Before I start the next thing, I'm finishing a few more threads. I make corrections and summaries. I'm wandering here and there.
For the purposes of production, I created a general description of the libretto. Here it is:

I, ŞEKÜRE – libretto – concept / general outline;
Based on the novel My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk

Şeküre - soprano
Meddah - countertenor
Kara - tenor
Eniste - bass
Illustrator 1 - baritone
Illustrator 2 - baritone

The libretto is a mosaic / constellation of scenes and tales that gradually form the story of a young woman trying to find her own way and make a life for herself in a highly conventionalized world. The story is multi-threaded and ambiguous; it emerges from dialogues, monologues, and anecdotes about princesses, their admirers and adventures on the way to happiness.

The core of the story is the fate of a young woman, Şeküre, who lives with her two sons in her father's house, Enişte, and loses hope for her husband's return from war. Fearing for her own and her childrens' future, Şeküre wants to remarry, which, however, is complicated in her situation - she is not technically a widow, so her hands are tied until the situation is clarified. Şeküre's father, Enişte, does not want to listen to his daughter, because her dilemmas interfere with his work - he is commissioned by the Sultan to supervise the creation of a great book, which is supposed to be a revolutionary work combining eastern tradition with western painting innovation; a beautiful, but highly conventionalized art of illustration, with a modern portrait showing the perspective and individual features of the characters. This idea is iconoclastic and has many enemies, so Enişte works partly in secret, and Şeküre is even more concerned about her future. She secretly watches her father's guests - book illustrators working for him, who argue about the essence of portrait and love, and implicitly compete for Şeküre's favor.
The turning point in the story is the mysterious death of Enişte. A masked figure comes to his studio; discussing the meaning of art and the role of the artist, they ensue a deadly dispute.
At that time, Kara, a former student and distant relative of Şeküre, arrives in the city. Once he lived in Enişte's house and was in love with his daughter, and because of this love he was sent to another city, as the father had more ambitious matrimonial plans for his daughter. It turns out, however, that before his death Enişte called Kara to help with the book - as a talented illustrator and a trusted person, not involved in local controversies and disputes. Kara comes when called - deep down she still lives her old love and hopes for happiness after years.
Şeküre, who, desperate and terrified, hides at home without revealing the fact of her father's death to the world, at first does not recognize Kara and does not let him inside. However, when she realizes who he is, she asks him to come back later in the evening to collect her thoughts in the meantime. She secretly ponders her situation, complains about the conflicting desires that torment her. She wants freedom, but she has to be very careful. She finally devises a plan for his independence.
The last scene of the opera is a conversation between Şeküre and Kara, in which Şeküre's plan is gradually revealed. It is not clear what is cold calculation and what is genuine feeling here; what is a consciously taken role, and what is an element of true identity, or whether ultimate happiness is just a convention, or finally - freedom, or maybe both at the same time.

Subplots that complement and comment on the main story are introduced by Meddah's and the choir's narratives. Meddah is something of a wandering bard who impersonates various characters for the entertainment of the audience. He appears as Satan telling about the origins of his fall; as a man disguised as a woman and trying to understand the nature of the other sex; and as a dog seeing the world straight and monochromatic.
The choir tells traditional love stories: about the shah launching a competition for a portrait of his daughter, in which the prize is marriage; about a great master creating paintings for two fiercely rival rulers; about the father jealously guarding his daughter and locking her in a chamber, and about her beauty that, having got out, charms the painter working nearby; and about an injured dog that the princess finds and, having healed, lives happily ever after with

The text of the libretto is intertwined with quotes from Persian love poetry (Sahabi, Azraki from Herat, Onsuri from Balkh, Dżami, Azar and Abu Ali Ibn Sina), and the text of a traditional Old Polish song about death (15th-century Complaint of the Dying - Płock transmission).


(transl. Aleksander Nowak)