Transformations


Transformations is a two-hour-long party, yet beneath the surface lie deep and challenging themes. It's an opportunity to have fun, but to challenge ourselves to be vulnerable at the same time.
Sam Weller

Synopsis

Directed by the young Dutch director Rennik-Jan Neggers and conducted by Sam Weller (graduate of the National Masters in Orchestral Conducting), Transformations is a chamber opera in two acts by the American composer Conrad Susa with a libretto of ten poems by Anne Sexton from her 1971 book Transformations, a collection of confessional poetry based on stories by the Brothers Grimm. Commissioned by Minnesota Opera, the work, which is described by its composer as “An Entertainment in 2 Acts”, had its world premiere on 5 May 1973 at the Cedar Village Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It went on to become one of the most frequently performed operas by an American composer

Rennik-Jan Neggers writes:

'Transformations offers an evening of small comic masterpieces, where poet Anne Sexton, self-proclaimed 'mother of the insane,' reimagines Grimm fairy tales with her sharp and dark humor, retaining the sinister essence. Set to music by Conrad Susa, the production unfolds in an intimate chamber setting, allowing the audience to engage both physically and intellectually. Sexton, as the Tale-Teller, introduces odd tales from Brothers Grimm, each preceded by a clinical case in short prologues. As the prologues and fairy tales intertwine, the line between fantasy and reality blurs. Is Anne living in a fantasy, or are the fantasies her reality?'

In this interview conductor Sam Weller states: 'Since November the singers from the Dutch National Opera Academy and I have been immersing ourselves in a one-of-a-kind musical landscape created by Conrad Susa.
It is a very entertaining and humorous production. Classical music lovers among the audience can spot a lot of musical references from Stravinsky to romantic music. It is a wild ride, but based on fairytales that people are familiar with. I perceive it as a two-hour-long party, yet beneath the surface lie deep and challenging themes. It's an opportunity to have fun, but to challenge ourselves to be vulnerable at the same time. This performance genuinely encompasses a little bit of everything.’

Production supported by the Cultuurfonds

Details

Date

Wed 7 February 2024 19.30

Location

Conservatoriumzaal Amare, The Hague

More info

Date

Thu 8 February 2024 19.30

Location

Conservatoriumzaal Amare, The Hague

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Date

Sat 10 February 2024 19.30

Location

Conservatoriumzaal Amare, The Hague

Date

Sun 11 February 2024 14.15

Location

Conservatoriumzaal Amare, The Hague