Composing isn’t a profession: it’s a way of life! I feel the need to do it. It’s such an important part of my life that it’s as difficult for me to describe it as it is to express the world I live in.
This edition features a tripartite portrait — opera, symphony, and chamber music — of the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, one of the greatest artists of our time, who can express herself through a wide variety of media, from the kantele (a traditional Finnish instrument) to electronic music, including the most evocatory resources of spectralism. Her journey in opera over the past two decades is unique, and is closely tied to her encounters with two extraordinary librettists: Amin Maalouf for Kaija Saariaho’s early operas, and Sofi Oksanen today. With her fifth opera, Innocence, the composer considerably broadens her expressive palette, giving each character a powerful vocal identity, bestowing upon their collective trauma an expressiveness that lies somewhere between the shadow of guilt and the light of resilience, and raising simple anecdote to the level of universal tragedy. Next, in one of its two concerts, the London Symphony Orchestra presents Cinq reflets de L’Amour de loin: a series of pieces from her first opera masterpiece, a Tristanian variation on the themes of desire, the sea, and death. Stéphane Degout plays the troubadour Jaufré Rudel, while Beate Mordal embodies the elusive countess from Tripoli. Lastly, a concert dedicated to the most representative and yet highly diverse pieces of chamber music demonstrates the depth of her creative inspiration and her attention to the movements of the soul, the pulse of the body, and the transformations of nature.
INNOCENCE by Kaija Saariaho — World premiere
Conductor: Susanna Mälkki — Stage director: Simon Stone
3, 6, 10, 12 July, 8pm — Grand Théâtre de Provence
KAIJA SAARIAHO — QUATUOR META4
Thursday 1st July, 9:30pm — Hôtel Maynier d'Oppède
LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA — Conductors: Susanna Mälkki et Clément Mao-Takacs
Wednesday 14 July, 8pm — Grand Théâtre de Provence
— LEARN MORE ABOUT KAIJA SAARIAHO
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