News

Yannis Kyriakides: World Premiere ‘One Hundred Years’ at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam

On 19th September the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Silbersee conducted by Karina Canellakis will perform hthe world premiere of Yannis Kyriakides – One Hundred Years, at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. The work is commissioned by ZaterdagMatinee and Gaudeamus to celebrate its 75th anniversary, with support of the Performing Arts Fund NL, and dedicated to Henk Heuvelmans…   

One Hundred Years is built on the encoding of the days of all solar eclipses, which took (and will take) place from 1945 to 2045. Composed during this extraordinary year we are experiencing, 2020, the piece scans the past 75 years, from the beginning of the so-called ‘atomic age’, and looks forward 25 years to 2045, the date given by Ray Kurzweil, when technological ‘singularity’ will supposedly occur – the moment when artifical intelligence will surpass human intelligence. Historian Paul Rogers writes of this passage of time in his essay: A Century On The Edge: From Cold War To Hot World: 1945-2045 – marks a period when the human community faces the choice of taking decisions that lead to immense self-destruction or of acquiring the wisdom to handle its own destructive capabilities.

The piece is not meant as a narrative comment on specific dates or years that are named, rather a contemplation on the passing of time. How we look to the past and how we look to the future. As we hear dates and years gone by, we might associate them with historical or personal memories, and perhaps feel melancholic about a lost age, or identify with a particular decade. Hearing dates in the future, might give rise to uncertainty and fear, but might also evoke feelings of excitement and hope.

More info about the concerts

Website NPO 4

Score at the Donemus Catalogue

Brendan Faegre: World Premiere ‘Gods of Bird’ by Slagwerk Den Haag

With Joep van Lieshout’s artwork Early Bird as a starting point, Slagwerk Den Haag and the Dutch-American composer Brendan Faegre will create a ‘minimal’ and vibrating performance, which will have its world premiere on September 4th. This concert takes place in AVL Mundo and is part of the sculpture route Let’s Get Physical by Atelier van Lieshout…   

Composer Brendan Faegre discovered that the metal parts in the sculpture Early Bird by Joep van Lieshout produce unique sounds.

Brendan Faegre:

While walking through Joep van Lieshout’s atelier, looking for musical possibilities in his sculptures, I stumbled upon his Early Bird from 2015. A few taps on the surface and I was enchanted. Each of its 100 flat metal surfaces rings out a clear, unique pitch. It’s like a beautiful, bizarrely-tuned, three-dimensional, 4-meter tall vibraphone.
The percussionists play the role of three gods, descending from the heavens to help guide the four terribly lost Early Birds. Each bird believes itself to be a solitary genius, forging ahead in its own direction while climbing the rusty corporate ladder of late-stage capitalism. The birds are unaware of the fact that we are all welded together.
As the piece unfolds, the gods grow weary, finding the Early Birds completely unreceptive to their advice. The gods eventually resign and then die, as the humans kill their own gods by killing themselves (the death of the dreamer kills the dreamed).

Brendan Faegre has been praised by the New York Times as ‘especially empowering’ and ‘darkly exhilarating’. Composer and drummer Brendan Faegre creates music that brings together the various traditions that formed him. From his ‘education’ as a rock drummer comes a fascination for the beauty of distortion, imperfection, and improvisation. His months in India as a tabla student led to music that combines a strict intellectual approach with physical expressiveness. And his study of spectromorphology grew into an obsession with the human experience of sound.

Early Bird at the Donemus Catalogue

More info about the concert

Jan-Peter de Graaff: World premiere ‘Les cymbales sonores’

Composer Jan-Peter de Graaff wrote a large work, Event-Horizon, for the opening of the 20/21 season. This work has been postponed to next season due to the Covid-Pandemic, as it is impossible to host 160 musicians on a stage at the moment. However, the AVROTROS & Stichting Omroep Muziek decided to commission him for a brand-new work for the opening of their 20/21 season…   

In the past few weeks, Jan-Peter de Graaff has been working on “Les cymbales sonores”, for chamber orchestra and chamber choir which will be premiered in September as part of the 75th anniversaries of the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest & Groot Omroepkoor conducted by Karina Canellakis.

Ticket sales will start on August 24th, with performances planned in Utrecht (September 11th) and Amsterdam (September 13th).

More info

Willem Jeths – Ritratto on stage by the Dutch National Opera

Willem Jeths’ new opera about the extravagant Italian art muse and patron Luisa Casati had its offline world premiere. The video registration of this new opera was an online great success during the lockdown. Now the opera is finally being performed for a live audience. The production is directed by Marcel Sijm, with costumes by famed designer Jan Taminiau…   

Luisa Casati

The excessively wealthy Italian Marquesa Casati strove to be seen throughout her life. She was famous for the exuberant parties she organized. She was portrayed and photographed by the great artists of her age. With her black-rimmed eyes, her flaming red hair and eccentric behaviour she tried to gain a place in the art world. Against the background of the outbreak of the First World War, librettist Frank Siera questions the relevance of art. At one of Casati’s parties, Siera brings together all sorts of artists from the time of Casati. Casati does not engage with worldly problems and focuses blindly on her passion and her artistic ideals.

Willem Jeths

In composing operas such as Ritratto, Willem Jeths – who was the Netherlands’ first national composer between 2014 and 2016 – manipulates orchestral colours and deliberately selects timbres to match his protagonists. ‘Im convinced that music can be stronger and more expressive if people can relate to it.

Team and Cast

Design and libretto
Marcel Sijm’s productions combine an element of surprise with plenty of humour and an emphasis on splashy design. His collaboration with set designer Marc Warning in Legende was a fine example of this. For Ritratto, Marc Warning once again designed the set. In this opera, we can look forward to costumes designed by Jan Taminiau, whose creations include the famous blue cloak that Queen Máxima wore at King Willem-Alexander’s coronation. The brand new libretto is by the young writer and director Frank Siera, who graduated from the Toneelacademie in 2012. In addition to writing for Dutch National Opera, he also wrote for Veenfabriek, KASSETT, Operafront and De Queeste. Choreographer Zino Ainsley Schat translates the theme of ‘being seen’ into voguing, a dance style in which posing and direct focus on appearance is the basis.

Dutch National Opera Studio
Dutch National Opera Studio was launched on 1 September 2018 as an intensive training programme for six talented young vocalists and one répétiteur. Under the inspiring direction of soprano Rosemary Joshua, it strives to create a bridge between conservatories and professional practice, providing a showcase for young talent at a myriad of events and venues from lunchtime concerts to the main stage.

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Tickets for the performances in October

Score in the Donemus Catalogue