© Olympia Orlova


Vladimir Tarnopolski , Dr.

Professor of Composition

Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory

Born in 1955 in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine
Studied Music at Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory


The Rape of Europa (Opera)

The idea of the opera is to show the conflicts between different political ideas and systems in Europe and for Europe during the last hundred years. The scenery is based on two sources - dramatic episodes from European history of the 20th-21st centuries based mostly on documentary texts, in juxtaposition with Classical Antiquity's myth of the Rape of Europa, according to Moschus' "Europa".
Moschus tells in epic verse how the virgin Europa, after dreaming of a struggle between the two unknown continents for the possession of her, was carried off from among her companions by Zeus in the form of a bull and borne across the sea from Tyre to Crete, there to become his bride.
Parallel to the development of Moschus' poem, the opera metaphorically demonstrates scenes from European history of the last hundred years - wars between blocs of countries (Moschus' "struggle of two continents for Europe"); political, artistic, and scientific revolutions (actual meetings in 1916 at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich of revolutionaries of all shapes – Lenin, the Dadaists, and, hypothetically, Einstein); acts of political reconciliation (the Yalta Conference); unification (the text of the Declaration on the European Union); flourishing new escalations of conflicts (Iraq, Georgia, Libya, Ukraine, etc.); and threats (terrorists). This stratum of the scenario is based predominantly on documentary texts, as well as on various metaphorically correlating ancient sources.
Finally, the third line, which runs through the entire opera, is presented by three lyrical dramatic duo scenes of Europa and Zeus the Bull; as these scenes develop, each of the protagonists undergoes a radical transformation. In the first duo, following the ancient myth, the Bull abducts the young, trusting Europa and takes her to Crete. In the second duo, Europa, having matured, finds the strength in herself to resist the Bull, as a symbol of violence, and wins her independence from the abuser, who is put to shame. Finally, in the third scene, Europa, who grows older and acquires power over the Bull, asks him to take her somewhere far away from all the insoluble problems.

Recommended Listening

Tarnopolski, Vladimir. Red Shift for large orchestra and electronic. Premiere: Orchestre Philharmonique De Monte-Carlo. Festival Manca, 2013.
-. Blue Shift for orchestra. Premiere: Münchner Philharmoniker. Munich, 2017.
-. "Jenseits der Schatten." Video opera with motifs from Plato and Pliny. Premiere: Beethovenfest Bonn. Bonn, 2006.
-. "Wenn die Zeit über die Ufer tritt." Opera deconstruction with motifs from Anton Tchekhov. Premiere: Münchener Biennale. Munich, 1999.

Publications from the Fellows' Library

Tarnopolski, Vladimir ( s.l, 2015)
Jenseits der Schatten (2006) : eine Multimedia-Oper

Tarnopolski, Vladimir ( s.l., 2015)
Foucault's pendulum : (2004)

Tarnopolski, Vladimir ( Klimop, 1994)
Welt voll Irrsinn (1993) : for large ensemble




Tuesday Colloquium - Work in Progress02/13/18

Dienstagskolloquium - Arbeitsbericht, Tuesday Colloquium - Work in Progress