Opera Prize
Shortlist 2022

HERE AND THERE - UNTOLD
Platform member

Netherlands
O. Festival for Opera.Music.Theatre

HERE AND THERE - UNTOLD
HERE AND THERE- Untold brings together an opera and vocal projects that deal with diaspora. Untold stories of people that are trying to find connection, a search of how to connect to their homeland and who they are in the country where they live. How their diaspora influenced their musical style.

Presentation

The goal is an exchange between artists with common roots about their shared and differing perspectives, resulting in a performing arts production about the interplay of cultural and environmental change, encounters and collaborations between artists living in different cities.

Main project is UNTOLD, an opera by Alex Ho exploring British-Chinese identity through music and movement. Long before Cinderella, considered to have been first transcribed in the 17th century by Italian writer Giambattista Basile, this tale is in truthe one version of the much older story of Ye Xian from the Tang Dynasty from the early 9th century. UNTOLD retells this story by integrating contemporary classical music, movement, and Chinese and western instruments into an immersive experience that blends genres, art-forms and cultures. Alex Ho wants to fight the ‘racism’ against Asian people by showing that we are more connected than most people think.

As part of his opera, Alex Ho presents the project OUR CHINATOWNS, OUR COMMUNITIES, OUR STORIES. In response to the rise in racism against Chinese communities, the project is re-engaging cities in their Chinatowns by hosting a series of public events involving the public in Chinese cuisine and in projects where Chinese artists and community members create new artworks.

The last part is a longer term project of exchange with two different artists from two different cities and what their musical influences were, living in a different city. It’s like a first date with as final result a small music theatre production about shared roots versus different perspectives, how culture and environment affect each other, and how the past and future of Europe is shaped by migration. The production will travel to all cities. Core-elements of the performance stay the same, but in each city it will be extended by co-creational 'plug and play' elements from local communities. This will be led by Rajiv Bhangwanbali in collaboration with Alex Ho.

Artistic Team

Alex Ho / Julia cheng / Tangram / Rajiv Bhagwanbali TANGRAM Tangram is a London-based music collective transcending the China-West divide. Made up of researchers, composers and performers of Chinese and western instruments, the group launched in 2019 as recipients of the Chinese Arts Now Artist Development Bursary and winners of Nonclassical's Battle of the Bands. They have worked with the London Symphony Orchestra, Silk Road Ensemble, New Earth Theatre, and are currently Associate Ensemble at SOAS University of London. Most recently, they have been announced as recipients of Jerwood Arts' inaugural Live Work Fund and Genesis Foundation's Kickstarter Fund. Tangram's compositions and performances delve into the richness and multiplicity of transnational Chinese experience, encouraging audiences to engage in nuanced cultural exchange and deep listening across perceived borders. Through the emotional languages of music, they hope to transcend the pervasive assumption that China and the West are mutually exclusive entities, in favour of imagining more interconnected futures. https://www.tangramsound.com/

Co-producing Partners

Muziektheater Transparant

Belgium

OPERA BALLET VLAANDEREN

Belgium

DE SINGEL ANTWERP

Belgium

Komische Oper Berlin

Germany

Royal opera house Covent Garden London

United Kingdom

MUSIKTHEATERTAGE WIEN

Austria

BRITTEN PEARS ARTS

United Kingdom

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