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

Marilyn Forever

The Vienna Volksoper is to give the Austrian premiere - in effect 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. 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)

 

 

 



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)

 

 

 



London Concert
22 September 2017 | Heath Street Baptist Church, 84 Heath Street, Hampstead, London NW3 1DN
Note : Heath Street Baptist Church

Heath Street Baptist Church

A great deal of Gavin Bryars' performance work is outside the UK. As part of an ongoing policy of trying to create performance possibilities for the GB Ensemble, in its various forms, within UK (see Café Oto, London; Junction, Goole; Goldmark Gallery, Uppingham), there will an ensemble performance at Hampstead Baptist Church in London on September 22 2017. The programme will feature each of the four regular players in solo roles, as well as a new version for ensemble of the solo piano piece Ramble on Cortona, and the chamber version of Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet.

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

Ramble on Cortona - solo piano (Gavin Bryars), viola, cello, electric guitar) - new version

The North Shore - solo viola (Morgan Goff), piano, electric guitar, cello, + second cello or bass

Flower of Friendship - viola, cello, electric guitar, double bass

- interval -

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

Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet - ensemble

Epilogue from Wonderlawn - solo viola (Morgan Goff), cellos, guitar, basses)

Performers: Morgan Goff, viola; Nick Cooper, cello; Audrey Riley, cello; Ziella Bryars, cello; James Woodrow, electric guitar, Gavin Bryars, piano, double bass; Yuri Bryars, bass.

Ticket information: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/gavinbryarsheathstreet

 



Ensemble piece for Opera North
8 July 2017 | 3 PM Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London
Note : Winestead

Winestead

A performance of just this one piece, premiered earlier in the church of St Germain, Winestead, East Yorkshire. See entry for June 22 for details.

Performers: John Potter, tenor; James Woodrow, electric guitar; Morgan Goff, viola; Nick Cooper, cello; Gavin Bryars, harmonium

 

 

 

 



Special small ensemble versions
1 July 2017 | 7:30 PM Goldmark Gallery, 14 Orange Street, Uppingham, Rutland LE15 9SQ
Note : Small Ensemble Titanic/Jesus' Blood

Small Ensemble Titanic/Jesus' Blood

For a performance at the Goldmark Gallery in Uppingham, Gavin is making special versions of The Sinking of the Titanic (lasting 30') and Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet (25'). They will be performed one after the other without a break. The Gavin Bryars Ensemble, with tenor John Potter, performed in Mike Goldmark's very beautiful and intimate gallery a few years ago and Gavin has now created chamber versions of his two earliest, and perhaps best-known, pieces specially for this occasion.

Performers:

Morgan Goff, viola; James Woodrow, elctric guitar; Nick Cooper, cello; Audrey Rily, cello; Ziella Bryas, cello; Gavin Bryars, double bass

 



Ensemble performance
30 June 2017 | Albermarle Music Centre, Hull
Note : Winestead

Winestead

A performance of just this one piece, premiered earlier in the church of St Germain, Winestead, East Yorkshire. See entry for June 22 for details.

Performers: John Potter, tenor; James Woodrow, electric guitar; Morgan Goff, viola; Nick Cooper, cello; Gavin Bryars, harmonium

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