When briefly in a “paused state,” the Father realizes that one thing failed within the add; it ought to have suppressed the trauma of his spouse’s loss of life however didn’t, dooming him to grieve her for eternity. He needs to be terminated, an irreversible motion that may solely be carried out by his daughter.
If that dilemma doesn’t really feel solely compelling or earned, it’s as a result of the Daughter is rarely correctly developed. She is launched as interested by her father’s new kind, however it’s troublesome to think about anybody feeling greater than shock or anger in her place. As an alternative, she is proven solely in numerous states of mourning. (And this is likely to be too New York-centric a fixation, however how on earth can this younger lady afford to stay in an ethereal TriBeCa penthouse with a backyard terrace?)
Possibly it’s for the very best, then, that we by no means see her resolution. The parallel tales arrive at parallel endings: the previous, the night time earlier than the Father’s add, and the current, the night time earlier than his doubtless termination. In a shocking coup de théâtre, a white curtain springs out, suspended over the viewers. On it are the Father and Daughter projected in cut up display. Though at reverse ends of the stage, even completely different planes of existence, they’re offered as if mendacity head-to-head.
As they drift into sleep, we’re left with the Father’s Reminiscence Anchor, a dream rendered digitally — the inexperienced of the earth too inexperienced, the blue of the sky too blue. Every thing we’ve heard about is there: the stone, sizzling to the contact, a lizard at relaxation. However the picture often sparkles, defaulting to the 3-D line drawings of drafting software program, till the decision degrades into comfortable fields of colour. Solely the sounds of breeze and birdsong stay.
It’s a mysterious ultimate scene, however not one which requires any solutions. No matter what occurs subsequent, somebody can be pressured to stay with the ache of loss. And no know-how, it appears, can spare us that essentially human expertise.
By way of Oct. 8 on the Dutch Nationwide Opera, Amsterdam; operaballet.nl.