Clever, charming and quietly subversive, an appealing commodity that any skillful choral ensemble might invest in profitably.
— Steve Smith, The New York Times
A tour de force of deadpan comedy ... wrapped in a score of incantatory, almost liturgical serenity.
— Justin Davidson, New York Magazine
A tightly constructed, multi-layered creation, its humor pierced by melancholy.
— Alex Ross, The New Yorker
Virtuosic voices...witty and poignant...
— Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal
This performance has to be seen more then once!
— Vaidas Jauniškis, Menų Faktūra
Have A Good Day! is minimalistic and conceptual work for 10 singing cashiers, supermarket sounds and piano.
The plot of the opera by composer Lina Lapelytė and librettist Vaiva Grainytė, directed by Rugilé Bardziukaité, is set around the inner lives of cashiers in a shopping centre: shows what lies behind their mechanical “Good afternoon!“, “Thank you!“, “Have a good day!” and fake smile. Faceless, robot-like shop workers found in everyday life are transformed into unique and lively characters; their secret thoughts and biographies are turned into short, personal dramas. The characters of different saleswomen, embodying universal archetypes, convey predominant social landscape. The libretto is a revealing mosaic of spoken, literary language and documentary.
The atmosphere of the supermarket is established by glinting and buzzing installation of the daylight lamps and environmental sounds, connecting the audience space and the stage with 10 cashiers. The set itself is very minimalistic: real goods – sort of obligatory decoration of a shopping center – exist only in acoustic and verbal form.
The monotonous beep that happens every time an item is being scanned is a key sound through the whole opera. It gets louder and quieter but it is always present. Songs that accompany the beeping are as monotonous as the process of shopping and selling. Instead of becoming the main point of the opera, music serves the thoughts of the cashiers – it facilitates their voice.
To avoid any moral or condemnatory suggestion, a critical attitude towards capitalism is expressed through humor, paradox, irony and poetry. The mosaic of different destinies is transformed into one poem suggesting the pleasure of consumption.
The audience is invited to a reception / conversation with the artists following the 8:30 show on January 16, sponsored by the Lithuanian Consulate.
Have a Good Day! was premiered at the CAC (Contemporary Art Center), Vilnius in 2011 at the 4th. NOA (New Opera Action) festival produced by OPEROMANIJA. In 2013 it was further developed in part with funds from Lithuanian Ministry of Culture and was selected by an International Theatre Institute (ITI) jury for presentation at final “Music Theatre NOW 2013” competition (Biennial for Performing Arts, Jönköping, Sweden), where the work was awarded Globe Teana-Theatre Observation prize.
Have A Good Day! received funding from the Trust for Mutual Understanding.
Location: HERE, 145 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10013.
45 minutes. Standing room is available for sold out shows.
Composer: Lina Lapelyte
Librettist/Subtitles: Vaiva Grainyte
Director: Rugile Barzdziukaite
Producer: Ana Ablamonova
Svetlana Bagdonaite (Cashier)
Liucina Blazevic (Cashier)
Veronika Cicinskaite-Golovanova (Cashier)
Lina Dambrauskaite (Cashier)
Kristina Svolkinaite (Cashier)
Rima Soviene (Cashier)
Lina Valioniene (Cashier)
Vida Valuckiene (Cashier)
Milda Zapolskaite (Cashier)
Rita Raciuniene (Cashier)
Pianist: Kestutis Pavalkis (Security)
Light Design: Eugenijus Sabaliauskas
Supported by the Ministry of Culture of Lithuania
Vaiva Grainytė is a Lithuanian writer, poet, essayist and editor of art news website www.kamane.lt. Studied theatre history and critic in LMTA (Vilnius). Using her texts as media, she collaborates with various artists. Her debut book “Beijing Diaries” was nominated for the “Book of the Year 2012”. In 2012 the opera „Have a Good Day!“ libretto was selected by Women Playwrights International Conference jury and included into the readings programme (Sweden, Stockholm).
Lina Lapelytė lives and works in London and Vilnius. She is an artist, composer and performer currently exploring the phenomenon of song. Using song as an object, Lina examines the issues of displacement, otherness and beauty. Lapelytė has been exhibiting and performing at the DRAF, ICA, Tate Modern, BBC Proms, CAC (Vilnius), CCA (Glasgow), Ikon gallery, Skopje Biennale and the Holland Festival. Recently Lapelyte has been shortlisted for the Arts Foundation Award (judged by Brian Eno, Richard Whitelaw and Hamish Dunbar) and will be showing her newest work performance Candy Shop at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London in January 2014.
Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė completed documentary film, theatre directing and cinematography studies. She applies interdisciplinary experience in film and theatre works, avoiding direct synthesis of expressions, meanwhile exploring the tention between documentary and fiction, performing and being, filming and seeing. Rugile’s audiovisual works in Ireland, Russia, South Africa were granted prizes and scholarships.
OPEROMANIJA is a movement of artists of the younger generation from various spheres, whose goal is to create contemporary opera. Since 2008, OPEROMANIJA has organized five contemporary opera festivals NOA (New Opera Action) and staged over 30 contemporary Lithuanian operas.
Ana Ablamonova is a Lithuanian performing arts producer with 9 years experience acquired mostly in the field of music theatre. Founder and director of Contemporary opera festival NOA (New Opera Action) and movement of contemporary music theatre and interdisciplinary art OPEROMANIJA. Graduated with Master’s degree in Music Management from the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (2009). Also holds a Master’s degree in Choir Conducting from the Saint Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts (2007). Winner of the EU program for young art managers “Gulliver Connect”." Her productions are appreciated on national and international levels: Best Stage Work of the Year (cycle of operas at the 1st Contemporary opera festival NOA, 2008), Lithuanian Golden Stage Cross (best debut of the year – monodrama-opera “Izadora”, 2009), Theatre NOW (award of Tbilisi International Theatre Festival for the multimedia opera “ID”, 2011), Globe-Teana Theatre Observation Award (Music Theatre NOW competition and for the opera “Have a Good Day!”, 2013).
2010–2013 – Member of the Opera Europa Young Delegates Think Tank.
Since 2012 Ana has served as Head of the Art Centre at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.
The key sound throughout the opera is the monotonous beeping that happens every time an item is scanned. It might get louder or quieter, but it is always there. The songs that accompany the beeping are as monotonous as the process of shopping and selling. Instead of becoming the main focus of the opera, the music underlines the thoughts of the cashiers – it enables us to hear their voice.
Lina Lapelytė, composer