“The music of Rudolf Komorous is a revelation. Emanating from a distinctive aesthetic of the “strange and wonderful” developed by a group of daring Czech artists working in the Communist era, and later influenced by a connection to Chinese poetry and Japanese Noh Theatre, his work begins with true minimalism and moves to incorporate melody and harmony in new ways. It is truly inspiring to see such an original and influential composer still active in his 86th year. The Mute Canary is humorous, shocking and relevant at the same time. We are proud to also bring ‘riches’ from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s to add to what is a very noteworthy premiere.” – Owen Underhill, Conductor and Artistic Director
Turning Point Ensemble, the innovative chamber ensemble renowned for its quality of musical performance, innovative programming and multidisciplinary collaboration, is excited to be kicking off its season with the world premiere production of The Mute Canary, a new opera by 86-year-old Rudolf Komorous, one of the most fascinating contemporary composers of his generation.
Owen Underhill conducts the one act opera featuring the stunning voices of Daniel Cabena, Alexander Dobson and Anne Grimm and expands the concert to include a retrospective of definitive Komorous compositions.
Based on a 1919 dada play by Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes, The Mute Canary spotlights three isolated characters with multi-personalities – a despotic baritone, Riquet, (Alexander Dobson) who can only be described as Trumpian in his manic delusions, a soprano Barate, (Anne Grimm) who represents the power of love, and a countertenor Ochre, (Daniel Cabena), the keeper of the mute canary who is a magical creature convinced he is the composer Charles Gounod.
In addition to the one-act opera, the concert will feature three additional works by Komorous, his radical minimal composition Olympia (1964) as performed by Christopher Butterfield and Owen Underhill (both former students of Komorous), 23 Poems about Horses for narrator and ensemble based on the T’ang Dynasty poems of Li Po, and Fumon Manga (1987) for
The Mute Canary is an international co-production with NODO, a new opera festival in Ostrava, Czech Republic and its Canadian premiere is co-presented with SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs. Turning Point Ensemble, always creating innovative, bold, and distinctive musical adventures.
The Mute Canary plays from September 14-16, 2018 at the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 W. Hastings St., Vancouver