Ictus, Collegium Vocale Gent & Suzanne Vega [BE, BE, US]
Einstein on the Beach [Musicians at Work]
The legendary opera Einstein on the Beach by Phillip Glass, Robert Wilson and Lucinda Childs premièred at the Festival of Avignon in 1976. It was certainly not a conventional opera. It lasted for more than five hours and the audience could freely come in and out. It wasn’t about telling a continuous story but about experiencing time itself. For this new concertante version, the Ictus ensemble is joining forces with the Collegium Vocale Ghent and with neo-folk legend Suzanne Vega. There is no spectacular staging in the style of Robert Wilson this time; the musical composition and the musicality of the libretto are the central focus in a minimalist and hypnotizing soundscape that lasts 200 minutes. The visual and spatial interventions by Dutch visual artist Germaine Kruip will ensure a continuum between the stage and the audience.
• Collegium Vocale Gent is an ensemble led by conductor Phillippe Herreweghe that has been taking the world by storm since the 1970s. Germaine Kruip is a scenographer and visual artist, and has been featured at Kaaitheater twice before: during Performatik15 and during the Kunstenfestivaldesarts 2016. The Brussels music ensemble Ictus is a fixture of the Kaaitheater programme. This season, they are also presenting creations with Mette Edvardsen and Matteo Fargion, Eleanor Bauer, and Noé Soulier.
music Philip Glass | texts Christopher Knowles, Samuel M. Johnson, Lucinda Childs | narrator Suzanne Vega | musical director Georges-Elie Octors | assisted by Tom De Cock | scenography Germaine Kruip | dramaturgy Maarten Beirens | Collegium Vocale Gent Joowon Chung, Magdalena Podkościelna, Charlotte Schoeters (sopranos); Sofia Gvirts, Karolina Hartman, Cécile Pilorger (altos); Malcolm Bennett, Peter di Toro, Hitoshi Tamada (tenors); Charles Dekeyser, Julian Millán, Bart Vandewege (basses) | Ictus Igor Semenoff (violin); Michael Schmid, Chryssi Dimitriou (flutes); Jean-Luc Fafchamps, Jean-Luc Plouvier (keyboards); Dirk Descheemaeker (bass clarinet, soprano sax); Asagi Ito (alto and soprano saxophones); Alexandre Fostier (sound) Wilfried Van Dyck (production)