“Gombrowicz belonged to this pre-war Europe—peripherally, certainly, but he belonged to it. When the center is gone, there’s no more periphery. From our Argentinian pampas, he saw the collapse of the immense European edifice. Operetta (the frivolous genre is not a coincidence) speaks of the end of this Europe, the disappearance of Witold’s childhood. The wind takes it all away. Fashion wants to forge History, but History advances, squashing fashion beneath it. Gombrowicz exploits a disappeared genre (the operetta) to describe a disappeared era.”
Oscar Strasnoy, composer for Operetta, ARCAL Company, 2003 [Trans. Dubowski]
Oscar Strasnoy is an Argentine-French composer, conductor and pianist born on November 12, 1970 in Buenos Aires.
Oscar studied piano, conducting and composition at the Conservatorio Nacional de Buenos Aires, the Conservatoire de Paris and the Hochschule für Musik Frankfurt with Guillermo Scarabino, Gérard Grisey and Hans Zender. He won the “Premier Prix de composition” (final exam) at the Conservatoire de Paris.
He wrote a partition for Christian Gagneron’s production of Operetta as well as a work entitled Geschichte/L’Histoire.
“This little society of noblemen functions as a closed circle (with servants, of course, always on the watch), and meets at all kinds of gatherings, creating masked balls in quest of new ideas for fashion. However, a few little environmental announcements worry the circle: a gust of air blows from the outside, a window slams shut unexpectedly, the light flickers for no apparent reason. Indeed, in the shadow of this careless joy, something is moving and getting restless—quite simply, this wind of History that, as soon as it starts to blow, is capable of taking and transforming everything.
The fable overpowers History, and thought outranks the anecdotal. It is about making us realize the failure of the ideologies of this century.”
Jorge Lavelli in Le Public (The Audience), magazine of the Théâtre de la Colline, Paris, 1989 [Trans. Dubowski]