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In a train / wagon-zac

Вагон-заг

About the project

[…] They talked all night long. And what he saw and heard that night remained lodged in Arvid’s memory forever: the wagon-zak in this foreign land; the nocturnal click clack of the train, that sound which always finds an echo in our hearts; the melodious, whispering voice of the young girl, the sound of her breathing close to his ear, so close to his ear, even though he couldn’t even catch a glimpse of her! […]

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

Taken from Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago, the testimony of the English officer Eric Arvid Andersen, describing how his journey to the Gulag on board a wagon-zak (prisoners’ train carriage) is illuminated by his encounter with a young Russian girl, is the starting point for a performance combining classical and contemporary music, dance and theatre.

The soprano Eléonore Lemaire has assembled a creative team comprising choreographer Johanne Saunier (Ballets Confidentiels), percussionist and performer Richard Dubelski (Corps à Sons), pianist Vincent Leterme, English baritone Jon Stainsby and lutenist Fabien Brandel, to bring this project to fruition.

The performance establishes a dialogue between the music of Renaissance England and the music of Russian Romanticism, encompassed within the sonic and visual world of Johanne Saunier and Richard Dubelski.

 

What are the funds for?

On october 2018, we did our 1st creation week in the small town of St Aupre (near Grenoble).  Le Repère, a cultural group based in St Aupre, has hosted us, and organised a public presentation of our work after these four first fays of creation. In april 2019, we will rehearse during a week in Paris, to push further the musical creation, and the choreographic work. On the 19th of mai 2019, Le Repère wish to invite us again in St Aupre, so that the public follow (or discover) the project's evolution. This project is thought as an immersive experience, and the presence of an audience is vital to continue our creation.

We need your help: to pay for the light and costume creations, and some pieces of the setting.

Thanks to your donation, we could finish the creation, and then propose for the 2019-2020 season the most accomplish form we could do. On the next 26th of april, we will propose in Paris a meeting with our donors, so that we could give you a prevue of this experience.

The 1st public presentation has been a succes, and we hope that this will decide you to help the project live, and tour around Europe. We are counting on you!

Our 1st critic, in french ...

 

About the project owner

The artists (in alphabetical order)

Fabien Brandel, lutenist: After training as a classical guitarist with Jean-Pierre Desveaux at the Conservatoire de Bondy, Fabien Brandel commenced his studies in lute and figured bass with Claire Antonini and Charles-Édouard Fantin. Having been awarded a Master’s degree in lute at the CNSMD de Lyon and a prize for theorbo at the CRR de Versailles with Benjamin Perrot, he now plays at the Chapel Royal under the auspices of “Jeudis musicaux,” directed by Olivier Schneebeli. He is equally at home as an orchestral player – notably in a production of Purcell’s King Arthur in 2015 under the direction of Jean-François Chiama – and in chamber ensembles such as Musica Tempora (directed by Christophe Alvarez) and La Fugitive (directed by Jeanne Dorche). He has appeared at several festivals (Moulin d’Andé Winter Festival, Festival de Richelieu) accompanying the actress Maud Rayer on the baroque lute.

Richard Dubelski, percussionist and performance artist: Richard Dubelski is an artist whose eclectic activities have included, since 1987, a regular collaboration with the composer Georges Aperghis, including the creation of La Baroque Foraine (Musica, 1990) and the film La Fable des Continents (Hugo Santiago and Georges Aperghis). He was assistant director for Don Giovanni at the Opéra de Marseilles in 1997. He works as an actor and musician with a number of distinguished directors and choreographers, including Thierry Bédard, Lucas Thiéry, Édith Scot, Georges Appaix, and André Wilms. He played Glenn Gould in Anna Kendall’s eponymous film for Arte in 1992. He composes music for radio dramas for France Culture, for musical performances, and for the performance activities of Les Dix Paroles. He teaches courses in musical theatre at Atem, the CNDC d’Angers, the National Theatre at Strasbourg, the Comédie de Caen, the Théâtre du Campagnol/CDN de Cornell-Essenes, and the Regional School for Actors at Cannes. He is the founder of the company Corps à Sons, with whom he writes and directs music-theatre productions which engage with contemporary social problems.

Eléonore Lemaire, soprano: As the eclectic artist she is, Eléonore Lemaire divides her time between appearances at international opera houses and close creative relationships with some of the foremost composers of our time, including Aurélien Dumont, Francesco Filidei, Jean-Pierre Calvin, Unsuk Chin, Pascale Criton and Mariana Ungureanu. With them she has created a number of demanding roles in collaboration with Ensemble Intercontemporain, Asko|Schönberg Ensemble, l’Orchestre Lamoureux and Les Siècles, at venues including the Théâtre de l’Athénée, the Comédie Française, the Teatro Valle, the Piccolo Teatro Strehler, and the Muziektheater, the Concertgebouw and the National Opera of Amsterdam. She recently gave the first performance of I.D. by Arnaud Petit at the Grand Théâtre du Nord with Les Siècles, and performed in the revival of Homo Instrumentalis at the Festival Musicà, Strasbourg, having given its première performance at the Ruhrtriennale in 2017.

Vincent Leterme, piano: A graduate of the CNSMDP, the pianist Vincent Leterme pursues a career in a wide variety of different fields. He is the regular duo partner of singers such as Rodolphe Briand, Chantal Galiana, Donatienne Michel-Dansac and Lionel Peintre, and the pianist with Ensemble Sillages. He is also the dedicatee or first performer of a number of new works by composers such as Georges Aperghis, Vincent Boucher, Martin Matalon and Gérard Pesson. He is also a frequent participant in productions by directors such as Peter Brook, Georges Aperghis, Mireille Larroche, Julie Brochen and Véronique Vella. He has composed incidental music for numerous productions at the Comédie Française, and was the recipient of the critics’ prize for his original score for Eric Ruf’s production of Peer Gynt.

Johanne Saunier, choreographer: From 1986 until 1998, Johanne Saunier was a dancer with Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker’s company Cie Rosas, with whom she continues to work as an assistant. With Jim Clayburgh she founded JOJI INC which received the Prix Seine Saint-Denis/Bagnolet à Paris in 2000 and tours internationally, notably with the series Erase-E(X), a collaboration with artists including the Wooster Group of New York, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, the composer Georges Aperghis, and the video artist Kurt d’Haeseleer. She has performed in contemporary opera productions (xxx unique? Xxx) by Luc Bondy, Guy Cassiers, Georges Aperghis (an ongoing collaboration since 2002), Jim Clayburgh, François Saran (with Quatuor Diotima), Sybille Wilson and Modern Dance (with Mathurin Bolze). She teaches at PARTS and a number of other European schools. Her company Ballets Confidentiels xxxxxxxxx. Since 2012 she has worked as assistant to the director Jean François Sivadier on his operatic productions. She made her own operatic directing debut in March 2018 with La Légende du Roi Dragon by Arthur Lavandier, a production at the Opéra de Lille featuring 210 children.

Jon Stainsby, baritone: The English baritone Jon Stainsby completed a doctorate in English Literature at the University of Oxford before pursuing vocal studies at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He performs regularly with a number of Europe's leading early music ensembles (Academy of Ancient Music, Akadêmia, Dunedin Consort, Vox Luminis), including solo appearances at Wigmore Hall and the Barbican (London), La Folle Journée (Nantes) and the Festivals of Saintes and La Chaise Dieu. His engagements in contemporary repertoire include Claude Vivier Kopernikus for De National Opera, Amsterdam, and a number of world premières with EXAUDI, Les Cris de Paris/Ictus, and Southbank Sinfonia.

Lighting design: Jim Clayburgh is a scenographer and founding members of The Wooster Group, where he was resident designer from 1976 to 1995. He has designed extensively throughout Europe and North America for theatre, dance, and opera and is currently based in Brussels, where he founded JOJI INC with choreographer Johanne Saunier. He has designed scenery and lighting for operas composed by Ligeti, Francois Sarhan, Arturo Fuentes, Joshua Fineberg and Arthur Lavandier

Costume design: Coralie Sanvoisin

Photo credits: Léo Carabin

                                                                                        

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