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

  • 27 September 2017
    Blank Out
    Miah Persson, soprano
    Park Avenue Armory
    Wade Thompson Drill Hall, New York, U.S.A.
  • 28 September 2017
    Auburn (Montenegro premiere)
    Mislav Režić, guitar
    Niksic Guitar Festival
    8pm, Kings Nicola Castle, Montenegro
  • 07 October 2017
    Hysteresis (Swedish premiere)
    Svenska Kammarorkestern, cond. Tung-Chie Chuang
    Kari Kriikku, clarinet
    3pm, Konserthus, Örebro, Sweden

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instagram

  • kind words about the US premiere of ‘Blank Out’ in the New York Times 😃
(link in bio)
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@parkavearmory #blankout #contemporarymusic #opera #newyorkcity kind words about the US premiere of ‘Blank Out’ in the New York Times 😃 (link in bio) - - @parkavearmory #blankout #contemporarymusic #opera #newyorkcity

Twitter

  • the thing with playing guitar through an epic looping delay is that the fuckups also haunt you for ever 05 July 2017
  • and here am I covering Klaus Maria Brandauer in paper boats https://t.co/WarKXl6POv 04 July 2017
  • preparing "The Book of Disquiet" for Lucerne Festival. Came across these 'making of’ photos.… https://t.co/f16zqUmda9 04 July 2017

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Latest update 25 September 2017