You sit in a chair that is quite tight in Zurich opera house. You inhale as the curtain lifts and you just stop breathing for next two hours. No one asks you for permission or gives you time to adapt to a terrifying inner world of Renata, obsessed by an idea of an angel she met as a child and breaking point “the Eve´s bite from the apple” comes when she asked the angel to approach her physically. The moment where her innocent world collapses into a downward spiral of unfulfilled need for intimacy abused by exterior masculine world taking advantage of her vulnerability. Accompanied by Ruprecht, whose character experiences significant development throughout the story, she approaches her end: no exit situation, no devil was possessing her, evil is all around, no act of exorcism helps, there is no hope, curtain down, exhale.
Calixto Bieito draws all the 5 acts (I would rather call ´em scenes) with a proper taste. He is always careful to say the facts once: what has been expressed detailed enough by music, he just suggests visually. Stage is a metaphor itself, we find ourselves in Renata´s head, where we discover all hidden spaces, moments of terror, claustrophobia, twisted infancy, anxiety.
Ausrine Stundyte embodies Renata vocally and physically on a highest performative level. The truth she brings on stage with her performance is undeniable breathtaking moment when you start understanding what being an artist truly means.