Aventa New Music Society: When Opera Sings the Blues…
When the gods speak, their voices can resonate like thunder or they can wax lyrical, modulating feelings and ideas. Dramatic and grandiose, they give voice in accents of rock, jazz, blues and modern music.
Such is the universe in the opera On This Planet and the vision of its composer, Anders Nordentoft. Combining classical training with his practice as a rock musician, his musical universe transcends the confines of style.
Danish artist, Thomas Sandberg, reprised his lead role in the opera. An artist impossible to categorize, Sandberg is recognized in his native Denmark as a multi-artist, percussionist, clown and musician.
This was the ideal venture for the Aventa New Music Society (Victoria). By integrating a contemporary opera into its programming for the first time, it wanted to stimulate the interest of the general public in contemporary music.
Supported by the Canada Council and Pacific Opera Victoria, the production required the services of 50 local artists and technicians. It was directed by Gwen Dobie, who combined on-stage video projections and infography with sound and light. The North American premiere was lauded by critics: “for those who love opera, musical theatre, a live rock concert and anything out of the ordinary, On This Planet is a rare experience that is not to be missed.” (Sarah Petrescu, Times Colonist)
The success was reflected in increased ticket sales and foreign funding, and Aventa now plans to present a contemporary opera each year. The national repertoire will be featured, with works by Canadian composers Timothy Brady, Gilles Tremblay and Claude Vivier.