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Juhani Nuorvala’s opera, FLASH FLASH, is a portrait of the American artist Andy Warhol – a lonely man surrounded by the masses. Warhol’s various existences – always scandalous – as a painter, filmmaker, media personality, and a thinker, crystallise many of the cultural and societal changes that characterise the most recent iteration of the Western cultural paradigm. Also insinuating their way into the picture are the United States and the Western way of life, along with their engine – consumerism. What in Warhol’s time was flamboyant fiction has become our reality.

FLASH FLASH is an incandescent requiem that encompasses – just as Warhol’s art does – serenity and passion, religious art and pornography, trash and diamonds. The opera depicts The Modern Man who flirts with destruction and death, and is incessantly desirous of big effects and ease, of voyeurism and cheap melodrama, of buying and selling – all presented in a gilded frame: the world of opera, or opera as the world.

Commissioned work for The International Theatre of Finland.

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