I-K-O-N™

/ I-K-O-N TM

Opera 2003

Alex Bloch is CEO of the I-K-O-N™ Corporation. Prior to the board meeting, he asks his secretary to shred some incriminating documents – the company losses must be covered up, since a new project is in the making. At the meeting, the first quarter accounts are approved, despite the auditor’s problems in presenting his case. Alex introduces a new vision involving a I-K-O-N™ theme park… Read full synopsis here

”I-K-O-N™” is an opera in the great style, with humour and suspense, great emotions and great tempers thematizing the dream of fame at all costs.” Read reviews here

FACTS

Libretto:
Danish, (English)

Composer:
John Frandsen

First performance:
The Royal Opera, Copenhagen, March 2003

Duration:
3h 20m

Singers:
Soprano, mezzo, tenor, baritone, bass
and mixed choire
Orchestra:
Symphony orchestra

Links:
The Royal Danish Opera

SYNOPSIS

1st Act

Alex Bloch is CEO of the I-K-O-N™ Corporation. Prior to the board meeting, he asks his secretary to shred some incriminating documents – the company losses must be covered up, since a new project is in the making. At the meeting, the first quarter accounts are approved, despite the auditor’s problems in presenting his case. Alex introduces a new vision involving a I-K-O-N™ theme park. The board is enthusiastic – not least when they learn that he is about to forge partnership with Star, the world’s largest media network. But the plan is abruptly halted when Star demands that the famous artist Vincent Konrad is to design the park. He is son of the chairman of the board, the founder of I-K-O-N™, Ivan Konrad, who is not on very good terms with his son.

Alex’ wife, the feted opera singer Adda Bloch – daughter of the founder Ivan Konrad and sister to Vincent – is warming up. Alex arrives home and helps her recharge before the evening gala performance in honour of the 50th anniversary of I-K-O-N™ but is interrupted when Vincent bursts in. Alex seizes the opportunity to try and talk Vincent into joining the project.

Adda sings an aria at the gala performance, which is followed by a celebrity party where Alex tries to make ends meet in negotiating the final deal with the CEO of Stars. The auditor plucks up the courage to invite the secretary Linda to Paris. Everything seems to conspire against Alex’ project. Vincent has an unpleasant encounter with his father, and the CEO of Star asks Alex for a bank guarantee prior to sealing the deal. Luckily, the secretary is as always ready to help.

2nd Act

The auditor passes the initiation rite of the lodge, and Alex coerces him to secure a bank guarantee by presenting false declarations of intent from Star. Vincent and his beloved Cho-Cho-San are painting each other’s bodies when Alex arrives with the intent of using the studio as a venue to present his project to the CEO of Star. Vincent tries to decline, but Alex knows exactly how to take advantage of other people’s gratitude. The CEO of Star is enthusiastic about the project but just has to check with his board before signing.

The inner circle gathers for the I-K-O-N™ general assembly. The auditor’s strange behaviour kindles Adda’s suspicion, and she forces him to reveal the deceit that he and Alex are engaged in. She seeks an explanation from her husband, but in vain. When the general assembly convenes, the auditor has disappeared. Shortly after, two policemen arrive. Alex is arrested.

3rd Act

Alex Block is incarcerated, and his father-in-law, Ivan Konrad, visits him to find out what has happened. At the stock exchange, the investors are in disarray over the news of Alex’ arrest. The I-K-O-N™ shares tumble. Vincent and Cho-Cho-San visit the Mogul in prison, and Alex hatches an ingenious plan…

REVIEWS

”I-K-O-N™” is an opera in the great style, with humour and suspense, great emotions and great tempers thematizing the dream of fame at all costs.
The first act is a bubbling witty satire, the second act is thrilling, and the third act is really scary – and, well yes, a bit too long. IKON™ covers the whole range as unusually efficient and engaging modern musictheatre.

Jan Jacoby, Politiken, March 17 2003

“I-K-O-N … is a satire guaranteed to make any investor laugh or cry, depending whether it touches a nerve or a funny bone. The opera is hit-or-miss at striking its target, but its best moments are a hoot. The scene where the company accountant is taken by the CEO to join his golf club and undergoes initiation rights in the sauna brought the house down; and the big showdown at the company’s AGM made a splendid grand opera set piece. The music is bustling and eclectic, with shades of John Adams.”

Richard Fairman, Financial Times

”Sanne Bjergs text is entertaining all the way through, now infinitely deep as the eyes of a loving woman, now flat as unwashed underwear. That is as it should be.”
5 stars out of 6

Ulrik Cold, Børsen, March 17 2003

”…unusually entertaining….
Composer John Frandsen and writer Sanne Bjerg have created a piece, that appeals to most…”
4 stars out of 6

Søren H. Schauser, Berlingske Tidende, March 17 2003

”Lots of the good stuff
With a new full-length opera librettist Sanne Bjerg and composer John Frandsen have more than justified their right to the great resources of the national scene.”

Knud Ketting, Jyllandsposten, March 17 2003