What would it be like if some unimaginable force were able to give material form to all our repressed emotions and thoughts? To resurrect, from our memories, people who once were close to us – as beings that confront us with our past and yet remain permanently out of reach and beyond our comprehension? What would happen to us as a result? That is exactly what Solaris is about, the famous novel by Polish science fiction author Stanisław Lem published in 1961, and which the German composer Detlev Glanert has now turned into an opera.
It is the story of the psychologist Kelvin, who is dispatched to a space station which is orbiting the distant planet Solaris and on which strange things have been happening. On arrival Kelvin is warned about strange apparitions of the kind that regularly afflict the crew members. And not long afterwards Kelvin's personal phantasm appears in the form of his former wife Harey, who committed suicide at the age of 19.