— At the Festival

Published on July 5 2019

BLANK OUT & EIGHT: AT AIX, VIRTUAL REALITY COMES TO OPERA

This summer, the Festival has invited Michel van der Aa, a Dutch composer–turned–mixed-media master and virtuoso, who will be presenting BLANK OUT, his first 3D opera, and EIGHT, a virtual reality installation, at Aix.

BLANK OUT: AN OPERA IN 3D
Michel van der Aa, one of the most innovative composers today, has had an unusual career: he was a sound engineer, with a degree from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, and a composer before completing a program at the New York Film Academy and taking part in the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. With Blank Out, to be performed for the first time in France, Michel van der Aa redefines the notion of total art in the twenty-first century and develops new perspectives of perception. His artistic language is inspired by and borrows its narrative tools from the cinema of David Lynch, Andrei Tarkovsky, Bill Viola and the Danish Dogme95 movement; from pop and jazz music and Radiohead’s alternative rock; and from the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and György Ligeti, and the electroacoustic music of Karlheinz Stockhausen. With the use of 3D, Michel van der Aa extends the illusion, blurs the perception of reality, and questions the distinction between being and seeming. With lyrics based on the South African poet Ingrid Jonker’s poetry and life, Michel van der Aa’s music is effective and powerful, and is full of long vocal lines, sound effects and electropop music. This small opera for one singer and a chorus, with electronic music and video, offers a musical VR experience that is both immersive and poetic.

BOOK YOUR TICKETS FOR BLANK OUT

EIGHT: A VIRTUAL REALITY PERFORMATIVE EXPERIENCE
PRESENTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CHÂTEAU LA COSTE
Eight is a unique and hitherto-unseen 15-minute project that fuses musical theater, virtual reality and visual art. In this mixed-reality context, the singer-composer Kate Miller-Heidke performs a series of songs in reverse chronological order, in an imaginary world and space.

The installation was designed by Theun Mosk.

— Everyday from 10am to 6pm at the Château La Coste on booking only + 33 (0)4 42 61 92 92
BOOK YOUR TICKETS FOR EIGHT

— Michel van der Aa will also be participating in a panel discussion on “Opera, Technology and Neuroscience” at noon on July 13 at the Hôtel Maynier d’Oppède. Free. No reservations required.

INCISES
— WITH THE SUPPORT OF SACEM
Thanks to INCISES, today’s music is at the heart of the Festival d’Aix. Like an echo chamber for today’s music, INCISES is dedicated to contemporary creation and music and to the proliferation of today’s creations. Along with Michel van der Aa, who will be presenting his first 3D opera and a virtual reality installation at Aix, the German composer Wolfgang Rihm will be taking center stage with a production of his celebrated opera Jakob Lenz, and with a series of concerts: on July 13, the Orchestre de Paris will be performing Über die Linie VIII; and on July 9, the Van Kujik Quartet will perform Quarttetstudie für Streichquartett.

BOOK YOUR TICKETS FOR THE CONCERT OF THE ORCHESTRE DE PARIS

BOOK YOUR TICKETS FOR THE CONCERT OF THE QUATUOR VAN KUIJK

BOOK YOUR TICKETS FOR JAKOB LENZ