Michel van der Aa’s new chamber opera, Blank Out will be premiered in March at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Amsterdam. Commissioned by Dutch National Opera’s Opera Forward Festival, it is based upon the life and work of Ingrid Jonker. Sometimes described as the “South African Sylvia Plath,” Jonker was a brilliant poet who wrote against the apartheid regime, but whose traumatic and troubled life led to her suicide at 31 in the sea off Cape Town.
Building on the technological innovation of Sunken Garden , Blank Out uses the intersection of live action and 3D video to explore the nature of memory and the effects of trauma. The Swedish soprano Miah Persson appears on stage as a lone woman dealing with a disturbing event in her past. She is accompanied on film by the baritone Roderick Williams, and on the work’s electronic soundtrack by the Nederlands Kamerkoor.
Blank Out will receive its first performances on 20, 21 and 25 March 2016 as part of the Opera Forward Festival, and tickets are available via either the Muziekgebouw aant ’t IJ or the National Opera itself.
A co-commission with the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and the Lucerne Festival it will be performed in Rome this May, and in Lucerne in June 2017.