Dutch National Opera presents
Chamber opera for soprano and 3D film
Michel van der Aa
Chamber opera for soprano, baritone, choir and 3D film
Libretto based on the work and life of the South African poet Ingrid Jonker
World premiere 20 March 2016, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Amsterdam
Co-production with Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and Lucerne Festival
Following a traumatic event, a mother and son try to piece together her fragmented memories. They both look at their lives from different positions. But who is watching whom?
Blank Out is the sixth work for music theatre by composer-director Michel van der Aa. The new work explores the human condition, in a groundbreaking combination of live action, video images and inventive music. In Blank Out, a chamber opera for soprano and 3D film, Van der Aa explores the possibilities of interaction between a female singer and film, as in earlier works by the composer. The libretto is based on the life and work of the South African poetess Ingrid Jonker.
Michel van der Aa is a multidisciplinary all-rounder. He continually combines different media and even invents new genres, such as 3D-film opera. Classical instruments, electronics, singers, actors, video, apps and web browsers – he uses them all. He uses new technology in order to broaden his vocabulary, giving it a prominent role in his productions. It allows him to create multiple worlds, identities and realities. The opera Sunken Garden (2013) showed a surreal underworld in 3D film. The Book of Sand (2015) is a digital, interactive song cycle, in which three layers of film running in parallel continually reveal new viewpoints and characters, allowing you to choose different paths through the story.
Singers and chorus
Blank Out was sung by soprano Miah Persson and baritone Roderick Williams (on film) and the Nederlands Kamerkoor (on film).
Lighting Designer: Floriaan Ganzevoort
Dramaturg and Assistant to the Director: Sophie Motley
This production was realized on behalf of Dutch National Opera. Blank Out was part of the programme of the Opera Forward Festival: a new festival that explores the future of opera through innovative new work. Take a look at the complete festival programme on operaforward.nl.
Michel van der AaComponist/Regisseur
The Dutch composer MICHEL VAN DER AA (composer, concept, director) studied at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and took lessons in composition from Diderik Wagenaar, Gilius van Bergeijk and Louis Andriessen.