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Die schöne Galathée

Die Schone Galathee is a two part german operetta premiered in 1865 and written by Franz von Suppé and based on the greek tragedy of Pygmalion and Galetea. It follows a more farce like format than previous adaptations of the myth but remains very close in narrative to the original version.

Pygmalion is a sculptor who becomes infatuated with his statue of Galathée and decides he does not want to sell it to Mydas, an art collector. He then prays to Venus, the goddess of the love, in the hope that she would bring the statue to life. The wish is granted but Galathée turns out to be free willed. She has an affair with Pygmalion’s servant Ganymed and accepts Mydas’s gifts of jewellery. Unhappy with Galathee’s independence and promiscuity he begs venus to turn her back into stone which she agrees to. The jewelry offered by Mydas is also turned into stone and the whole statue is then sold to him.

I want to set in the late 1980s and instead of Pygmalion being a sculptor he is a computer program who has designed an artificial intelligence vocal interface called GALATHEE on commission from Mydas. Venus is not a god rather an elusive and mysterious pioneering roboticist who has the ability to take Pygmalion’s AI into a robotic form. The operetta is very light in tone with a tongue in cheek look at the nature of male perception, control and hyper sexualisation on women. I wanted to draw inspiration from the illustration of Patrick Nagel and Ichiro Tsuruta

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