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Feb 6, 2014 7:00 PM - Feb 7, 2014 7:00 PM


Nimrod Opera Zurich presents the visualisation of Michael Jarrell's opera CASSANDRA for the first time in the US, featuring actress Anna Clementi with the Argento Chamber Ensemble.

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Thursday, February 6, 7PM
Friday, February 7, 7PM
Free admission

Actress Anna Clementi, conductor Michel Galante, and the acclaimed Argento Chamber Ensemble perform the US premiere of Pamela Hunter’s visualization of Michael Jarrell’s monodrama Cassandra. This production created by NIMROD OPERA Zurich - constitutes a new mode of theatrical expression. Combining film and live-camera, the images in the mind of the prophetess appear in “flash back.” Abstract figures from a contemporary dance ensemble relate events from the story, interweaving with pictures by Belgian symbolist painter, Paul Delvaux.

With Cassandra, for actress, electronics, and 18-piece chamber orchestra, Jarrell continues the ambitious monodrama tradition first established in Schoenberg’s Erwartung, and continued in Feldman’s Neither, Sciarrino’s Lohengrin, and Beat Furrer’s Fama.

After the Berlin premiere of Cassandra in MaerzMusik in March 2013, Dietrich Bretz of Der Neuer Merker wrote that the production “ideally complemented the diverse, vehement sound visions of Jarrell’s exceptional score.  ... Michael Jarrell could hardly have wished for a more ideally suited interpretation than Pamela Hunter’s visualisation.”

The opera is being performed in English using the translation by Van Heurck.

Please note: This performance is not suitable for children.

English Version

Cassandra                         Anna Clementi

Ensemble                           Argento Chamber Ensemble

Conductor                           Michel Galante

Visualisation                       Pamela Hunter

Camera                               Dalibor Pyš

Video mix                             Michaela Pyšova

Production                           Nimrod Opera Zurich


Born in Geneva in 1958, Michael Jarrell studied composition at the Geneva Conservatory with Eric Gaudibert and at various workshops in the United States (Tanglewood, 1979). He completed his training with Klaus Huber at the Freiburg Staatliche Hochschule für Musik im Breisgau. Starting in 1982, his works have received numerous prizes: prix Acanthes (1983), Beethovenpreis from the city of Bonn (1986), Marescotti prize (1986), Gaudeamus (1988), Henriette Renié (1988), and Siemens-Förderungspreis (1990). Between 1986 and 1988, he was in residence at the Cité des Arts in Paris and took part in the computer music course at Ircam. He resided at the Villa Médicis in Rome during 1988/89, and then joined the Istituto Svizzero di Roma in 1989/90. From October 1991 to June 1993, he was composer in residence with the Lyon Orchestra. Beginning in 1993, he became professor of composition at the University in Vienna. In 1996, he was "composer in residence" at the Lucerne festival, and then was heralded by the Musica Nova Helsinki Festival, which dedicated the festival to him in 2000. In 2001, the Salzburg Festival commissioned a concerto for piano and orchestra entitled Abschied. The same year, he was named "Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres". In 2004, he was named professor of composition at the Geneva Conservatory. His opera Galilei, after the La Vie de Galilée by Brecht, commissioned by the Grand Théâtre in Geneva, was premiered in January 2006.
Concertante style continues to inspire him: ...un temps de silence... was premiered in Geneva in March 2007 by Emmanuel Pahud with the Orchestra of the Suisse Romande conducted by Heinz Holliger. Nachlese III, a double concerto pour clarinet, cello and orchestra was premiered in Cologne (commissioned by the WDR, Fall 2007). Orchestre of the Suisse Romande gave the premiere of Le Ciel, tout à l'heure encore si limpide, soudain se trouble horriblement (Marek Janowski, conductor) in 2009.

The Swedish Italian commutes between Stockholm, Berlin and Rome. In Rome she studied flute, singing and acting before going to Berlin in 1986 where at the Hochschule der Künste the decisive encounter with Dieter Schnebel took place and her lasting association with the Ensemble “Die Maulwerker” began.
She made the vocal and theatrical repertoire of John Cage her speciality, in order to explore the possibilities of combining song, word, gestic and theatre. Consequently her repertoire ranges from contemporary, electro-acoustic, music theatre to Club Music. Anna Clementi works frequently with composers so that her personal abilities as an interpreter may be exploited. She does not call herself a singer or vocalist, preferring the title actress of the voice. She developed by walking a path, balancing between Cage und Mina, Hammond and Schoenberg, always keeping a keen eye on historic icons such as Pina Bausch and Cathy Berberian. Playing with the voice, the search for new sounds she wants to present to an audience she would like to call a mixture of „intelligent heads and undisciplined hearts “.
“Fräulein Annie”,  her latest creation, is a collection of favourite songs from Anna’s personal music box: It is entertaining, melancholy, eccentric and playful while genuine in its intention and concept, the way in which it is recorded, is in a word: Anarchy!

The Argento Chamber Ensemble
is a virtuoso ensemble dedicated to innovative musical performance and discovery of daring artistic paths. Championing cutting-edge contemporary composers, as well as framing classical repertoire in new contexts, Argento inspires musical inquiry through education, mentorship, technology, and dialogue. The group’s international reputation has resulted from its strong history as a chamber ensemble, the technically demanding work it performs across the world, and its commitment to intellectually rigorous interpretation. Argento has long-term artistic relationships with leading composers including Pierre Boulez, Beat Furrer, Georg Friedrich Haas, Bernhard Lang, and Fabien Lévy, and has recorded the music of Tristan Murail, Georg Friedrich Haas, Philippe Hurel, Fred Lerdahl, Katerina Rosenberg, and Alexandre Lunsqui.

For more information about Argento, visit www.argentomusic.org

The New York Times praised composer/conductor Michel Galante for giving "tour de force" performances that are "dynamic and charged". He has led the Janáček Philharmonic, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, the Collegium Musicum, the Ensemble Courage of Dresden, the Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, TACTUS, the Desoff Choir, ICE (the International Contemporary Ensemble), and the Ensemble Modern. He directs the Argento Chamber Ensemble, one of the most important cutting-edge new music ensembles in the United States. He holds a doctorate in composition from Columbia University, where he studied composition and electronic music with Tristan Murail., and his composition awards include Fulbright, Hertz, and Mellon fellowships, and prizes from ASCAP and the Composer's Guild. His recent commissions include a ballet for the Kate Weare Dance Company, and chamber works for Ensemble Court-Circuit, the New York New Music Ensemble, and violinist Viviane Hagner, who recently premiered his work at the Berlin Konzerthaus and at Wigmore Hall in London. In 2013, his European engagements included conducting at the Salzburg Bienale and the premiere of Georg Friedrich Haas’s new opera “Thomas” at the Schwetzingen Festival, Germany. He has curated the Moving Sounds Festival with a team of distinguished artists and scholars since 2009, when he co-founded it with the Austrian Cultural Forum New York.


The musician, actress and opera director Pamela Hunter has produced numerous stagings of contemporary music theatre in collaboration with Nimrod Opera Zurich besides realising her own productions. With the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Pamela Hunter narrated the early silent movies “Carmen”, “Nosferatu” and “Rosenkavalier” for Swiss Television. Her visualisations range from a Verdi Requiem in France to Morton Feldman‘s Neither in Czechia. She has earned a reputation for her performances and stagings in New York, Tel-Aviv, Rome and Naples, as well as Zagreb, Athens, Sao Paulo, London and Brussels. Her own original creations include a portrait of James Joyce (German and English) as well a ‘Performance’ composed of Otto Dix‘ pictures together Erich Kästner’s poems with which she appeared in Brussels, Dessau, Gera, Freiburg and Zurich as well as New York and impressed her audiences, also featured on the BBC TV Late Show filming in Berlin.   Her BBC Film of William Waltons Entertainment „Façade“ won 1st prize for „best performance“ at the International TV Festival in Banff, Canada and an Emmy Award „for outstanding achievement in performing arts“ in New York.





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From: Feb 6, 2014 7:00 PM
To: Feb 7, 2014 7:00 PM


Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event

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