Imagine getting in a car without knowing the destination. Sharing the car are singers, actors, and instrumentalists who draw you into a story. The car stops at an incredible site, where another chapter of the story commences – until another car pulls up, with different artists, depicting another chapter of the story.
And so on, and so on, in a 90-minute journey throughout the unsuspecting city.
Robot Opera (2015), is a robotic opera for eight semi-autonomous robot performers. The work has been realised by Wade Marynowsky (robotic artist) in collaboration with Julian Knowles (music/sound) and Branch Nebula (lighting, dramaturgy). Informed by the underlying fields of creative robotics, mediatised performance, music, and interactive media art, the project merges artist driven algorithmic / choreographic concepts with audience driven agency within a large scale performance interaction space 42 x 25m. The project brings together core areas of investigation within these disciplines by establishing a performative context to explore the concept of robotic performance agency.
The project fast forwards the Wagnerian concept of (Gesamtkunstwerk) ‘The Total Art Work’ (1895) into the present, through combinations of movement, sound, light and interaction. Whilst futuristic, Robot Opera draws on a multitude of historic reference points, visually the work embraces minimalist sculpture and the machine aesthetic. Julian Knowles’ musical score interrogates the notion of opera with reference to the history of science fiction film soundtrack, the sonic language of robots in popular culture and the aesthetics of digital sound. Whilst in the context of performance art we acknowledge the tradition of breaking the fourth wall: Alan Kaprow; La Fura Del Baus etc. Importantly, the work also draws on the traditions of electronic music, sound art, media art and performance art cultures experienced personally from the 1990’s.
Robot Opera seeks to rethink what opera and performance is, or can be. By placing non-anthropomorphic robots in place of human performers we question, at what stage or within which contexts can a robot be perceived to ‘perform’ convincing agency?
“I can’t even seem to remember what my project was. I don’t remember what I was trying to investigate or what my research questions were. At the moment, I totally lack interest in it. Some composers and artists never get tired of revising and documenting and promoting and re-performing old works. I just feel dirty when I think about it. After every little premiere I always try to forget what happened. The project “The Norwegian Opra” did have some kind of power when it was still alive, I guess, and the performances and the intense production periods had their own and logic, but I failed to do much reflection underway. It is not a project suited to any critical reflecting. It was all very un-intellectual. I must have been at my intellectual low point during these years. It was more some kind of sustained panic action. Maybe it was a kind of illness more than an academic art project. Now I only have a strong feeling of shame and disgust and that is probably an impossible point of departure for a reflection on the work. I even have put myself in a situation where I have to write in English2, which is a language I have no feeling for. I already sense that each sentence is too short and the rhythm becomes primitive and rigid. It is a poor man’s Hemingway. It is the language of capitalism, imperialism and pop music. I hate the sound and the looks of English. How can anyone reflect about anything in such a language – the Mördersprache of today’s world?”
An opera-requiem, IYOV is a story of the biblical character Job’s life, pride and disbelief. Named for the Hebrew word for Job, IYOV centers on the man’s search for life’s meaning through a synthesis of musical and theatrical techniques ranging from ancient Greek drama to baroque opera and more. Combining minimalism and the avant-garde, neoclassicism and rock, the music of IYOVfeatures polyphonic choral episodes and instrumental interludes that alternate with a full range of the human voice: everything from classical, jazz and folk singing to breathing, screaming, whispering and overtone singing. At the center of IYOV’s musical landscape is an exceptional piano that sonically transforms into a self-contained orchestra, echoing a harpsichord, drums, and even a synthesizer and other electronic instruments. An extraordinary Ukrainian opera, IYOV blends an emotional journey, the birth of a new sound, and the endless possibilities of the human voice.
Director Vladyslav Troitskyi
Conductor & Composer Roman Grygoriv
Composer Illia Razumeiko
Live Video Mixer Mariia Volkova
Lighting Designer Nataliya Perchyshena
Sound Engineer Caley Monahon-Ward
Actor Tetiana Troitska
Singer Mariana Holovko
Singer Ruslan Kirsh
Singer Andrii Koshman
Singer Hanna Marych
Singer Yevhen Rakhmanin
Singer Oleksandra Turyanska
Instrumentalist Zhanna Marchinska
Instrumentalist Andrii Nadolskyi
Instrumentalist Illia Razumeiko
IYOV was created in 2015 at the order of the festival of contemporary art, GogolFest. IYOV is made possible by the Trust for Mutual Understanding.
Show Run Time: 70 Minutes
Photo by Vasyl Osadchyi
Premiere: September 21, 2015, GogolFest
Modelo62 Ensemble led by the Spanish Jorge Lopez Garcia, with the support of Spanish Cultural Action AC / E, returns to Buenos Aires to stage a chamber opera The newly created Real Lemon in the prestigious Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. A work in which the relationship of the musicians with the project is not merely the execution of the score but extends to the creative field, contributing to the gestation and development of sound material. Real Lemon is a chamber opera composed by Ezequiel Menalled, which stems from an order of CETC – Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. The libretto of The Lemon Real Fernando Regueira, is based on the novel by Juan José Saer, of the same title.
The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence have co-commissioned composer Jonathan Dove to write an opera scored for professional musicians with amateur singers (children and adults) and young pre-professional instrumentalists drawn from our local communities.
The idea for the co-commission was led by Sir Simon Rattle and Simon Halsey and the project is designed to celebrate the arts organisation’s relationship with its community. The piece is designed to work within the parameters of a concert hall, however each production will be very different in each country, with each co-commissioner producing its own production in its own language and with its own unique staging and vision.
For the opera, composer Jonathan Dove and his regular librettist Alasdair Middleton sought a universal topic which can be told by a large group of children, and which would not require elaborate scenery. They decided on the ancient Greek story which tells of the rescue from the Labyrinth, by Theseus, of young Athenians sent to Crete as a sacrifice to the Minotaur.
The piece is scored for three professional soloists and a professional actor, adult community chorus, youth chorus, children’s chorus, and an orchestra of professional players playing alongside young or pre-professional players.
Composed by Jonathan Dove
Musical direction Sir Simon Rattle
Stage direction Marie-Ève Signeyrole
Stage design Fabien Teigné
London Symphony Orchestra and Mediterranean Youth Orchestra
Production / Coproduction
Commissioned by the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, the Berliner Philharmoniker and the London Symphony Orchestra
VIOLA is a short opera installation in public space. The audience is sitting inside a pharmacy and looks through the shop windows, watching the train station square. There sings in monologue Viola, a confused and sad woman, disillusioned, lost. The voice of singer Martina Koppelstetter is transmitted through a wireless microphone onto transducers: devices which convert the big glass panes of the shop windows into loudspeakers, creating a sounding membrane between the inside and the outside. She sings mostly for herself, then she refers from time to time to (real or virtual) pedestrians, later also to the audience. Finally she disappears in anonymity again. Only loneliness remains.
“We established an ‘electrozone’ where various artistic endeavors will take place — music, fine arts, events involving contemporary literature, and an educational program. This is a space that will be openly accessible to the city. You can come here in the morning and grab a cup of coffee in our foyer. But it is not merely a place to spend your free time. It is a place where we want people to put an effort into contemplating contemporary culture.” says Boris Yukhananov, artistic director of the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre in Moscow.
The video above is a collaborative work under the leadership of Sergej Newski with Boris Filanovsky, Dmitri Kourliandski, Vladimir Rannev, Alexey Sysoev und Alexei Sioumak, that comprises in total five evening filling works. Based on a text by Boris Yukhananov who also directed the productions.
With The Book of Sand composer Michel van der Aa has invented a completely new genre: the digital, interactive song cycle. Created in partnership with the Holland Festival, Sydney Festival, Google Cultural Institute, BBC The Space and other partners, and created exclusively in digital format, The Book of Sand was launched on 31st May as a website and smartphone app.
Inspired by the allusions to infinity and the use of mazes and mirrors in the fantastical stories of Jorge Luis Borges, Van der Aa puts you in a space where all places in the world exist simultaneously. A young woman (played by the Australian singer-songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke) collects up sand which is being moved between the film layers by a mysterious machine. Three parallel film layers reveal alternative points of view and introduce new elements to the story, which allows you to choose a new route through the narrative at any point.
‘What happened before we got involved in problematic things like civilization, religion and nationhood?’ Th is opera takes as its starting point Medúlla, a 2004 conceptual album by the famous singer and songwriter Björk, an album entirely devoted to every sound and noise that comes out of the human throat. It was created in response to racist and nationalist reactions to the 9/11 attacks. Th e title refers to the Latin word for marrow, and by extension to the essence of things, corresponding to the composer’s desire to explore the heart of music and through it the fundamental element that unites humanity, regardless of belief, race, nationality, or age.
Music by björk
vocal arrangements and new composition by anat spiegel
Lyrics by björk, e.e. cummings, jakobina siguaroardott ir, sjón
released 30 august 2004
premiere La Monnaie / de Munt, 4/2/2015