Sunday, 16 October 2011

'The Passenger' @ ENO

I'm not an opera person - I mean I would usually choose theatre over opera, but an opera once in a while is good. It's great to have the chance to see The Passenger at the ENO when S's friend was visiting!

The Passenger is about how the encounter of a former SS officer and a former Jewish prisoner in Auschwitz twenty years after the war plunge them back to the past. The subject matter is dark, as are other ENO operas we've seen, such as Faust and Two Boys, but I quite enjoyed it. How we sometimes try our very best to find excuses for our wrongdoings, even though we know we're evil deep down!

I found the episodes depicting the life of people in concentration camps a bit tedious, but in fact they're crucial in showing the 'authenticity' of these people's lives - these people are not just numbers, and it's not just a story, those were real lives of people who had every single right to live just like us. They had their doubts in God, just like we do sometimes - but one thing that impresses me a lot (which is conveyed through the characters) is that despite the horrible circumstances they found themselves in, the Jews tried to live dignified lives. I admire their courage and determination to live as human beings who have dignity - in today's world, with the abundance of material life and the freedom to choose, many people actually forget that human beings are supposed to have dignity. The Jews are indeed a chosen people - a blessed one at that. Despite the hardship they had to go through throughout history, many of their people turn out to be prominent figures who have left a mark in history. I wish - how I wish - 'my people' would be just like them, instead of going the opposite direction.

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