n[o]ice! International music theatre project with a focus on contemporary vocal music

n[o]ice! endeavours to closely interlink the study areas of singing/opera and composition through the joint development of a music-theatrical work.

The students develop an opera, search for content, form, voice spectrum, sound and provide inspiration for contemporary vocal music.

Artists with their finger on the pulse of the times provide support with creative input and ask questions about relevance in workshops, masterclasses and excursions which, in addition to the curriculum-based seminars, reflect innovative developments and open up international perspectives.

As the first component of the "n[o]ice!" project, the work on "Pierrot Lunaire - Mondsüchtig" was a good introduction to the vocal sound world of the 20th century.

Arnold Schönberg's classic of contemporary music theatre was placed in a tense relationship with 7 compositions by students of the Incontri Institute and performed in June 2023.

For the second academic year, the author and librettist Prof Tina Hartmann from the University of Bayreuth was recruited to develop the joint subject with the students: Work as meaning, work as exploitation, work as the centre of life, work as a means of living.

Research into the content, character constellations and dramaturgical drafts lead to texts that are set to music by four composers from the Incontri Institute (mentors: Aaron Cassidy and Gordon Williamson):

Hana Lim describes work as the centre of life, which shapes leisure and consumer behaviour. Household, money, consumption and the distractions of a group of young people are counteracted by choral evocations of nocturnal urban moods.

In the supermarket, James Anderson looks at the conditions of the world of work, which are characterised by marketing strategies, low wages, efficiency and repression. How can we escape this? Is there a balance through consistent self-realisation?

Zampia Betty Mavropoulous is concerned with the question of meaning. She works out the inner lives of the three main characters, who generate art, care and growth from their own strong drive.

Tom Bañados explores work as a means of survival. His AI manages job interviews and selects candidates - until suddenly a candidate comes along who has something to offer their algorithm.

The musical development is supported by the Ensemble Quillo from the Uckermark region, experts in new music. The sound of six instruments will be explored in five workshops lasting several days, classical and innovative playing techniques will be trialled and the ensemble will be heard playing together.

Under the direction of Yoonjee Kim, the instrumental structure is created, always in correspondence with the vocal parts.

The collaboration with the singers that began with Claudia Barainsky will be continued in three masterclasses per semester.

Based on existing compositions from the "Mondsüchtig" project and other recent vocal works, the vocal students will be prepared for the extended requirements of contemporary music.

The "tryout n[o]ice!" presents the results of this process from the second year of study in a scenic concert in the Richard Jakobi Saal.

In the third year of study, the four resulting drafts are dramaturgically linked together. The final product will be premiered as a self-contained work and put into reproducibility.

Funded by the funding programme for top-level research and teaching in Lower Saxony, the Volkswagen Foundation and the Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony

tryout n[o]ice! + Ensemble Quillo

14 May 2024, 7:30 pm Richard Jakoby Saal, Neues Haus 1.

tryout n[o]ice! + Ensemble Quillo New vocal music in song and music theatre Work as meaning, as exploitation, as the centre of life, as a means of living: Singing and Incontri students, together with Ensemble Quillo, present four sketches for a new chamber opera in a staged concert, mirrored by current vocal music from a masterclass by Claudia Barainsky.

Prof. Mascha Pörzgen: Project management, scenic teaching and direction. Yoonjee Kim: musical direction. Prof Aaron Cassidy and administrative Prof Gordon Williamson, Incontri Institute: supervision of composition. Costume design: Elsa Zulauf (HS Hannover)


n[o]ice! in Vienna

17 students set out in April on Schönberg's footsteps through Vienna to explore the connections between his life and his works.

The Arnold Schönberg Center was a great help here, with its exhibition on the path of composition with 12 tones, in which the atonal phase with, among others, "Pierrot Lunaire" marks the transition from expressive to structural composition.

The intended interlocking of students from the fields of singing/opera and composition, which is to result in the joint development of a music-theatrical work after three years, enabled an intensive exchange through visits to Viennese concerts and music theaters.

Practically oriented, the students were able to observe how contemporary composing and performative design work together.

A master class with Claudia Barainsky on the rehearsal stage of the cooperation partner Neue Oper Wien (NOW) - in addition to the curricular seminars - promoted the examination of Schönberg's vocal requirements and expanded the spectrum of classical training to include vocal practices of newer music.

Beat Furrer provided insight into his own vocal compositions in his workshop and spoke with the composition students about their works.

Last modified: 2024-04-21

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