SEASON 2018 2019






"Three tales" | An opera by Gérard Pesson & David Lescot | Georges-Elie Octors, conductor
after Edgar Allan Poe, Hans Christian Andersen, Lorenza Foschini

Three fairy-tales, three short one-act operas, in which a series of motifs run playfully amok, like ferrets —
the motif of the stranger and of what is strange, of hypersensibility to signs, of the detail that changes everything.
From Andersen’s Princess and the Pea to Edgar Allen Poe’s The Devil in the Belfry
– one of the most beautiful apologies of disorder in romantic literature – to a fictional quest for Proust’s overcoat
after Lorenza Foschini, this opera resembles a book of sound, that you can leaf through,
and that resonates with colourful images and musical surprises.
Music lovers receive a hit of chemically pure Pessonian crystals, that open the door to a marvelous and devious mental space,
which is both lovely like a bedtime story but wrinkled like the sheets of a bed after love. Staging and libretto by David Lescot.
A production of the Lille Opera.


Concert version (“Musicians At Work"). Voices: Collegium Vocale Gent | Stage design: Germaine Kruip
An open space and an Einsteinian time dilation for this very unusual concert:
200 minutes of rhythmic high-speed micro-surgery, contrasting dramatically with the text that is whispered into the mic.
We will perform this sensational score, which dates from 1976, – from Philip Glass’s vicious experimental period,
both very radical and very poppy –
with Collegium Vocale Gent (choruses) and Suzanne Vega, who is even more charming thirty years after Tom’s Diner, as the narrator,
and who takes on all the roles in this opera.
Belgian and European tour. Stage design by Germaine Kruip.


Julie Pfleiderer & Oxana Omelchuk, with Caroline Daisch
One of the great dystopias of the twentieth century: everything is going very well, the specialists are on it,
explanations are followed by more explanations. However one woman continues to be obstinately and inexplicably allergic to everything.
Ladies and gentlemen, are you ready for a musical immersion in the source of the hyperexcitability of a silent and rebellious body?
Safe starts out like a live concert, but gradually transforms into a sound journey into the innermost being,
using headphones and the binaural stereo technique.
Kaaitheater & Ars Musica.


Noé Soulier, Tom De Cock, Gerrit Nulens
Soulier quotes Marcel Proust :
“The most simple act or gesture remains enclosed as though in a thousand of jars, of which each would be filled with things,
of different colours, odour and temperature.” The movements that Noé Soulier choreographs here
– “a furtive glance, a sudden change of direction, the effort that is made to redirect a movement or retain one’s balance” –
have been calibrated to resonate with the spectator’s buried experiences, activating his or her diffuse corporeal memory.
Or a grammar made up of simple and impulsive gestures that are catapulted into space, and cut short before their purpose,
that are both evocative and unaccomplished – to hit out at, to dodge, to throw oneself on something –,
as articulated by the dancers in airy and very rhythmic phrases.
This performance was developed in a long working process with our percussionists Gerrit Nulens and Tom De Cock.
European tour.


Frédéric Verrières, Eva Reiter, Marin Marais & David Helbich
Tom Pauwels, Eva Reiter, the dancer Régis Badel (who recently performed in productions by Boris Charmatz and Maud Le Pladec),
and Frédéric Verrières, the great chamberlain of stylistic distortion, have conceived a crazy Royal Banquet
for children and inspired by the music of Marin Marais. We are forbidden to share any spoilers about this participatory spectacular,
on pain of being locked up in the Bastille, but we can tell you that an incredible reversal occurs during the ballet.
Dance, instead of conforming to the music, is transformed, as if by magic, into the kind of dance that produces the music.
Belgium and France. Co-production Ictus / Zonzo Compagnie


Eva Reiter, Theresa Dlouhy, Michael Schmid, Tom Pauwels.
A concert programme of short songs, from the past and present, as they used to say in times that have become such a distant memory,
that we often wonder whether they really existed or whether they were just a dream
(but who can prove that we are really awake? ). A concert that verges on simplicity, calm and sadness,
were it not that you can feel that the musicians are consumed by a passion for all things ornamental, the twilight zone and the bizarre.
Premiere in Liepāja (Latvia).




Amir ElSaffar, a gifted singer, jazz trumpet and santur (an Iranian cymbal-like instrument) player,
tries to strike a balance between writing and oral tradition. All that remains for us is to follow him on his journey!
His work centres on the learning of micro-tonal scales, and how the musician uses them, the effects they express.
In Arabic, the word maqâm refers to these three questions, which essentially are the same.
Brussels, Ghent and Bruges.


Choreography by Maud Le Pladec | Music by Michael Gordon
Maud Le Pladec’s manifesto, a combination of bluff and a brilliant feat, has been performed in theatres since 2015.
A light show, a choreography and a concert, Concrete is also a great lesson on the art of polyrythmics,
thanks to Trance, the New York-based composer Michael Gordon’s groundbreaking work.


A film by Jorge León | Music by Eva Reiter | Choirs by Georges van Dam
In this “operatic installation” for film, voices and a performer, Jorge León highlights the flamboyant courage
of a woman called Mitra Kadivar as she navigates psychiatric internment.
Eva Reiter, Fausto Romitelli’s rightful heir, continues her quest for an electric, dark and intense cantabile.
Marseille and Liège.


Choreography by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker | Music by Gérard Grisey
With Vortex Temporum, De Keersmaeker has succeeded in expressing what she stands for, starting from her fascination with Grisey’s work,
and sharing her passion with a group of dancers and musicians: a stripping down of the material combined with the flamboyance of form.
Originally created in 2013, Vortex will be staged again in Paris for the Festival d’Automne.


Choreography by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker | Music by Steve Reich
In this choreography, which dates from 2001 and which has been performed ever since, Steve Reich’s strobe music
provided De Keersmaeker with a second wind on her journey in dance. Formalism, geometry,
and calibration down to the millimetre, perhaps — coupled also with the burning and infectious joy
of self-expenditure and self-dispossession. Also at the Festival d’Automne.




Bernhard Lang
The Austrian Bernhard Lang creates endless variations on the melody of the The Cold Genius,
one of the most famous arias in Henry Purcell’s opera King Arthur.
Lang takes a new approach to arrangement, using methods that previous generations never thought of in his score:
the loop, the scratch on the record, the virus… as if there is nothing to it.
With soprano Theresa Dlouhy, fans of Darker than Black can start cheering !
Lille Opera.


Christopher Trapani, Rune Glerup
GAME, an ensemble of the best students at our Academy in Ghent and Brussels, has put together a glittering,
voluble, stellar programme, with “atypical” instruments: the accordion, the recorder, the harp.
Discover the music of Rune Glerup, the darling of the emerging Scandi scene and his musical objects,
which are in a state of constant transformation.
Connoisseurs will also be happy to rediscover Christopher Trapani’s melancholic and fluid art,
which draws heavily on recollections. Also at the Lille Opera.


Pesson, Bryars, Fox, Glass
“The reason this ballad by Brahms has haunted me for so long is because in my memory it has always sounded the same,
rusting away slowly, like an object at the bottom of the ocean,” Gérard Pesson wrote about Nebenstuck.
This arrangement of one of the most popular pieces of romantic music succeeds in reproducing the impression of our memory at work,
obsessed as it is by a fleeting object that becomes all the more sublime because it is so vague and so difficult to capture.
Gavin Bryars, meanwhile, tries to imagine what the band on the RMS Titanic must have sounded
like as the ocean steamer’s bow slowly sank in ice-filled waters, and its musicians, compelled by duty,
continued to play noble hymns until the very end.
Lille Opera.


Jean-Luc Fafchamps plays Morton Feldman
Every musician spends his life chasing a certain score, or so they say, a Beethoven sonata, or a page by Schumann,
which holds endless secrets, to which you return, much as you would to a source, to quench your thirst.
Morton Feldman’s Triadic Memories – “probably the largest butterfly in captivity”, as he famously said – has the same impact on Jean-Luc Fafchamps.
In the Brigittines.


“Parcours Musicaux” at the Lille Opera. Not for adults
We will teach children of the schools in the greater Lille Region the basics of listening to music, through games and music.
Perhaps that is how they can be introduced to the ritual of going to concerts (the red carpet is for you, kiddos !)
and, more insidiously, to the initial and delicious torment of the question that consumes everyone who loves music
– a cause of some angst and so much joy: so what are we listening to when we listen to music?


We are pursuing a post-master’s programme in contemporary music in a partnership with the School of Arts Ghent and the Spectra Ensemble.
Welcome to the new generation of hotheads of 18-19: Sara Mendez (saxophone), Anna Sakham Jalving (violin), Hugo Ranilla (violin),
Sinouhé Gilot (cello), Noriko Yakushiji (vocalist), Mar Sala Romagosa (flute), Pablo Paz Lopez (percussion)
... and hello to the old hands of the second year: the violinist Clara Levy, the accordionist Ward Ginneberge,
the pianist Maria Dominguez Perez and the harpist Anne Zeuwts.

This year is all about study and research, with a major project with PARTS and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker,
workshops with Ula Sickle/Stine Janvin Motland, Jürg Frey, David Helbich, Fritz Hauser, the study of Catherine Lamb’s shining microtones
and three days at the SLOW festival in the Concertgebouw in Bruges.
GAME, the Academy’s “tailor-made” ensemble, will be performing several concerts in Belgium,
with programmes including works by Scelsi, Lachenmann, Ianotta, Schwitters,
Sanchez-Verdù, Jonah Haven, Carolyn Chen...

If you are intrigued or enthused by something, then why not share it with us:
in English to Gerd Van Looy, in Dutch to Tom Pauwels, in French to Jean-Luc Plouvier.
Keep well!
... and see you soon perhaps.
Gerd Van Looy | Tom Pauwels | Jean-Luc Plouvier