The opera focuses less on the narration of the four young protagonists’ story and more on their attempt to articulate and understand the often contradictory feelings that come with it: feelings of meaninglessness and alienation in a society that values only productivity and success but makes it unreachable for almost everyone; feelings of pain, both as suffering and as sexual experience; feelings of love and kinship that briefly appear between the protagonists but nevertheless bring a sense of vulnerability. In a hyper-competitive world the display of emotions is seen as a weakness and a liability. The longing to open up to someone else, to reveal and feel oneself and one another, and to find an expression for that longing seems unsettling and dangerous.
The four protagonists of Dark Spring sing songs. They articulate their feelings through the mask of the distancing formalisation of rhyme, meter, stanza and refrain. Under the surface of the objectified schemata of song, however, an almost raw and undomesticated sound-world simmers that breaks through at crucial points of the plot – a sound-world of noise, screams and silence.
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