Tag Archives: innovation

Complete Operastorming #1 Program is Out!

Operastorming #1 in Stockholm is now completely full! We look forward to seeing you all next week! Those of you who can’t be with us can follow everything via live stream here on our webpage.

 Here you have the program in various formats:

PDF: OPERASTORMING.Program

OPERASTORMING

 

OPERA ON!

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Creative Honesty in New Opera

Annilese Miskimmon,  the new energetic  General Manager and Artistic Director of the Danish National Opera (Jyske Opera) in Aarhus will at Operastorming be exploring the  notion of Creative Honesty- between and among all the partnerships involved in new opera- audience, composer, librettist, artists, producer, funders and companies.
 Annilese will also dig  into the role of opera in ‘speaking truth to power’. nicky&annilese-serious
Annilese Miskimmon was born in Belfast. She gained a MA (Cantab) in English Literature from Christ’s College, Cambridge and graduated in Arts Management from City University at the Barbican, London. Glyndebourne Festival and Tour appointed her Consultant Associate Director from 2002 to 2005, and in 2005 she became Artistic Director of Opera
Theatre Company, the national touring opera of Ireland. In April 2012 she was appointed General Manager/Artistic Director designate of Danish National Opera.
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First Solaris, then Opera

“SOLARIS”, a work by  Icelandic composer  and conductor Daníel Bjarnason (who will share his operatic visions at Operastorming #1) and the australian artist Ben Frost (who has lived for extensive periods in Iceland) will be performed at the Adelaide Festival in Australia  tonight.

DanielBjarnason1bySagaSig

“Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Krakow writer Stanislaw Lem’s novel Solaris, Ben Frost and Daníel Bjarnason were commissioned by Unsound to write this work for strings, percussion, prepared piano, guitars and electronics – a narrative of sound that is an exploration of an interior cosmos. The performance features members of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and film manipulations by Brian Eno and Nick Robertson, drawing on moments from the Tarkovsky film adaptation, to create a visual parallel to the music composition process.” (from the Unsound webpage)

The creative partnership of Daníel and Ben has yielded some exciting results (The Icelandic Music Award for best film score among other things), but now Daníel and Ben are both preparing individual  operatic works. Daníel is working on a commission for the Icelandic Opera and international co-producers (we shall learn more on April 18th). Ben Frost will compose and direct  a new opera  set to premiere this year, an adaptation of Ian Bank’s cult novel The Wasp Factory . The work is commissioned by the Bregenz Festival’s Art of our Times programme, and  co-produced with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and others.

These guys are bound to work up a storm in the opera world!

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(Photo: Saga Sig)

 

 

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The Essence of a Living Art Form

Operasje Per Boye HansenPer Boye Hansen, artistic director of the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo, is a force to be reckoned with.  Not only  does he have great ambitions to consolidate the Norwegian Opera’s position as a bright star in the galaxy of world class opera, he is also giving Nordic opera a welcome vitamin boost by putting greater focus on new work. Starting with the 2014 premiere of a new opera based on the material of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt by Estonian composer Jüri Reinvere (who will also be with us at Operastorming #1) the Norwegian National Opera will present a new work every season. And to get the opera innovation juices flowing even further, he and Michael Boder (another Operastorming key contributor)  have a Nordic Biennale for new work in the pipeline.

When asked in an interview last year about the importance of new repertoire, this is one of the things he had to say: “It is indeed very important to develop new repertoire. This is the essence of a living art form”. At Operastorming #1 he will dig deeper into this notion and share his insights on an array of relevant topics, including the creative process and the frameworks needed to support it.

Opera on!

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Revolution in Music Through Theatre

boderIn a year 2000 interview with the Musikverein Monatszeitung, the conductor Michael Boder, a great champion of new music,  discusses the state of contemporary opera and voices concerns over the overemphasis on historical praxis and that too much obsessing with the past might divert attention from new developments.

When asked if this extreme interest in the old isn’t just a manifestation of the shortcomings of new music and the hermetic isolated position it has created for itself, Boder answers that one of the major problems, in his view, is that when the Viennese School (Wiener Schule) emerged, a gradual disconnection from the theatre took place. This was an actual problem because it was in fact “the theatre that had for hundreds of years served as the motor of many musical innovations”. Boder then prompts us to think about Gluck, Mozart and Wagner, and observe the continuous line that clearly points to the certain fact that “more than half of the true revolutions in music happened in the realm of the theatre”. Boder further points out that “the very moment when they disconnected from the theatre and withdrew themselves to small sophisticated circles, they also managed to alienate the audience to some degree. And to this day we struggle to overcome this problem”.

In the interview Boder further emphasizes the importance of new music theatre works (neuen Musiktheaterwerken) finding their way to the audience, the fact that “the big opera houses just don’t produce enough new stuff” and points out the simple statistic of repertoire development: “When 80, 90, years ago, ten premieres of new work came out in a year, one work remained (in the repertoire). But when you just produce one new work a year, it can easily happen that this one work does not survive (in the repertoire)”

For those of you who want to read this interesting interview here is the full version (in german).

We look forward to taking up these themes in a Nordic context with Michael Boder at Operastorming #1, and hear what he thinks about the developments that have taken place in the little over a decade that has passed since this interview.

Michael Boder is as of the season 2012/2013 the Principal Conductor and  Artistic advisor of the Royal Danish Theatre and Orchestra.

Michael Boders full biography at Intermusica.

(Fragments translated by A.Danielsen)

(Photo:  Intermusica/Alexander Vasiljev)

A.D.

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Figuring Out Nordic Opera

Within a time span ranging from August 2007 until June 2013 we have 773 productions, in 34 cities in the Nordic countries. Out of the 773 productions 38 are world premieres of new operas. Only 12 are produced by the major national opera companies, and then rarely on the main stage.

Of course we have to take into account that the economic crisis of 2008 put a major dent in the budgets of many of the opera houses, but still the development has not deviated dramatically from that of the previous decade.

Not surprisingly, the Nordic composer whose work is most frequently performed worldwide is Kaija Saariaho. Looking at production frequency Saariaho ranks no. 1 among female composers,  she is no. 15 on the list of living composers and comes in at place 96 on the current top 100 list of opera composers, dead or alive. (statistics source: Operabase).

A new opera by Saariaho is scheduled to premiere at ROH Covent Garden in 2020, part of something one can surely call a new opera extravaganza by today’s standards, as four new operas will premiere at Covent Garden in 2020, a culminating point of Tony Pappano and Kasper Holtens strong emphasis on the development of new work over the coming years.

Here a very interesting interview with Saariaho and images from the 2010 Vlaamse Opera production of  L´Amour de loin (Love from Afar). Again presented at the Canadian Opera in 2012.

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