A Majora’s Mask Opera
The current look of the blog is a temporary solution for a better presentation, but given the sudden boom around my first uploaded demo, I feel I should clarify what this is all about.
On the 28th of November 2011, after a long period of planning, and with the 25th anniversary of Zelda in mind, I started composing and writing an opera of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.
Now as I’ve said in the first forums I posted about this, I have avoided reducing this to medley form. I develop on every relevant theme, taking them as bases to be grown on and to make a complete and organic work, instead of a patched-up musical track.
I have my original work as examples of what I can do, and I am usually not one to make these kinds of adapted projects, but Zelda is something that has always fascinated me, and Majora’s Mask is the one that always dug deepest.
Now, setting something like this to stage requires some modifications in order to bring out the drama and the message(s) in full and allow for a stable adaptation, instead of the many flaws that arise from taking a game structure into a dramatic set without the necessary reconstruction.
That reconstruction does not change the story’s core concepts at all, but it alters something quite important for those who take refuge on the heroic deed of a single individual (Link).
*prepares for the flame*
I have put enough thought on this (took me a while), and there is a difference people have to understand exists between media.
A book is a book. A movie is a movie. A game is a game. A stage drama/opera is a stage drama/opera.
The intensity of a stage drama comes from the concentration of the attention in a specific character or group of characters and the things that affect them. They can be related to something bigger, obviously, but it still has to restrict itself to a group that is small enough to build up the amount of weight it needs.
The reason a game like Zelda can’t be adapted to stage at 100% in every single aspect is because a game is built as an interactive medium. A game like Zelda lives on diversity and exploration.
I chose Majora’s Mask for a reason: In all of its diversity, Majora’s Mask has the ability to captivate through the personal anguishes of the inhabitants of a dying world. Now, turning it into a never-ending list of equally important woes would be static and unimportant, and here is the key issue: So would turning a mute heroic character into a chore-handler for a world with living, thinking and feeling individuals.
For what I suggest, I ask for understanding from the part of the community in that I am convinced that I can heighten the theatrical power of such a world and what it is experiencing through this simple yet key modification:
Link is absent.
It is a what-if cautionary tale to the world of the audience (like Ikana was to the rest of Termina) telling of Termina’s fate without the intervention of a savior, a Deux Ex Machina in Hylian form.
The core concepts remain the same, as I’ve said. The story revolves around promises, the whole world’s mechanic and sense is exactly the same.
But this little big change allows me to make a humanistic injection of character build-up in the largest and best known side-quest of all Zelda games: Kafei and Anju.
By centering the story on Kafei and Anju, I can make it that Kafei’s quest for the retrieval of the Sun Mask and the fulfillment of his promise comes out of his own accord, his own effort, and provide a fluid narrative of his tracking of Sakon and his treasure. The struggle of a last promise in a world fated to be destroyed.
Don’t think Skull Kid and the mask Salesman will be undermined, on the contrary, I expect the Salesman to be a very important guide to the events in Termina and cross paths with Kafei later on, as he is the one responsible for taking the mask to avoid disaster and then having Skull Kid steal it from him.
As I said above, a game is a game, and a game’s diversity is made for interaction. In an opera, that diversity becomes harmful. It becomes dispersion. My aim is to make a big, serious and most of all effective work out of Majora’s Mask, and you can take my word on the respect I have for canon. So much that instead of modifying or harmfully cutting Link’s diverse actions to adapt the work, I would rather make it keep its sense simply by letting Termina exist nearly unchanged.
Although you could say that this fits into the newly-revealed timeline, in which there are two branches where Link does not go to Termina (I didn’t know that when I started this), I understand and humbly accept all the flaming that might erupt from the anti-official-timeline-canon-centered community. However, I am sure of my abilities to make a bittersweet cautionary tale out of Majora’s Mask for our own world to see. Zelda fans or not. And if it wishes, to compare to our own dangerously decreasing sense of trust and faith in people.
I ask of you the same sort of trust: What concerns me in this project will not disappoint.
Having said this, I am sorry for the long post, but I feel this clarification is necessary for those who weren’t already aware of it.
The opera will be divided into 3 acts, one for each day, and they will obviously not obey to the “one set per act” common rule. It’s the 21st century, we can perfectly well loosen up some things without ditching professionalism. I have taken that into account as I write.
I have recently completed Act I, and am currently at the beginning of Act II. I will post updates as this goes on.
In case you haven’t clicked the link at the top of the post, I leave you with the first demo (details in the description on YouTube). You can find instrumentals from the opera in my channel as well.
P.S: I will soon be opening a Facebook page for the project, so stay sharp.