Ballet with David Dawson
9 February 2019 | Dutch National Ballet, Waterlooplein, Amsterdam
Note : Requiem

Requiem

Gavin Bryars is working with choreographer David Dawson on a large scale ballet for the Dutch National Ballet  called Requiem, which will involve full orchestra, chorus and vocal soloists. David made his ballet Reverence when he was resident choreographer in Dresden using Gavin's Third String Quartet, subsequently rearranged for string orchestra. Gavin and David later made a new work together for the Flanders Ballet in Antwerp - Third Lght - for which the  music was a kind of violin concerto using a solo violin and string orchestra with no other violins - just violas downwards.



Chamber opera
14 April 2018 - 2 May 2018 | Volksoper Wien, Austria
Note : Marilyn Forever

Marilyn Forever

The Vienna Volksoper is to give the Austrian premiere - the European premiere - of Gavin's chamber opera Marilyn Forever on April 14 2018, with subsequent performances on April 16, 18, 19, 22, 25, 28, 29 and May 2. It will be conducted by Wolfram-Maria Martig and staged by Christoph Zauner with the Texan soprano Rebecca Nelsen as Marilyn and Morten Frank Larsen as the Rehearsal Director/Other Men.

There will be a pre-performance evening on April 13 2018 at the Kasino am Schwarzenbergplatz presented by Helene Sommer.

https://www.volksoper.at/produktion/marilyn-forever-2018.de.html

 

 



Chamber opera
8 March 2018 | Theatre du Croix Rousse, Lyon
Note : The Collected Works of Billy the Kid

The Collected Works of Billy the Kid

Michael Ondaatje's book The Collected Works of Billy the Kid comprises prose texts as well as poetry. The prose texts are fragments from people who had met Billy while the poems are from his imagination. Michael wrote all the texts, even those that seem to be true documents. For the opera there are two voices: that of Billy and that of a female narrator who, at certain times, also takes on the character of female protagonists such as Sally Chisum and Angela Dickinson.

The project is a co-commission from two theatres in Lyon, Le Theatre du Croix Rousse and the Theatre de la Renaissance. The musical ensemble is a small one with just 6 players: 4 tuned percussion, piano and violin. The ensemble is directed from within by Gérard Lecointe, founder of the Percussion Claviers de Lyon (and also director the Theatre de la Renaissance). There are two singers Claron McFadden for the female role and Bertrand Belin as Billy the Kid. The stage director is Jean Lacornerie, who is also artistic director of the Theatre du Croix Rousse.

 

There will be several performance in Lyon followed by a tour throughout France and Belgium. It is co-produced by Théâtre de la Croix-Rousse with Théâtre de la Renaissance (Ouillins), Muziektheater Transparant, Operadagen Rotterdam and Mahogany Opera Group.

 

 

 



Ballet with Carolyn Carlson
2 March 2018 | Opera National de Bordeaux, Place de la Comedie, 33000 Bordeaux France
Note : Pneuma (2014)

Pneuma (2014)

Carolyn Carlson and Gavin Bryars have worked together several times over the last fifteen years. Initially Carolyn used some of his music for her work, notably A Man in a Room, Gambling and Sub Rosa, but later they hve made new works through collaboration. They made together her solo work Writings on Water for the Venice Biennale, with a string orchestra conducted by Bryars, and this was subsequently performed in Paris, Madrid and Montpellier. Her Giotto solo, to Bryars' The Black River, was performed with the composer as organist, at a chateau in Normandy.

Pneuma, however, is the first full-length ballet that they have created together. The ideas come from Carolyn's reading of the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard's Air and Dreams, allied to other poetic and visual sources (notably the extraordinary Book of Symbols), and focuses on seven specific extracts from this work. The music takes the same seven sections for its overall structure, though in a less specific way. The orchestration has some unusual aspects. For example, violins are omitted giving a richer, darker and homogeneous string sound - something that Bryars has done many times, starting with his first opera Medea, at Lyon and Paris, in 1984. The wind section too comprises dark sonorities, with no flutes or oboes. In addition there is the addition of the remarkable improvising turntablist Philip Jeck, with whom Bryars has worked for many years - on several versions of The Sinking of the Titanic, and on The Stones of the Arch (for the Kronos Quartet and Paul Hillier's Theatre of Voices).

 

 



GB Ensemble London concerts
19 January 2018 - 2 February 2018 | Café Oto, The Print House, 18-22 Ashwin St, London E8 3DL,
Note : A Man in a Room, Gambling at Café Oto

A Man in a Room, Gambling at Café Oto

Following our successful performance at Café Oto in January this year, the Gavin Bryars Ensemble is going to give a series of three concerts on consecutive Fridays in the New Year. These concerts will feature Gavin's 1992 collaboration with his friend, the Spanish sculptor Juan Muñoz in which Juan's recorded voice describes different ways of manipulating playing cards - in effect cheating - accompanied by Gavin's music. There are ten pieces altogether and seven are performed each evening - over the three evenings all ten will be performed in the second half of the concert. Some pieces are included each evening, others appear more selectively. All the pieces, accompanied by the Balanescu Quartet, are recorded on GB Records (BCGBCD04).

The first half of each concert shows different facets of the ensemble's work, with each player being featured at some point as a soloist. The final night includes our chamber version of Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet in the first half.

Each evening ends with a signature closing work Epilogue from Wonderlawn.

Cafe Oto 2018: Series - A Man in a Room, Gambling

I (January 19 2018)

Lauda Dolçe I (solo cello - Nick, electric guitar, bass) 6'

Dancing with Pannonica (viola, cello, electric guitar, bass) 4'

Lauda Dolçe II (solo viola - Morgan, electric guitar, bass) 6'

It Never Rains (viola, cello, electric guitar, bass) 6'

Lauda Dolçe III (solo cello - Audrey, electric guitar, bass) 6'

The Flower of Friendship (viola, cello, electric guitar, bass) 12'

- interval -

A Man in a Room, Gambling (7 pieces) 35'

1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10

Epilogue from Wonderlawn 6' (solo viola - Morgan, cellos, guitar, bass)

II (January 26 2018)

Lauda con sordino (solo cello - Audrey, electric guitar, piano) 12'

Ramble on Cortona (solo piano, viola, cello, electric guitar) 12' - new version

The North Shore (solo viola - Morgan, piano, electric guitar, cello, bass (second cello) 12'

- interval -

A Man in a Room, Gambling (7 pieces) 35'

2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10

Epilogue from Wonderlawn 6' (solo viola - Nick Barr, viola, cellos, guitar, bass)

III (February 2 2018)

With Miriam by the River (solo cello - Nick, piano, electric guitar) 5'

Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet - full ensemble 25'

- interval -

A Man in a Room, Gambling (7 pieces) 35'

3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10

Epilogue from Wonderlawn 6' (solo viola - Morgan, cellos, guitar, bass)

Personnel: Morgan Goff, viola; Nick Cooper, cello (Programmes I and III); Nick Barr, viola (Programme II); James Woodrow, electric guitar; Audrey Riley, cello; Ziella Bryars, cello (Jesus' Blood); Gavin Bryars, bass and piano; (possibly Yuri Bryars, bass for Jesus' Blood)

 

 

 



mixed evening of events
5 November 2017 | Bush Hall, Uxbridge Road London W10
Note : Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet

Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet

Members of Gavin Bryars Ensemble will join with Wesley Stace and his band for a performance of Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet as part of an evening in Wesley's extraordinary series of cabarets that are held periodically in New York and London, wih a wide and diverse range of guests. For this evening Wesley will have Gavin, Rich Hall, Dave Hall, Linda Lewis, Gary Louris (The Jayhawks), Ian McEwan and others to be announced.

http://cabinetofwonders.com

Gavin wrote and recorded an arrangement of Wesley's Sussex Ghost Story (John Wesley Harding) some years ago. Wesley's mother Molly was a close friend of Gavin's when they were both at Kingsway Primary School, and part of a year at Goole Grammar School, in the early 1950s...

 

“A vaudeville night that combines music and literature, resulting in one of the finest nights of entertainment this city has to offer.”—The New Yorker



Shakespeare sonnet settings
27 October 2017 | Strings of Autumn festival, Anežský klášter, Prague
Note : Nothing like the Sun

Nothing like the Sun

Commissioned by Opera North and the Royal Shakepeare Company (RSC) in 2006, this is a rare performance of Gavin's Shakespeare sonnet settings as part of the prestigious Prague Strings of Autumn Festival. They will be performed by the Gavin Bryars Ensemble featuring soprano Sarah Dacey, tenor John Potter, and Gavin Friday as the speaker. Gavin Friday will also perform his own setting of Sonnet 40, which formed part of the original programme.

Full programme:

It Never Rains (viola, cello electric guiitar, double bass)

The North Shore (solo viola plus ensemble)

Gavin Friday: Sonnet 40 (Gavin Friday, plus ensemble)

The Flower of Friendship (viola, cello electric guiitar, double bass)

interval

Nothing like the Son (Eight sonnet settings)

Performers: Sarah Dacey, soprano; John Potter, tenor; Gavin Friday, speaker;

Morgan Goff viola; Kate Wilkinson, viola; Nick Cooper, cello; Gavin Bryars, double bass

Roger Heaton, clarinet and bass clarinet; James Woodrow, electric and acoustic guitars;

Alexandra-Maria Tchernakova, piano; Chris Bradley, percussion (including cimbalom)

 



GB Ensemble perform Shakespeare sonnet settings
25 October 2017 | Howard Assembly Room, Opera North, 46 New Briggate, Leeds
Note : Nothing like the Sun

Nothing like the Sun

Commissioned by Opera North and the Royal Shakepeare Company (RSC) in 2006, this is a rare chance to hear a performance of Gavin's Shakespeare sonnet settings in the UK. It precedes a performance in Prague two days later by the same performers where it will be performed as part of the prestigious Prague Strings of Autumn Festival. The settings will be performed by the Gavin Bryars Ensemble featuring soprano Sarah Dacey, tenor John Potter, and Gavin Friday as the speaker. Gavin Friday will also perform his own setting of Sonnet 40, which formed part of the original programme.

Full programme:

It Never Rains (viola, cello electric guiitar, double bass)

The North Shore (solo viola plus ensemble)

Gavin Friday: Sonnet 40 (Gavin Friday, plus ensemble)

The Flower of Friendship (viola, cello electric guiitar, double bass)

interval

Nothing like the Son (Eight sonnet settings)

Performers: Sarah Dacey, soprano; John Potter, tenor; Gavin Friday, speaker;

Morgan Goff viola; Kate Wilkinson, viola; Nick Cooper, cello; Gavin Bryars, double bass

Roger Heaton, clarinet and bass clarinet; James Woodrow, electric and acoustic guitars;

Alexandra-Maria Tchernakova, piano; Chris Bradley, percussion (including cimbalom)

 

 

 



Ballet by Gregor Zöllig
20 October 2017 | Staatstheater Braunschweig, Germany
Note : Peer Gynt

Peer Gynt

A revival of the very successful narrative ballet made by the Swiss choreographer Gregor Zollig for the Staatstheater Bielfeld in 2014 - Gregor hs no moved to Brausnscheig as the resdent choregrapher. The ballet tells the whole of Ibsen's story and uses a mixture of music by Grieg,  composed for the original Norwegian production of the play in 1876, and music by Gavin Bryars based on Grieg's music The result is highly ambiguous where at times one cannot be sure which is which...

The production is in the repertoire of the theatre throughout the season.

http://staatstheater-braunschweig.de

 



New ballet with Edouard Lock for Ballet Vlaanderen
7 October 2017 | Opera Gent, Schouwburgstraat 3, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Note : The Heart of August

The Heart of August

A new ballet by Edouard Lock, based on the Orfeo myth, with music by Gavin Bryars opens on October 7 2017 in Gent as part of a three part evening. It will then be performed in Antwerp a week later. A second part will be added so that the two works make a full evening performance and the two together will premiere in Antwerp, March 31, 2018.

As with other projects with Edouard, the music takes its source in earlier existing works, in this case the waltzes of Johann Strauss and Gluck's opera Orfeo e Euridice. The music is played live by a small on-stage ensemble (Edouard's normal practice) this time with 2 cellos, double bass, accordion and piano. This is performed by the Hermes Ensemble: Romek Maniewski and Jerémie Ninove, cellos; Elias Bartholomeus, double bass; Stijn Bettens, accordion; Geert Callaert, piano and music director.

Gavin Bryars and Edouard Lock, with Russian dancer Diano Vishneva, Amsterdam 2013