opera collaborations

An essential part of my backstage education I acquired by working early on for festivals and stages of all sorts. One of them was the opera festival in Salzburg. I did contribute to two new creations there, which was an exciting process to assist in, especially with the composers being present. This could at times be quite conflictual. It was an intense period of learning on the run, and being immersed in creative processes with musicians, singers, artists, designers, dancers.

It is incredible how many people are involved in an opera production, and while some enjoy the glamorous position in the spotlight, many stay unseen or nameless, even though their jobs are essential for a good working atmosphere: craftsmen, assistants, cleaning staff, drivers, secretaries, stage workers, costume sewists etc.

After 5 years in Salzburg and 2 years touring with an opera, I decided to move onto smaller productions where I could have a say, and where it was possible to work more flexibly.

The Rake’s Progress

music: Igor Stravinsky
music director: Kazushi Ono
direction: Robert Lepage
Symphony Orchestra & Chorus of la Monnaie de Munt
stage design: Carl Fillion
choreographer: Michael Keegan Dolan
costume designer: François Barbeau
light design: Etienne Boucher
video: Boris Friquet
with: Andrew Kennedy, Laura Claycomb, William Shimell, Dagmar Peckova, Darren Jeffery, Donal J. Byrne, Shadi Torbey,

video operator: Christina Clar

2007-8 La Monnaie Brüssel, Royal Opera House London, Teatro Real Madrid, Opéra national de Lyon

The Rake’s Progress (documentation)
The Rake’s Progress (excerpt)
The Rake’s Progress (excerpt)

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El Niño

is an opera by John Adams.

Described as a „nativity oratorio“, it retells the Christmas story, with the first half focusing on Mary’s thoughts before the birth in the stable in Bethlehem, and the second half covering the aftermath of the birth, Herod’s slaughter of the Holy Innocents, and the early life of Jesus. It premiered in Paris, and it was exciting to be part of a creation linking topics that spread over centuries.

Peter Sellars transposed this nativity to contemporary Los Angeles. I designed the exhibition space of A todra madre, where the opera, John Adam’s work and especially the Chicana lifestyle and struggle was documented. During the production I also assisted Bill Murphy, who edited the film that was projected on stage and operated the film-playback during the shows. Nathalie Latham, filmmaker and dear friend, did a documentary around El Niño called Scène d’amour for which I did the sound recording.

El Niño
music: John Adams
libretto: Peter Sellars
musical direction: Kent Nagano
direction and movie direction: Peter Sellars
Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin
Theatre of Voices, London Voices. Maîtrise de Paris
light design: James F. Ingalls
sound design: Mark Grey
with: Dawn Upshaw, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Willard White (solists)
Daniela Graça, Nora Kimball, Michael Schumacher (dancers)

video operator: Christina Clar

Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris), 2000

A toda madre
documentation space around the opera El Niño
Concept: Christian Leblé
design: Christina Clar

Espace Châtelet (Paris), 2000

El Niño Part 1
El Niño Part 2
Nathalie Latham

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Cronaca del Luogo

music: Luciano Berio
conductor: Sylvain Cambreling
direction: Claus Guth
Klangforum Wien
Arnold Schönberg Chor, Tölzer Knabenchor
Centro Tempo Reale
stage design & costumes: Christian Schmidt
light design: Heinrich Brunke
with: Hildegard Behrens, Frode Olsen, Matthias Klink, David Moss, Monica Bacelli, Urban Malmberg, Martin Blasius, Fritz Steinbacher, Martin Haltrich, Tore Denys, Carolina Astanel, Jörg Espenkott, Dirk D’Ase, Gabriele Cassone, Christian Lindberg, Michele Marasco, Ernesto Molinari, Igor Polesitsky, Georg Schulz
Ingo Diehl, Dieter Eisenmann, Stefanie Erb, Arthur Faiss, Katrin kolo, Helge Letonja, Paul Lorenger, Magdalene Padrosa, Jens Raabe, Elke Riess, Erich Rudolf, Michael Schmieder, Liane Simmel, Catharina Tiedje, Andrea Werner, Barbara Zander (dancers)
..
workshop management assistance: Christina Clar

Salzburg festival, 1999

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Saint François d’Assise

music: Olivier Messiaen
conductor: Kent Nagano
direction: Peter Sellars
Hallé Orchestra Manchester
Arnold Schönberg Choir
stage design: George Tsypin
costumes: Dunya Ramicova
light design: James F. Ingalls
with: Dawn Upshaw, Sara Rudner, José van Dam, Chris Merritt, Urban Malmberg, John Aler, Guy Renard, Tom Krause, Akos Banlaky, Dirk D’Ase

video operation: Christina Clar
Salzburg festival, 1998

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Le Grand Macabre

music: György Ligeti
Dirigent: Esa-Pekka Salonen
Regie: Peter Sellars
Philharmonia Orchestra
Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor
stage design: George Tsypin
costumes: Dunya Ramicova
light design: James F. Ingalls
with Graham Clark, Laura Claycomb, Charlotte Hellekant, Willard White, Jard van Nes, Frode Olsen, Sibylle Ehlert, Steve Cole, Richard Suart, Derek Lee Ragin, Martin Winkler, Walter Zeh, Josef Stangl

stage design assistance: Christina Clar

Salzburg festival, 1997

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