Argento Chamber Ensemble and actress Anna Clementi introduce live-camera and film production of mythic monodrama to American audiences.
Actress Anna Clementi, conductor Michel Galante, and the acclaimed Argento Chamber Ensemble perform the US premiere of Pamela Hunter’s live-camera production of Michael Jarrell’s monodrama Cassandra. This production constitutes a new mode of theatrical expression: using film and live-camera, the images in the mind of the prophetess appear in “flash back,” intercut with paintings by the Belgian symbolist, Paul Delvaux, as well as scenes of the story line enacted by the contemporary dance ensemble of Nimrod Opera Zurich. The performances will be in English using the translation by Van Heurk.
With Cassandra, for actress, electronics, and 18-piece chamber orchestra, Jarrell continues the ambitious monodramatic tradition first established in Schoenberg’s Erwartung, and continued in Feldman’s Neither, Sciarrino’s Lohengrin, and Beat Furrer’s Fama.
After this production’s Merz Musik premiere in March 2013, Dietrich Bretz of Der Neuer Merker wrote that it “ideally complemented the diverse, vehement sound visions of Jarrell’s exceptional score. ... Michael Jarrell could hardly have wished for a more ideally suited interpretation than Pamela Hunter’s visualisation.”
MICHAEL JARRELL’s Cassandra
Cassandra Anna Clementi
Ensemble Argento Chamber Ensemble
Conductor Michel Galante
Visualisation Pamela Hunter
Camera Dalibor Pyš
Video mix Michaela Pyšova
Production Nimrod Opera Zurich
Born in Geneva in 1958, Michael Jarrell studied composition at the Geneva Conservatory with Eric Gaudibert and at various workshops in the United States (Tanglewood, 1979). He completed his training with Klaus Huber at the Freiburg Staatliche Hochschule für Musik im Breisgau. Starting in 1982, his works have received numerous prizes: prix Acanthes (1983), Beethovenpreis from the city of Bonn (1986), Marescotti prize (1986), Gaudeamus (1988), Henriette Renié (1988), and Siemens-Förderungspreis (1990). Between 1986 and 1988, he was in residence at the Cité des Arts in Paris and took part in the computer music course at Ircam. He resided at the Villa Médicis in Rome during 1988/89, and then joined the Istituto Svizzero di Roma in 1989/90. From October 1991 to June 1993, he was composer in residence with the Lyon Orchestra. Beginning in 1993, he became professor of composition at the University in Vienna. In 1996, he was "composer in residence" at the Lucerne festival, and then was heralded by the Musica Nova Helsinki Festival, which dedicated the festival to him in 2000. In 2001, the Salzburg Festival commissioned a concerto for piano and orchestra entitled Abschied. The same year, he was named "Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres". In 2004, he was named professor of composition at the Geneva Conservatory. His opera Galilei, after the La Vie de Galilée by Brecht, commissioned by the Grand Théâtre in Geneva, was premiered in January 2006. Concertante style continues to inspire him: ...un temps de silence... was premiered in Geneva in March 2007 by Emmanuel Pahud with the Orchestra of the Suisse Romande conducted by Heinz Holliger. Nachlese III, a double concerto pour clarinet, cello and orchestra was premiered in Cologne (commissioned by the WDR, Fall 2007). Orchestre of the Suisse Romande gave the premiere of Le Ciel, tout à l'heure encore si limpide, soudain se trouble horriblement (Marek Janowski, conductor) in 2009.
The Argento Chamber Ensemble is a virtuoso ensemble dedicated to innovative musical performance and discovery of daring artistic paths. Championing cutting-edge contemporary composers, as well as framing classical repertoire in new contexts, Argento inspires musical inquiry through education, mentorship, technology, and dialogue. The group’s international reputation has resulted from its strong history as a chamber ensemble, the technically demanding work it performs across the world, and its commitment to intellectually rigorous interpretation. Argento has long-term artistic relationships with leading composers including Pierre Boulez, Beat Furrer, Georg Friedrich Haas, Bernhard Lang, and Fabien Lévy, and has recorded the music of Tristan Murail, Georg Friedrich Haas, Philippe Hurel, Fred Lerdahl, Katerina Rosenberg, and Alexandre Lunsqui.
For more information about Argento, visit www.argentomusic.org
The New York Times praised composer/conductor Michel Galante for giving "tour de force" performances that are "dynamic and charged". He has led the Janáček Philharmonic, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, the Collegium Musicum, the Ensemble Courage of Dresden, the Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, TACTUS, the Desoff Choir, ICE (the International Contemporary Ensemble), and the Ensemble Modern. He directs the Argento Chamber Ensemble, one of the most important cutting-edge new music ensembles in the United States. He holds a doctorate in composition from Columbia University, where he studied composition and electronic music with Tristan Murail., and his composition awards include Fulbright, Hertz, and Mellon fellowships, and prizes from ASCAP and the Composer's Guild. His recent commissions include a ballet for the Kate Weare Dance Company, and chamber works for Ensemble Court-Circuit, the New York New Music Ensemble, and violinist Viviane Hagner, who recently premiered his work at the Berlin Konzerthaus and at Wigmore Hall in London. In 2013, his European engagements included conducting at the Salzburg Bienale and the premiere of Georg Friedrich Haas’s new opera “Thomas” at the Schwetzingen Festival, Germany. He has curated the Moving Sounds Festival with a team of distinguished artists and scholars since 2009, when he co-founded it with the Austrian Cultural Forum New York.
The musician, actress and opera director Pamela Hunter has produced numerous stagings of contemporary music theatre in collaboration with Nimrod Opera Zurich besides realising her own productions. With the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Pamela Hunter narrated the early silent movies “Carmen”, “Nosferatu” and “Rosenkavalier” for Swiss Television. Her visualisations range from a Verdi Requiem in France to Morton Feldman‘s Neither in Czechia. She has earned a reputation for her performances and stagings in New York, Tel-Aviv, Rome and Naples, as well as Zagreb, Athens, Sao Paulo, London and Brussels. Her own original creations include a portrait of James Joyce (German and English) as well a ‘Performance’ composed of Otto Dix‘ pictures together Erich Kästner’s poems with which she appeared in Brussels, Dessau, Gera, Freiburg and Zurich as well as New York and impressed her audiences, also featured on the BBC TV Late Show filming in Berlin. Her BBC Film of William Waltons Entertainment „Façade“ won 1st prize for „best performance“ at the International TV Festival in Banff, Canada and an Emmy Award„for outstanding achievement in performing arts“ in New York.