The libretto for NERON KAISAR will ultimately comprise 10 scenes from Nero’s life. (For the artistic approach to the piece, click on the menu tab under CONCEPTION.) Each episode will consist of roughly 15 minutes of music. The scenes will not necessarily be arranged in chronological order, or be full treatments, but are rather vignettes, related to one another by intertextual reference, musical motif, and theme. We are currently in the midst of completing Scenes 1, 3, and 4; we will post additional libretto text as it emerges. For text, setting, and translation for the sample tracks that appear on this website, see under MUSIC.
A brief word about the title: “NERON KAISAR” is a Latin transliteration of the spelling of Nero’s name in Greek, where each letter has a numerical value. Hebrew, too, assigns numerical values to letters and the letters of ΝΕΡΩΝ ΚΑΙΣΑΡ transliterated into Hebrew tally as 666, the so-called Number of the Beast, or more precisely, “the number of his name” in the biblical Book of Revelation (13:18), which was in antiquity and still is popularly identified as Nero. The title thus evokes Nero’s Hellenism on the one hand (and several of the surviving accounts of the emperor’s life were composed in Greek), while at the same time suggesting, beneath the Hellenic veneer, his monstrous nature and the apocalyptic effects of his reign.