news

November 2012

Sunken Garden –3D film opera

Sunken Garden posterSunken Garden

We are pleased to announce details of Michel van der Aa’s new opera, Sunken Garden.

A truly international endeavour, Sunken Garden will be a five-way co-production between English National Opera, Toronto Luminato Festival, Opera de Lyon, Holland Festival and London’s Barbican Centre.

The opera is the first collaboration between the composer and stage and film director Van der Aa, and the celebrated English novelist David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas).

After One (2002), The Book of Disquiet (2008) and the acclaimed opera After Life (2005–2006), Sunken Garden is Van der Aa’s fourth work for music theatre. Like its predecessors it employs a distinctive combination of live action and video projections to tell its story, and for the first time includes 3D film.

Mitchell’s libretto tells an “occult mystery” story involving a software engineer, a glamorous young socialite, a neurotic film-maker and a gullible patroness of the arts. Each shares a dream of a “walled garden” between life and death in which there is no guilt or grief. Might this place be real? And what is the cost of cheating mortality?

Sunken Garden will be given its world premiere by English National Opera on 12 April 2013 at the Barbican Theatre. It will be sung by Roderick Williams (baritone), Katherine Manley (soprano), Claron McFadden (soprano), Kate Miller-Heidke (mezzo soprano) and Jonathan McGovern (baritone). The performances in the UK and the Netherlands will be conducted by André de Ridder.

After seven performances in London, the opera will tour through 2013, 2014 and 2015, with performances at the Holland Festival (3-9 June 2013), Toronto Luminato Festival (June 2014) and Opera de Lyon (February 2015).

about

Michel van der Aa (Netherlands, 1970) is a truly multidisciplinary figure in contemporary music. A unique voice, he combines composition with film and stage direction, and script writing. Classical instruments, voices, electronic sound, actors, theatre and video are all seamless extensions of his musical vocabulary.

upcoming performances

  • 07 August 2015
    Up-close (Canadian premiere)
    Orchestre symphonique des jeunes de Montréal.
    Louis Lavigeur, conductor. Brian Manker, cello
    Maison symphonique, Montréal, Canada
  • 04 September 2015
    Hysteresis (Finnish premiere)
    Lapland Chamber Orchestra, cond. John Storgards
    Kari Kriikku, clarinet
    Korundi, Rovaniemi, Finland
  • 05 September 2015
    Hysteresis
    Lapland Chamber Orchestra, cond. John Storgards
    Kari Kriikku, clarinet
    Korundi, Rovaniemi, Finland

recent tweets

  • Moving 'Up-close' machine to storage https://t.co/MOev1YqUnw 01 August 2015
  • Wie klingt die Gegenwart? Sarah Nemtsov, Johannes Maria Staud, Moritz Eggert, Isabel Mundry http://t.co/6iz0ItAJ2s http://t.co/zgx0OVz6LY 31 July 2015
  • "singers who sing straight are too far off the beaten track at the moment for any hope of a vocal ensemble winning proper backing.” haha 30 July 2015
  • "don’t deal in singers who sing with no wobble.” Say what now? I’d say tame the wobble and don’t look back. http://t.co/IjTgfiVvnL 30 July 2015

recent video

The Book of Sand - teaser

Interactive song cycle
ft. Kate Miller-Heidke | Text J.L. Borges
1:03 min. teaser

recent audio

Miles Away

Janine Jansen, violin | Christianne Stotijn, mezzo
Jendrik Springer, piano | Rick Stotijn, double bass

recent works

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colophon

Editors Jonathan Reeder, Tim Rutherford-Johnson
Web-design Studio Lonne Wennekendonk
Realisation Martijn ten Napel
Latest update 21 July 2015