Inspired by the work and life of South African poet Ingrid Jonker, Michel van der Aa creates his poetic chamber opera Blank Out employing contemporary multimedia technology to contemplate memory and its construction. The solo soprano on stage operates the architectural miniature, interacting with live-streaming projection and 3D film to materialize the storytelling while the recorded and live sound/image, including a baritone from the video, are perfectly interwoven, allowing the traumatic experience of a mother and her boy to slowly surface between memory and reality. The rich expressions of sound, highlighted by Nederlands Kamerkoor and the electronic soundtrack, visually and acoustically challenge the conventional operatic experience.
Michel van der Aa, Composer, Script, Concept and Director
Michel van der Aa, one of today’s most sought-after interdisciplinary composers, is a pioneer in new music and technology, known for his creative staged works incorporating film and sampled soundtrack. After the training as a recording engineer at the Royal Conservatory in Hague, he furthered his studies in film direction at the New York Film Academy. Van der Aa has won acclaim for his The Book of Disquiet and Up-Close (for piano and video) to name just a few, where he has directed both the filmed and staged elements.
Composer, Script, Concept and Director / Michel van der Aa
Dramaturge / Sophie Motley
Lighting / Floriaan Ganzevoort
Movement Advice / Thom Stuart
Soprano / Katherine Manley
Conductor (film) / Klaas Stok
Baritone (film) / Roderick Williams
Nederlands Kamerkoor (film)
Blank Out is a coproduction of Dutch National Opera with the Lucerne Festival, and Teatro dell’Opera di Roma.
2020 NTT-TIFA Michel van der Aa Blank Out
※70 minutes without intermission.
※Performed in English with Chinese and English surtitles.
※The performance requires audience to wear 3D glasses during the performance.
※Suggested for age 7+.