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Chamber Opera Paternel

Paternel is a chamber opera composed by Frank Nuyts to a libretto by screen writer and playwright Philippe Blasband, who enjoys a reputation for writing films as ‘Une liason pornographique’. It’s not the first time Nuyts and Blasband join forces. Their earlier collaboration, the LOD musical theatre production Middle East, received considerable praise.

The chamber opera Paternel centers on blood ties.

Paternel is an opera about the tribulations that occur when three sisters are left to divide the estate of their father. All this happens under the eyes of the nurse who took care of him during his last days…In the end the void left by his death gets filled with humor (yes humor!) and a bawdy confession.

Some tribes literally eat their deceased relatives to keep their memory, strength and existence from fading. It is precisely this concept that the four characters in Paternel are concerned with. In acting out a sort of western version of the ritual they divide among themselves the belongings their father collected during his life. Through these objects his past and death are evoked leaving out no details, however intimate they may be.

Paternel was selected by an international jury to be one of the five video cases that were presented to the public during the 2014 Classical-Next forum in Vienna. The opera is preceded by a prequel called ‘Chut’ again based upon a text by Philippe Blasband. At midnight, a father leads his three daughters into a dark forest. He pretends they will play a game, though the girls keep on asking him where their mother is.



Music by Frank Nuyts

Libretto byPhillipe Blasband


Stage Director Machteld Timmermans

Music Director Raf De Keninck

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