Copyright 2019 Eunho Chang. All rights reserved.

Chamber Opera THE ROOM [2009]

 

Opus number: EH.10

Libretto Written by: Harold Pinter

For: Flute, Oboe, Bass clarinet in B flat, Horn, Trumpet, Violin,

Viola, Violoncello, Contrabass, 2 Percussions

Main character:

BERT HUDD : Actor(Speaking) or including Mr Sands

ROSE : Mezzo-soprano, MR KIDD : Baritone

MR SANDS : Tenor, MRS SANDS : Soprano

RILEY : Bass

Duration: ca. 55 min.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Back-

Synopsis 

The play opens with Rose having a "one-person dialog" with her husband Bert, who remains silent throughout the whole scene, while serving him breakfast even though the scene appears to occur around evening. Rose talks mostly about the cold weather and keeps comparing the cosy, warm room to the dark, damp basement and to the cold weather outside. She creates a sense of uneasiness by the way she talks and acts, always moving from one place to another in the room, even while sitting, she sits in a rocking chair and rock. Her speech is filled with many quick subject changes and asks her husband questions, yet answers them herself.

With a few knocks and a permission to enter, Mr. Kidd, the old landlord, enters. He asks Bert many questions regarding if and when he is leaving the room. The questions are answered by Rose while Bert still remains silent. The dialog between Rose and Mr. Kidd is comprised of many subjects that change very frequently, at times each one of them talks about something different and it seems they are avoiding subjects and aren't listening to each other, creating an irrational dialog. At the end of the scene Bert, who appears to be a truck driver, leaves to drive off in his "van".

Afterward, Rose's attempt to take out the garbage is interrupted by a young couple, Mr. and Mrs. Sands. She invites the couple in and they tell her they are looking for a flat, and for her landlord, Mr. Kidd, who, in the first production and recent revivals, was played by its original director, Henry Woolf.

A blind black man, named Riley, who has purportedly been waiting in the basement according to the Sands and Mr. Kidd, becoming a source of concern for Rose, suddenly arrives upstairs to her room, to deliver a mysterious message to Rose from her "father". The play ends violently when Bert, returns, finds Rose stroking Riley's face, delivers a long sexually-suggestive monologue about his experience driving his van while referring to it as if it was a woman, and then beats Riley until he appears lifeless, possibly murdering him, after which Rose cries "Can't see. I can't see. I can't see".