you," he confides, "none of my compositions could have been born out of this desert in which I live."
Upon returning home, he begins composing The Diary of One Who Disappeared. It tells the story of an adolescent, Janíček, who falls in love with a gypsy named Zefka, and the torments of his torn conscience. The personal inspiration that animated Janáček is manifest; Ivo van Hove has sought to cast light on this, by doubling the role of Janíček, to create a dialogue between the composer at the twilight of his life, and the young man of his dream. The director of Toneelgroep Amsterdam asked the Flemish composer Annelies Van Parys to complete the cycle, to further bend the rhythmic curve by developing Zefka’s role and point of view: the Gypsy in turn questions the identity of her gadjo lover, as mysteriously foreign to her as she is to him.
Staging Ivo van Hove
Music Leoš Janáček & Annelies Van Parys
Sets and lighting Jan Versweyveld
Costumes An D’Huys
Dramaturgy Krystian Lada
Piano Matthew Fletcher
Tenor Ed Lyon
Mezzo-soprano Marie Hamard
Actor Hugo Koolschijn
Three lyric artists of the Académie des chœurs de la Monnaie