Francis is an eminent surgeon, revered and adored by all and sundry for his groundbreaking research. Meanwhile, in his private life, he attends couples therapy with his wife while having a passionate love affair with the therapist. But Francis’s life is built on pretence, and his research is all bluff. His patients occasionally die.
Perhaps swindlers are living out a secret longing for life to be more than it is. We’re all taken in by his lies. When somebody tries to alert us to his deception, we choose not to listen. Who dares unmask a fraud whom everyone is determined to believe?
Mytomania is an opera by Gothenburg composer Paula af Malmborg Ward and librettist Kerstin Perski, based on a joint idea and an original story by Kerstin Perski. Paula af Malmborg Ward has composed some ten operas, as well as orchestral, chamber and choral works and TV music. Her contemporary musical language follows every nuance of the drama. Playwright Kerstin Perski has written librettos for several new operas, both in Sweden and internationally. She was also the librettist for The Göteborg Opera’s previous world premiere, Notorious, with music by Hans Gefors.
The team, lead by director Clara Svärd, revels in the thriller-style plot. The conductor is Andreas Hanson, who has conducted several world premieres including Paula af Malmborg Ward’s Triumph and Tragedy at the Royal Swedish Opera.
Tenor Joachim Bäckström sings the role of the manipulative Francis, while his long-suffering, stoically devoted wife Rita is portrayed by mezzo-soprano Ann-Kristin Jones. Coloratura soprano Kerstin Avemo is Nelly the therapist, the drama’s real leading character. Nelly is torn between truth and deception, and does her utmost make people realise that the well-respected surgeon is a compulsive liar.