October 21st & 22nd 2000
David DeFeis' Metal opera "Klytaimnestra" is heavy stuff in every respect.
Based on Eschylus' more than 3000 years old drama it captures the spirit of those
ancient times and combines it with a modern point of view. Now that I know the music well from the CDs I thought it would be a good idea to see the play again. When Modern Music announced that David and his guitar player Edward Pursino would give a special performance at the shows in Munich, I knew how to spend the weekend. Finding the venue was easy. Like last year there was a mixed audience: a couple of Metalheads among typical theatre guests. The performance of the play was the same as in Memmingen with slight changes of the cast. For example Wanja Benjamin Kneib (Orest) who was injured last time was replaced by Eirik Behrendt. Unfortunately I have to correct my own report from last year: most of the actors are no good singers. How could this happen? I suppose it was a combination of hearing the new VIRGIN STEELE songs before the official release and the belief that there were opera singers trying to sound
like Metal. I should have noticed by listening to Peter Höschler (Agamemnon)
who is a fascinating actor but simply can't sing. The voices of Joséphine Weyers (Klytaimnestra) and Ralf Weikinger (Grinning Mask) were great
again, though. Some of the songs are in a different order than on CD, for example Kassandra's song "Child Of Desolation" becomes Klytaimnestra's death aria on stage. This is because when the play was put on stage not all of the songs were finished, some were not even composed.
Knowing the songs became very interesting because on stage there were still demo versions used. "And Hecate Smiled" even has an additional verse which was not put on CD! Enthusiastically the audience applauded after every song and here and there one could spot people banging their heads to the music. When the opera was over, David DeFeis and Joséphine Weyers
entered the stage to sing a duet of "Great Sword Of Flame" and after a short break this first special was followed by a 30 minute acoustic set of David and Edward. At first they played a medley of "A Whisper Of Death" and "Great Sword Of Flame" followed by "Emalaith", "The Burning Of Rome" and "Perfect Mansions"! By this time I was on my knees! David and Edward finished the set with another medley of "A Whisper Of Death" and "House Of Dust". Of course they didn't have the chance to leave the hall without giving an encore and so the audience had the chance of listening to the new songs "The Burning Of Innocence" and "Do You Walk With God". What a night! But the next day became even better! The audience was very different on Sunday: the venue was not too packed and there were more Metalfans than the night before. Of course this affected everything: sometimes one could get the impression that the people had only come for the unplugged special but in the end the play again received standing ovations! And although there was no 2-people-moshpit like the day before when David entered the stage, you could spot flying hear all over the place! The people were much louder this time and so David and Edward additionally played "A Cry In The Night" and "Don't Close Your Eyes"! These two acoustic sets were also magic because David's voice was supported by the fact that he didn't have to be louder than the drums or the amps. But still Edward's style sounded so much like Metal that everybody agreed on having experienced something they would like to hear more often. Hey, what about an acoustic tour? There is a very good Irish Pub in Oldenburg, haha! Thanks to the Landestheater Schwaben, the Noise Records-crew and of course David and Edward, see you on tour in January with HAMMERFALL and FREEDOM CALL!
List of songs included in the opera:
1. Blaze Of Glory (The Watchman's Song)
2. Day Of Wrath (instrumental)
3. Summoning The Powers
4. And Hecate Smiled (instr.)
5. And Hecate Smiled
6. Kingdom Of The Fearless (The Destruction Of Troy)
7. Through The Ring Of Fire
8. Blaze Of Victory
9. Great Sword Of Flame
10. Agony And Shame
11. The Oracle Of Apollo
12. Wings Of Vengeance
13. Fantasy And Fugue In D Minor (instr.)
14. Garden Of Lamentation
15. Gate Of Kings
16. Child Of Desolation (instr.)
18. Gate Of Kings (instr.)
19. The Wine Of Violence
20. Child Of Desolation
21. Day Of Wrath (instr.)
22. The Fields Of Asphodel (instr.)
23. When The Legends Die
24. Fantasy And Fugue In D Minor (instr.)
Story & all pics: Ramon Claassen
a little note we received from DAVID DEFEIS regarding the feature above:
I enjoyed the piece on KLYTAIMNESTRA very much!!!
Just to clarify a few things though, all of the songs for "Acts I & II",
were written at the time of the premier in Memmingen.
The order in the stage version is different because that was
Walter Weyer's interpretation of my work. He could have done
it exactly as I wrote it but he didn't. The other thing is,
the name of the first new song we performed in Munich is, "A Greater
Burning Of Innocence" not "The Burning Of Innocence". Small details
but I thought you might like to know. Thanks sincerely and
kindly to you and all your staff at TAKE IT, for the great support!!!
I'm very happy that everyone liked the shows in Munich!!!
It was a pleasure to perform acoustically and we
will do more of this for sure!!!!!!!
Cheers, keep well and thanx again!!!