Tuesday, January 21, 2020

"An opera by an exciting female composer", Coming Soon to an Opera House on Van Ness Avenue

Peter Sellars (who has nothing to do with Innocence) and Kaija Saariaho
Santa Fe, July, 2008
Photo by Lisa Hirsch

At San Francisco Opera's 2018 annual meeting, held in April that year, Matthew Shilvock mentioned a commission from "an exciting female composer." I reported on the meeting and listed a few exciting female composers in this blog post.

Now we know, thanks to the 2020 season announcement of the Aix-en-Provence Festival: it's Kaija Saariaho, and the new opera is called Innocence. Susanna Mälkki will conduct in France, and I hope here. The casting is pretty great.

The Aix Festival and SFO aren't the only commissioning organizations; the others are the Dutch National Opera, Finnish National Opera (of course), and the Royal Opera.

This was in Opera Magazine in the fall, and I listed the news on my Operatic Future Seasons page, but this is the first time I've mentioned it on the front page. Maybe there will be something in tomorrow's season announcement about the commission.

Note that the whole Aix opera schedule is stupendous: Wozzeck, Poppea, L'Orfeo, Cosi fan tutte, The Golden Cockerel.


Thomas May said...

Exciting news! Do you happen to know whatever happened to her "Only the Silence Remains" project a couple years ago? I think it premiered in Amsterdam?

Lisa Hirsch said...

The piece is Only the Sound Remains. Looks like there were five commissioning orgs and the premiere was in 2015, so it may still be making the rounds....Operabase only goes back to 2017 and says it was performed in Paris and Madrid in 2018.

Thomas May said...

Ah, right -- thanks! I vaguely remember something about it being scheduled for Ojai but then pulled -- or maybe I've mixed that up.....

Lisa Hirsch said...

It was scheduled ro 2016, according to the press release. Might be a review on line someplace!

Patrick J. Vaz said...

Only the Sound Remains was released on Blu-Ray/DVD in 2017 and is still available (I have a copy but haven't watched it yet).