Avventure di anima e di corpo

Silbersee in association with the Dutch National Opera

“The staging is both gripping and witty. The ensemble of ten performers, in which the roles of singers and instrumentalists are intertwined, moves, while dressed in Fellinian costumes, through the maze of cans and deliver a phenomenal performance.” Volkskrant ★★★★

“And Silbersee does it again, now with Avventure di anima e di corpo.” ... “What makes this piece so excellent is its recognisability. The tragedy of the ordinary, the small things that live in us all. Performed razor sharply, with an incredible sense of humor.” Nieuwe Noten

“The ten Silbersee musicians that perform Avventure, instrumentalists who sing and vocalists, were equally virtuoso in realizing the instructions that Ligeti and Cendo put down in their scores. The instrumental interjections – thundering beats on a large drum, rough movements over the snares of a piano, the stroking of metal objects – contributed to the colorful and entertaining collage.” Opera Magazine

“It is admirable how Spijkers makes the emotions and actions of her characters concrete without words, by using movement and facial mimics in a refined way. Another strong point is her sensibility for Ligeti’s absurd sense of humor, that she subtly extends into the raw sound world of Cendo, where human nature is flooded by an undercurrent of primal instincts and animal fears. The musical direction is in the hands of mezzo soprano Francine Vis, who excellently interweaves her directing with her singing and movements. She guides her magnificently playing, singing and acting colleagues through the complex notes.” NRC ★★★★

About Avventure di anima e di corpo

Two radical operas, a theatre director, ten multi-performers, and a labyrinth built of waste to build a future on: with Avventure di anima e di corpo Silbersee created a true opera of tomorrow.

Avventure di anima e di corpo was created in 2018 on the invitation of Pierre Audi of the Dutch National Opera. This ‘Minotauro Opera’ was directed by Nina Spijkers (Toneelschuur Producties) with music by the quintessential innovators of opera György Ligeti and Raphaël Cendo. As in the past Silbersee performances Kopernikus (2014) and Homo Instrumentalis (Ruhrtriennale 2017), in Avventure di anima e di corpo, contemporary composers and makers respond to major works from our recent musical heritage. The piece carries the audience to the centre of the labyrinth where the mythical Minotaur, half man, half beast, awaits its next prey.

Avventure di anima e di corpo is the opera debut of theatre director Nina Spijkers (1988). She created an anarchistic folktale that defies common opera conventions. There are no traditional opera singers, but ten performers who break through the boundaries of their disciplines. They sing and vocalise, play instruments and manoeuvre their way through their labyrinth world. It is eat or be eaten; fall prey to the Minotaur or go on the attack. In a set littered with the garbage of the past, the performers seek a way forward into the future. The boundaries between human and animal blur, flesh becomes technology, and the monster inside you suddenly appears less strange than you thought.

Avventure di anima e di corpo integrates the worlds of two radical composers. In the pieces Aventures/Nouvelles Aventures (1962-1965), the Hungarian composer György Ligeti (1923-2006) – best known to a wider audience for his music in Stanley Kubrick’s films 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Shining – experimented with everything that the opera tradition had produced up to that point. Reflecting on his times, dominated as they were by rebellion and the aftermath of the Second World War, he created acrobatic music that demands the utmost of the musicians. Silbersee’s artistic director Romain Bischoff invited the French enfant terrible of the opera Raphaël Cendo to build on Ligeti’s legacy. The result was Oracles: a composition in which improvisation with the performers helped to shape the opera. In contrast to Ligeti, Cendo gives electronic music an important role in his work. The result is an unorthodox opera imbued with primal, animalistic energy.

artistic director Romain Bischoff | musical director Francine Vis | director Nina Spijkers | set design Ruben Wijnstok | lighting Julian Maiwald | costume Robby Duiveman | performers Lisa de Boos | Noé Rodrigo Gisbert | Jussi Lehtipuu | André Lourenço | Els Mondelaers | Felix Peijnenborgh | Michael Schmid | Maciej Straburzynski | Viktoriia Vitrenko

Avventure di anima e di corpo premiered at the Opera Forward Festival in Amsterdam in March 2018.

Avventure di anima e di corpo is a Silbersee production commissioned by Dutch National Opera, with funding from the Performing Arts Fund NL (FPK), the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (AFK) and Société Gavigniés.

Videos and recordings

Trailer Avventure di anima e di corpo

Compilation Avventure di anima e di corpo (10 mins)

Full video recording of the performance on request. Please send an email to Jimmy-Pierre de Graaf: jimmypierredegraaf@silbersee.com

Technical rider

Technical rider on request. Please send an email to Jimmy-Pierre de Graaf: jimmypierredegraaf@silbersee.com

Duration of performance: 65 minutes