Louis Andriessen's "Anaïs Nin" to Receive UK Premiere in London Sinfonietta Concert Also Featuring His Classic "De Staat"
Louis Andriessen's monodrama Anaïs Nin will receive its UK premiere at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London on April 14 in a staging by the London Sinfonietta, with Cristina Zavalloni in the title role. The London Sinfonietta co-commissioned the work, which explores Nin's erotic memories of 1930s Paris, and will perform it in an all-Andriessen program alongside his minimalist classic from the 1970s, De Staat, conducted by the ensemble's co-founder David Atherton and featuring Synergy Vocals. The composer will be in attendance for the performance.
Andriessen composed Anaïs Nin in 2009-10, and it was premiered at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena in July 2010. Performances by co-commissioners Nieuw Amsterdams Peil have followed on tour in the Netherlands and Germany. The 30-minute work, summed up in an NRC Handelsblad review as "a short but masterful monodrama," combines song, speech and film, with an ensemble of eight instrumentalists.
Andriessen describes how he "had the framework of a half-hour theatre piece, so needed to home in on suitable texts. In the ’90s the unabridged version of Anaïs Nin’s journal Incest was published, covering the period 1931-33 when she lived in Paris with her mother. The sexual relationship with her father, who showed up after an absence of about 20 years, was clearly to be central to my piece, and this particular part of her journal has lots of beautiful and poetic writing about this. It also provided the necessary context with material about her other lovers at that time, the actor Antonin Artaud, the psychiatrist René Allendy and the writer Henry Miller."
You can read more of what Andriessen has to say about Anaïs Nin in the full interview at boosey.com, where you can also watch a trailer for the piece. Listen to the London Sinfonietta's podcast interview with Andriessen at londonsinfonietta.org. For tickets to the performance, visit southbankcentre.co.uk.
Andriessen's new monodrama is the latest in a series of theatrical projects, following his full-evening Dante-inspired opera La Commedia, which won the prestigious 2011 Grawemeyer Award. Throughout his composing career, Andriessen has been engaged in the interaction of music and theatre, and has evolved new approaches to the incorporation of film, working extensively with Peter Greenaway (ROSA The Death of a Composer; M is for Man, Music, Mozart; Writing to Vermeer) and Hal Hartley (La Commedia). The film elements in Anaïs Nin are Andriessen's own work.
A further music and film collaboration receives its UK premiere by Bang on a Can at LSO St Luke's in London on 7 May. Life, composed in 2009, combines Andriessen's music with film sequences by Marijke van Warmerdam, and is presented as part of the Barbican's weekend Reverberations: The Influence of Steve Reich.
To peruse Andriessen's Nonesuch catalog, which includes De Staat, visit the Nonesuch Store.
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