The Glacier

  • Opera 2.0


19 November 2019: 2:30pm College of Staten Island, Williamson Theatre, Staten Island/New York (USA)TICKETS

20 November 2019 6pm LeFrak Concert Hall - Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College, Queens/New York (USA)TICKETS

22 November 2019: 7pm The National Opera Center, Manhattan/New York (USA)TICKETS

Why Opera 2.0?

New territory is tantalizingly available in practically all facets of this opera. First, the musicians will have abandoned sheet music in favor of a graphic video score that permits a much more intuitive style of playing, with fluent combinations of music styles, including avant-garde, music, jazz and rock. Second, the leading role is a „virtual“singer on a video screen. Third, some musicians perform on specially constructed musical instruments, designed to play in rare tuning systems. The results are unique melodies and newly imagined harmonies. Also, the visual aspects of the opera are blurring the lines between real and surreal. The thoughts of the protagonist are changing between life and projection, a virtual singer appears, … Even from a stylistic point of view, the opera isn’t conventional: the story line is frequently cut and mixed up. Sometimes the story is told in a radio play style, other times dance, video and performative play drive the story further. And last but not least: “The Glacier” is Christian Klingenberg’s second opera – Opera 2.0.

The music

A peaceful coexistence of different microtonal scales and modes.

In the article "New Moods" (Xenharmonic Bulletin No. 5), Ivor Darreg wrote that different tunings have different emotional effects. Thinking further: Can different scales and modes be used to complement the idea of the leitmotif? In this opera, different tuning systems, represented by musicians who specialize in one system, are used partly successively, partly side by side, partly together.

The orchestra

Musicians from Germany, USA, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Slovenia, France, and Belgium. They are brought together specifically because of their viruosic expertise in performing microtonal music.

Graphic scores

Since 2014, the composer Christian Klinkenberg have been working together with the painter Marc Kirschvink on the project called “Partitur”, intended for a jazz quartet. The musical output was pre-eminently based on intuitive, temporally variable musical interpretations of different elements of a painting.

That is, the length of interpretation of individual graphical elements was variable, as was the length of the entire performance. At that time, we were working with individual paintings rather than a series of pictures. Also, the pitch was never specified.

A year later and 4 concerts richer in experience, this collaboration evolved into a part of an opera production.The aspect of improvisation had to be retained, but the temporal aspects and pitches had to be defined. Real-time video notation with individual versions perinstrument was ultimately the result of various experiments with many notation forms. The staves for the pitches ended up being positioned below the common graphic score, which is a series of paintings.