Work by Vaiva Grainytė, Lina Lapelytė, Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė
Produced by Operomanija
The opera focuses on the inner lives of cashiers in a shopping centre: showing what lies behind their mechanical ‘Good afternoon!’, ‘Thank you!’, ‘Have a good day!’ and fake smiles. It transforms the faceless, robot-like shop workers found in everyday life into unique and lively characters, whereas their secret thoughts and biographies turn into short, personal dramas. The characters of diverse sales clerks, embodying universal archetypes, convey the predominant social landscape. The libretto represents a revealing mosaic of spoken, literary language and documentary.
The atmosphere of the supermarket is established through the glimmering and buzzing installation of daylight lamps and environmental sounds, connecting the audience to the stage and the 10 cashiers. The set itself is very minimalist. Real goods – the recognizable décor of a shopping centre – exist only in acoustic and verbal form.
The monotonous beep heard each time an item is scanned is a key sound throughout the whole opera. It may be louder or quieter, but it is always present. Songs that accompany the beeping are as monotonous as the very process of shopping and selling. Instead of becoming the main point of the opera, the music serves the thoughts of the cashiers – it facilitates their voice.
To avoid any moral or judgemental suggestion, critical attitude towards capitalism is expressed through humour, paradox, irony and poetry. The mosaic of different destinies transforms into a single poem suggesting the pleasure of consumption.