Michel van der Aa

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April 2013

World premiere Sunken Garden

Sunken Garden - bloodpondSunken Garden

Michel van der Aa’s latest opera, Sunken Garden, made a splash on its premiere run at London’s Barbican Theatre. As the first opera to use 3D video it was sure to receive a lot of advance publicity. But the performances themselves attracted international media attention, and polarised opinion.

Although some in the British press were critical of the work, writers for other outlets responded favourably. Anne Ozorio of Opera Today described it as ‘A Gesamtkunstwerk for the age of technology’, and Steve Smith of the New York Times called it ‘A provocative combination of live performance and cinema … Unquestionably a bold, rewarding venture’. Writing on his Slipped Disc blog, Norman Lebrecht described it as ‘the first genuine 21st-century opera … not so much an opera as a projection of what opera ought to be’.

From US, German, Dutch and English blogs, to their newspaper counterparts it was certainly the most discussed premiere that ENO have staged for a long time. The seven performances at the Barbican were nearly full, and attracted a young audience, including many who were seeing an opera for the first time.

Sunken Garden now moves to a sold-out run at the Holland Festival this June, and Opera de Lyon in Spring 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

  • 30 January 2020
    Rekindle
    Izabella Pop, flute
    Robert Schumann University, Düsseldorf , Germany
  • 07 February 2020
    Mask
    Manson Ensemble conducted by Ryan Wigglesworth
    Duke’s Hall, Royal Academy of Music, London, United Kingdom
  • 15 February 2020
    Transit
    Siwan Rhys, piano
    Bangor Music Festival
    13:00 hrs, Pontio , Bangor, U.K.

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  • Interview with @thequietus about my new Interview with @thequietus about my new "indie-pop" album "Time Falling", and video premiere of the first single "The Aleph" (link in bio) "Time Falling" features the brilliant @katemillerheidke and will be released on 28 February on all digital platforms, CD and LP. The album is produced in collaboration with @thysmusic (Noisia), mixed by Thijs and Bart Wagemakers. Can't wait to hear what you folks make of it... 😅 (photo by @sarahwijzenbeek)

recent video

Eight - teaser

eightvirtual reality installation ft. Kate Miller-Heidke
1:22 min.

recent audio

colophon

Editors Jonathan Reeder, Tim Rutherford-Johnson
Web-design Studio Lonne Wennekendonk
Realisation Martijn ten Napel & Kyver
Latest update 17 January 2020