Composers and their stage works 

State of Siege

(L'état de siège)

Albert Camus

Satire indicting bureaucratic totalitarianism and utilising a variety of theatrical techniques including pantomime, farce, lyrical monologue, and chorus. (1948 )

When a comet appears in the sky over the fortified city of Cádiz, Nada, the nihilistic town drunkard, warns that it is an evil omen. The stir among the people is quashed by a government edict forbidding them to acknowledge that they have seen a comet, and a chorus parrots "Nothing is happening, nothing will happen."

The Plague and his secretary appear in the form of a man and a woman, usurp the governor's post, and put into effect an insidious bureaucratic program in which all sentiment and emotion are replaced by organisation. Death becomes a matter of logic and efficiency, and certificates of existence are prerequisites for living.

Diego, a young man in love with Victoria, tries to defy the authority of the Plague. Victoria is stricken by the Plague, and Diego sacrifices his life to save her. Eventually, the Plague is expelled, personal courage having been demonstrated to be the only means of combating the devastating effects of totalitarianism.