The World Premiere of "Machunas", a performance oratorio celebrating the life and work of Jurgis Mačiūnas
(George Machunas) was staged on August 20 & 21, 2005 at the Contemporary Art Center in Vilnius, Lithuania, as part of the
Christopher Summer Festival 2005. (St. Christopher is the patron Saint of Vilnius).
the founder of the
Jurgis Mačiūnas was the founder in 1962 of the avant-garde artistic movement "Fluxus", which has been of major
significance in the development of art in the latter part of 20th century. He was born in Kaunas, Lithuania, in 1931 and
died in New York, USA, in 1978. The Fluxus movement had its genesis in 1962, flowing on from the Fluxus Festival
organised by Mačiūnas in Wiesbaden, Germany. Many noted artists became associated with the Fluxus movement, including
Yoko Ono, John Lennons widow.
Lucio Pozzi, oratorio author.
Photo Barbara Breckerman
Frank J. Oteri, oratorio composer.
Photo Jeffery Herman
The libretto and music for the oratorio were a collaborative venture between the Italian-American artist Lucio Pozzi and
the American composer Frank J. Oteri, who worked over five years to complete the project three years ago. The music for
the oratorio was performed by the St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra, under the baton of the orchestras founder,
Donatas Katkus. "Fluxus" ideas were evident in many of the artistic events this summer in Lithuania. Lucio Pozzi himself
has an exhibition in the "Vartai" gallery in Vilnius. Also, the Lithuanian Art Museum in this years Venice Biennale
featured the Lithuanian New York artist, director and poet, Jonas Mekas, who was strongly influenced by "Fluxus" ideas,
with the consequence that Lithuanias pavilion at the Biennale has been mentioned as amongst the most interesting
expositions. The "Machunas" oratorio is a fitting concluding act to this years Christopher Summer Festival.
Donatas Katkus, conductor of the
Christopher Chamber Orchestra
Further information: "Lietuvos Rytas" 2/8/05, 16/8/05