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Jonathan Harvey | Wagner Dream

by [Ictus collection on Cypres]

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Interlude 05:50


Inspired by the last moments of Richard Wagner's life and his interrupted opera project Die Sieger, which in turn is inspired by the buddhist legend of Prakriti and Ananda, Wagner Dream, an opera composed by Jonathan Harvey, seems to multiply and illuminate the veils of illusion. Harvey created this revelation that has been given to Wagner "in the blink of an eye" with the help of librettist Jean-Claude Carrière, an artist sharing his passion for Buddhism. The drama, composed of nine scenes situated alternately in Venice at dying Wagner's deathbed and in India, the spot where the opera takes place in his mind, is sustained by a real time electronic contraption that is perfectly synchronised and that, placed at the intersection of the implicit and the explicit, creates a link between dream and reality. In opposition to Wagner's music's expressive violence, the British composer focuses on translating the inherent humanity of the opera's characters through a delicate style that appeals to the soul rather than to the senses and rejuvenates the operatic genre by proposing a new buddhist view of the representation of feelings and emotions on stage. Harvey's originality hereby serves a profound spirituality and - most importantly - a universal thought reconciling Wagner, Buddhism, technology, operatic tradition and the musical researches of the first half of the 20th century.


released February 20, 2012

Jonathan Harvey : Wagner Dream
Libretto : Jean-Claude Carrière
Ictus Ensemble conducted by Martyn Brabbins
Assistant conductor : Boudewijn Jansen
IRCAM computer music designer : Gilbert Nouno
IRCAM computer music designers for the interludes : Gilbert Nouno and Carl Faia Recorded in June 2007 at Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam, during the Holland Festival, directed by Pierre Audi, with set design and lighting by Jean Kalman. Recording of the performance : Franck Rossi and David Poissonnier Real-time electronic mixing : Jonathan Harvey and Gilbert Nouno Editing and mixing : Yannick Willox Mastering : Jarek Frankowski Artistic direction : Piet Van Bockstal Commission / coproduction by the Nederlandse Opera, the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg, the Holland Festival and the IRCAM-Centre Pompidou.
WAGNER DREAM was created on 28 April 2007 at the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg (as part of the Luxembourg 2007, European Capital of Culture programme) and presented by De Nederlandse Opera from 6 to 13 June 2007 during the Holland Festival in Amsterdam. A concert version was performed at the Théâtre des Amandiers, Nanterre on 23 and 24 June 2007.

Singers_Claire Booth ( Prakriti ) | Gordon Gietz ( Ananda ) Matthew Best ( Vairochana ) | Dale Duesing ( Buddha ) Rebecca de Pont Davies ( Mother ) Richard Angas ( Old Brahmin )

Actors_Johan Leysen ( Wagner ) | Catherine ten Bruggencate ( Cosima Wagner ) | Bracha van Doesburgh ( Carrie Pringle ) | Charles van Tassel ( Doctor Keppler ) | Jane Oakland ( Housemaid) | Basja Chanowsky ( Vajrayogini ) Vocal Ensemble_Elisa Roep | Trish Hayward | Pascal Pittie Rudi de Vries |Jan-Willem Baljet | Onno Pels

Michael Schmid, flutes and piccolo | Piet Van Bockstal, oboe | Dirk Descheemaeker and Benjamin Dieltjens, clarinets and bass clarinets |Bert Helsen, bassoon | Kaat Chiers, horn | Philippe Ranallo, trumpet Alain Pire, trombone | Robin Hayward, tuba | Jean-Luc Plouvier, keyboards | Gerrit Nulens and Michael Weilacher, percussion | Samia Bousbaine, harp | George van Dam, Igor Semenoff, David Nunez and Marieke Berendsen, violins | Paul Declerck and Jeroen Robbrecht, violas | Geert De Bièvre and François Deppe, cellos | Géry Cambier, double bass

The libretto is reproduced with the kind permission of Jean-Claude Carrière; the texts and essays with the permission of IRCAM-Centre Pompidou and De Nederlandse Opera. Special thanks to Pierre Audi, Tsherin Sherpa, Martin Clist and Gerrit Nulens.


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ictus ensemble Brussels, Belgium

Ictus is a Brussels-based contemporary music ensemble. The ensemble's home since 1994 has been the Rosas dance company's premises.

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