Newswire | LA Opera Releases World Premiere of Between the Rooms by Anna Clyne, Available Today

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Los Angeles, CA (May 13, 2022)LA Opera today releases the world premiere of Between the Rooms, the next film in their Digital Shorts series, which features newly commissioned music by Anna Clyne, who sets poetry by Emily Dickinson. The film is directed and choreographed by Kim Brandstrup, and premieres today, Friday, May 13, 2022 at 11:00am PST, and is now available for streaming on LA Opera’s On Now digital platform. Stills from Between the Rooms can be viewed and downloaded here.

In this haunting new film, composer Anna Clyne explores themes of isolation through her musical setting of Dickinson’s verses, written for soprano and string quintet. Between the Rooms features soprano Joélle Harvey; internationally renowned dancers Alina Cojocaru, who has performed as a principal dancer with the Hamburg Ballet, London’s Royal Ballet, and English National Ballet, and Matthew Ball, a principal dancer with London’s Royal Ballet; and members of the Brooklyn-based musical collective The Knights. Eric Jacobsen conducts the project.

“Themes of solitude and creativity resonate with today’s experience of enforced isolation as a result of the pandemic,” Anna Clyne explains. “Emily Dickinson rarely left her house in the last two decades of her life and Between the Rooms evokes the audible realm that envelopes this lonely figure and explores her journey from solitude to an imaginary world—weaving melodic fragments with hymn-like statements that are conjured by the instrumentation of string quintet with soprano voice.”

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“When the date of filming finally arose in early May of 2021, when the masks and distance were abandoned, the sheer exhilaration of the dancers being able to freely move and touch again was palpable,” says Kim Brandstrup. “It was the first time Alina and Matthew had ever danced together and the chemistry was instantaneous—the liberating sense of close physical proximity and touch were unmistakable and very moving. Emily Dickinson’s solitary life was a clear and personal choice and the film celebrates her poetry’s powerful ability to evoke the physical world outside the room—a celebration of our ability to conjure up, through poetry, music, movement, an imaginary otherness even when we are alone in our rooms.”

Between the Rooms is commissioned by LA Opera and is generously supported by a consortium of donors to LA Opera’s Contemporary Opera Initiative, chaired by Nancy and Barry Sanders. The film was originally set to premiere December 10, 2021.

Presented through LA Opera’s On Now digital platform, the Digital Shorts series brings cutting-edge opera to audiences worldwide. Between the Rooms is the 11th film in the notably diverse series, which launched in December 2020. The three films released in the 2021-22 season tackle themes relevant to our times: the mass incarceration of Black men (The First Bluebird of the Morning, released in September 2021), social justice (We Hold These Truths, March 2022) and isolation (Between the Rooms). Films in the series have subsequently won awards at international film festivals and have been televised on TCM. All of the films in the series can be viewed at LAOpera.org/DigitalShorts.


Production Information

Between the Rooms
Friday, May 13, 2022 at 11:00am PST
Link: https://www.laopera.org/performances/upcoming-digital-performances/between-the-rooms/

Anna Clyne, composer
Kim Brandstrup, director/choreographer
Eric Jacobsen, conductor
Joélle Harvey, soprano
Alina Cojocaru, dancer
Matthew Ball, dancer
The Knights
Eric Jacobsen, violin
Kristi Helberg, violin
Mario Gotoh, viola
Caitlin Sullivan, cello
Logan Coale, bass


About Anna Clyne

London-born Anna Clyne is a GRAMMY-nominated composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music. Described as a “composer of uncommon gifts and unusual methods” in a New York Times profile and as “fearless” by NPR, Clyne is one of the most acclaimed and in-demand composers of her generation, often embarking on collaborations with innovative choreographers, visual artists, filmmakers, and musicians.

Several upcoming projects explore Clyne’s fascination with visual arts, including Color Field for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, inspired by the artwork of Rothko, and Between the Rooms, a film with choreographer Kim Brandstrup and LA Opera. Within Her Arms opened the New York Philharmonic’s 2021-2022 season. Other recent premieres include PIVOT, which opened the 2021 Edinburgh International Festival; A Thousand Mornings for the Fidelio Trio; Strange Loops for the Orchestra of St. Luke’s; Woman Holding a Balance, a film collaboration with Orchestra of St. Luke’s and artist Jyll Bradley; and In the Gale for cello and bird song, created with and performed by Yo-Yo Ma.

Clyne composed a trilogy of Beethoven-inspired works that premiered in 2020 for Beethoven’s 250th anniversary: Stride for the Australian Composers Orchestra; Breathing Statues for the Calidore String Quartet; and Shorthand, premiered by The Knights at Caramoor. Other recent premieres include Sound and Fury, first performed by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Pekka Kuusisto in Edinburgh; and her Rumi-inspired cello concerto, DANCE, premiered with Inbal Segev at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. DANCE was also recently recorded for AVIE Records by Segev and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Marin Alsop, and has garnered more than seven million plays on Spotify.

Clyne served as Composer-in-Residence for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, L’Orchestre national d’Île-de-France, and Berkeley Symphony. She is currently the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s Associate Composer through the 2021-2022 season and a mentor composer for Orchestra of St Luke’s.

Clyne’s music is represented on the AVIE Records, Cantaloupe Music, Cedille, MajorWho Media, New Amsterdam, Resound, Tzadik, and VIA labels. Both Prince of Clouds and Night Ferry were nominated for 2015 GRAMMY Awards.

Her music is published exclusively by Boosey & Hawkes. www.boosey.com/clyne

About LA Opera

Los Angeles is a city of enormous diversity and creativity, and LA Opera is dedicated to reflecting that vibrancy by redefining what opera can be, with thrilling performances, thought-provoking productions and innovative programming that preserves foundational works while making them feel fresh and compelling. The communal and curative power of opera is needed now more than ever before, given the extraordinary challenges of the time.

Even as LA Opera returns to the stage with world-class productions in theaters, the company will continue to create a wide range of digital content via its LA Opera On Now platform, which launched in the spring of 2020. The company is grateful to its supporters for helping to ensure that it has the resources needed to get through this unprecedented period. Those wanting to support LA Opera can visit LAOpera.org/donate.

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