The chamber opera One represents a new kind of music multimedia drama. Michel van der Aa’s poetic production of technological virtuosity fuses libretto, video, live music and soundtrack with the soprano voice and stage presence of Barbara Hannigan into ‘One’. Projected images and electronic sounds add emphasis to the onstage performance of the protagonist, while the recorded and live voice interact with incredible synchronicity.
One, composed in 2002, was premiered on 12 January 2003 by Barbara Hannigan in the Amsterdam Frascati Theatre. As a result of its successful first tour in the Netherlands, the production has been in great demand abroad and has been performed to critical and audience acclaim in eleven countries, at festivals including the Berliner Festspiele, Paris Festival de L’automne, Oslo Ultima Festival, Warsaw Autumn, and the Venice Biennale.
In 2004 Van der Aa received the Netherlands’ Matthijs Vermeulen Prize for this work.
Five elderly women relate their elemental and existential stories; in each of them the main protagonist of the opera plays an important role. Gradually the nature of the relationship between her and the older women becomes apparent, while a moving portrait rises of a woman who has completely lost her own identity.
Cast on stage
Barbara Hannigan, Sheila Wiersum, H.L.van Eesteren, Mary Rose Arntzenius, Margaret van Berckel, Frankie van Weli
libretto, stage and video direction – Michel van der Aa
light design – Erik van Raalte
set design – Jelle Baas
camera – Sita Kaulesar Sukul
assistent camera – Gert-Jan Odijk
film production – Dyveke Rood
stage production – Frank van der Weij
sound – Marc Schots, Guido Tichelmans, Clare Gallagher