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Original text in Russian

Text in French

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ANNUNCIATION
Chamber opera in six episodes
by Alexander Shchetynsky
(1998)

Text by Alexey Parin (in Russian)

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

Mary, soprano without accompaniment, percussion
Angel of God, piano, celesta, percussion

The action takes place in the room of Mary.
The whole text is the monologue of Mary. In the beginning she spins.
The text is based on the Chapter 1 of St. Luke's Gospel.
No remarks are given to free the fantasy of leading team and interpreters.


TEXT IN ENGLISH TRANSLATION

I. PRESENTIMENT

The thread stretches,
rolls up as a fine cobweb,
or suddenly is whipped as a warm clot,
and I feel the sheep breathe behind my back.
All these days I am not myself.
As if the spring streams
go through my body.
I hear the turtle cooing,
and I tremble.
I see the ox basking in the sun,
and I am filled with happiness.
And when I hear 
a joyful cry of a donkey,
I am all the more ready to fly.
I feel with my heart that each sound
tells me something about the mystery,
the mystery of my life.
The thread stretches,
rolls up as a fine cobweb,
or suddenly is whipped as a warm clot.
Is it the down of the turtle nestling?
Is it the gentle fleece of a lamb?

II. WHIFF

Somebody has come.
The curtain does not tremble.
The window fold does not squeak.
The door is tightly closed.
What a silence!
Even the sun beam holds its breath,
immovable,
not to frighten off the silence.
But somebody is present here, I know.
Since there is a buzzing in my ears,
as if it thunders.
It is not a whiff of a wind,
it's a whiff of a soul.
Who are you blowing into my soul?
Who are you touching my very heart?

III. GOOD WORD

Yes, I understand you.
Say me a word, you unseen.

You great archangel,
I know you,
your face appeared to me
through the celestial cloud,
your voice reached me
through the whispers of the wind.
I am ready to hear your news.

No, I do not believe,
I am not worthy of it.
What are my deserts for such love?

Can I bring a child into the world?
Can I give my offspring
to the clutches of the death?
My soul will melt into sorrow.
I cry for mercy!

IV. ECSTASY

What is it, this shining in my heart?
What is it, this sweet bliss in my body?
Where should I take force
to endure this beatitude?
Ah - ah - ah!

V. FEAR

I shall conceive in my womb,
you say?
And I am blessed among women?
And you call me highly favoured?

I am blind due to a shining in my heart, 
but the eyes of my soul are open.
I see my crucified son through the time.
I feel through the time
how the gravestone
thundering falls and opens the tomb.
I see my son resurrecting.
I see my weak body
taken alive into the heaven.

Give me force to believe
that these visions are not from the Devil!
I fear! I fear! I fear!
How can I believe,
that me, so ill-favoured in appearance,
so unproud in spirit,
so weak in flesh,
will be mother of the Saviour?
How can you prove
that the demon does not mock me?

But you should strengthen my faith!
Let me overcome my fright!

VI. FAREWELL

You are going? Leaving me alone?
I will carry my burden alone,
and even Joseph will doubt me.
One star in the sky
is ripening as my fruit,
and it will testify to my purity.
A life is brought,
the mine and those of all humans.
My farewell to you
is a sorrowful cry,
a happy laughter.
Ah - ah - ah!

Translated into English by Alexey Parin


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1999 text by Alexey Parin

2000 by Alexander Shchetynsky