D4.Coliseum Roof (c)Grant Smith

There are a number of ‘key words’ about his life rep- resented in each of the two acts of this play, such as ‘knowledge’, ‘rights’, ‘coronation’, ‘empire’, ‘soothsayer’, ‘passing time’, ‘warning’, ‘choice’, ‘falling’ and ‘forgotten’. Like a parabolic curve, they sketch a vivid and lifelike portrayal of Dr. Dee. As the curtain opens, Dr. Dee, a wise man once enjoyed great glory, is lying on the deathbed, nursed by his miser- able daughter. When the orchestra in the pit begins to play the symphony, numerous symbols in the world of knowledge are projected on a big trans- parent screen. As the screen gets out of the audience’s sight, the old Dee has suddenly turned back to be a gentleman of his young age, roaming in the ocean of knowledge, eagerly learning mathematics, astronomy and astrology. Piles of books apparently cannot fill his ‘thirsty’ soul in comparison with his amazing reading speed and remarkable memory. Books are increasingly enlarging, until they become the main part of the stage scene. Along with his action of the life, these stretchy ‘books’ as projected images that are frequently moving on the stage represent that rich humane world. He is so talented that finally he wins the favor and appreciation of Elizabeth, who then asks Dee to divine the best time for her coronation, and Dr. Dee therefore reaches the climax of his life. At the beginning of the second act, Dr. Dee continues the adventure in his life, and in the face of human limits, he continually challenges and adventures, trying to interpret the ancient language of angels. As time goes by, people began to gradually lose patience with him, but he ignores the ‘warning’ in his life and still insists on his attempt. When facing the choice between ‘faith’ (which can be understood as a vanity of human beings of proving themselves) and love, he follows his ‘faith’ and loses his wife. Afterwards, he continues his downfall, and falls to a broken, lonely death. ‘In the process of the constant pursuit of infinite knowledge, he never faces him- self, until he loses the most precious thing for him.’ said the director Rufus. When speaking of this play, Damon Albarn who is the lead singer of Blur, a band founded in 1997, also said that ‘such situation occurs at any time, while we are often making decisions based on the subconscious faith, we are also being blinded by the opportunities. Or in other words, we are often blinded by the outward appearances of vanity. When people always try to show their great foresight, it may also lead to an irreparable blindness. This is a tragedy. I was singing in the play, ‘Nightingales are delighted while owls are frowning’, the play begins with the birdsong and ends in birdsong. This is just like a cycle.’

在這兩幕歌劇中,每一幕裡呈現的是有關他人生中的眾 多“關鍵詞”,如“知識”、“權利”、“加冕”、“帝國”、“占卜 者”、“時光隕逝”、“警言”、“選擇”、“墜落”、“遺忘”,就 像是一條拋物線,形象而貼切地給迪伊博士畫了一張素 描。大幕開啟於迪伊博士躺在垂死的那張病床上,由他 那長期飽受苦難的女兒照料着這位曾經無限榮耀而智慧 的父親。當樂池裡交響開始奏起時,一塊透明的大幕投 射上知識世界裡的無數符號。當大幕消失在觀眾的視線 外時,老年的迪伊已經搖身成為青年時代的才俊,他如 饑似渴地蕩漾在知識的海洋裡,學習數理、天文、星 象。層層疊疊的書在他一目十行般地閲讀速度和驚人 的記憶力裡顯然填飽不了他那顆“饑渴”的靈魂。書由小 至大,直到成為舞台場景裡的主體。這些可以伸縮的“ 書本”在舞台裡頻繁地移動,伴隨着他的人生動作(一 生與書籍為伴),也作為影像投印的載體表現着那個 豐富的人文世界。他的才華倍受青睞,最終受到伊麗 莎白的賞識,並讓迪伊為她占卜加冕的最佳時機,迪伊 博士因此跨入人生的頂峰。第二幕開始,迪伊博士繼續着他人生中的冒險,在面對人類的有限性時,他不斷地挑戰 和冒險:企圖詮釋一種古老的被稱為天使的語彙。在不斷流 逝的時間裡,眾人對於他漸漸失去耐心,但他卻忽略人生中 的“警告”一意孤行地進行着這項嘗試。在面對“信仰”(這裡可 理解為一種人類證明自身的虛榮)與愛情的選擇時,他追隨 了“信仰”,失去了愛妻。接下來他的人生持續地滑落,跌入谷 底,直至死去。“在不斷追求無限知識的過程中,他從不面對 自己,直至失去對於他最為珍貴的東西。”導演魯弗斯·諾裡斯 (Rufus Norris)如是說。成立於1997年的Blur樂隊主唱丹蒙·阿 爾伯恩(Damon Albarn),在談到這部歌劇時也說:“這種情形隨 時都在發生,我們常常依據潛意識的信念作着決定同時我們 也被機會所矇蔽。或者說我們常常被虛榮的表象所矇蔽。當 人能總想高瞻遠矚時也會釀造成一種無法挽回的盲目。這就 是悲劇。在劇中我唱到,’夜鶯欣喜而貓頭鷹皺眉’,全劇開始 於鳥鳴也結束於鳥鳴。這就像是一個輪迴。”