Michel van der Aa

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

  • 20 January 2017
    Reversal
    Bundesjugendorchester / Alexander Shelley
    Andrey Kaydanowsky, choreographer / Bundesjugendballett
    Forum, Ludwigsburg, Germany
  • 21 January 2017
    Reversal
    Bundesjugendorchester / Alexander Shelley
    Theater, Schweinfurt, Germany
  • 01 February 2017
    Spaces of Blank (Finnish premiere)
    Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
    André de Ridder, conductor
    Nora Fischer, mezzo-soprano
    Musica Nova Festival, Helsinki, Finland

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  • Yay, the German premiere of my opera ‘Blank Out’ was just announced! 13 May at the KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen in Hannover. The amazing Katherine Manley will be live on stage, and baritone Roderick Williams and the Nederlands Kamerkoor featured on film.
More info here: http://kunstfestspiele.de/programm/veranstaltungen.html Yay, the German premiere of my opera ‘Blank Out’ was just announced! 13 May at the KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen in Hannover. The amazing Katherine Manley will be live on stage, and baritone Roderick Williams and the Nederlands Kamerkoor featured on film. More info here: http://kunstfestspiele.de/programm/veranstaltungen.html

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Violin Concerto (excerpt)

Violin concerto TNJanine Janssen, violin
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Vladimir Jurowski
2:33 min. excerpt

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colophon

Editors Jonathan Reeder, Tim Rutherford-Johnson
Web-design Studio Lonne Wennekendonk
Realisation Martijn ten Napel & Kyver
Latest update 19 January 2017