Project

theblind

THE BLIND EXPERIENCE

THE BLIND EXPERIENCE
A multi-sensory performance installation
based on Lera Auerbach’s opera The Blind
Directed by John La Bouchardière
Music by Lera Auerbach
Libretto after Maurice Maeterlinck
Sound design by Jody Elff

About the Work Creators Video/Audio Gallery Press Performances

ABOUT THE WORK

“Adventurous, eerie and thoroughly engaging” - The New York Times

At a lonely clearing in a wood, a group of blind people await the return of a priest who led them there in order to enable them to enjoy the last rays of the sun before the beginning of winter. Only the sound of the nearby sea can be heard. The longer they wait, the more restless the blind people become; in their desperation they realise that they are helpless and cannot move from their place. Their fear escalates to naked terror when they make a morbid discovery.

John La Bouchardière's reimagining of composer Lera Auerbach's opera immerses the audience in the story by blindfolding them and placing them amongst the protagonists. Denying all the power to see and situating the voices within the audience, the performance unfolds in a shifting surround-sound world, in which non-visual senses are heightened as the smells of the forest, the feeling of sea breezes, the cold falling snow and Auerbach’s music enfold them.

The Blind is a cappella chamber opera for twelve solo singers (2 sopranos, 2 mezzo-sopranos, 2 contraltos, 2 tenors, 2 baritones & 2 basses). It is based on Maurice Maeterlinck’s early surrealist play Les Aveugles (1890).

Download complete technical details for the 2013 production here.

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ABOUT THE CREATORS

auerbachLERA AUERBACH
(composer)
Lera Auerbach is a prodigiously talented Russian pianist and composer who was born in the city of Chelyabinsk, located to the east of the Ural mountain range, near the Siberian border. Auerbach's promise at the keyboard was discovered early, and she made her debut as a pianist with an orchestra at the age of 8. At the age of 11, Auerbach composed an opera that proved a cause celèbre when it was staged in Russia, and a touring version of the work was seen throughout the Soviet Union. When Auerbach was 17, she was sent to the United States on a concert tour, but decided to defect to the West; she was one of the last Soviet artists to do so. Auerbach continued at Juilliard, where she studied composition with Milton Babbitt and piano with Joseph Kalichstein. In 2000, Auerbach served the first of two artist residencies at the Baden-Baden home of Johannes Brahms at the behest of the International Brahms Society, and in 2001 she was invited by Gidon Kremer as a guest artist at the Lockenhaus Festival; there, 16 works of her works were performed. In 2002, Auerbach completed her piano studies with Einar Steen-Nøkelberg at the Hannover Höchschüle für Musik and in 2003 Vadim Gluzman and Angela Yoffe recorded the first all-Auerbach program for Bis, Lera Auerbach: 24 Preludes for Violin and Piano. This was well received, and since then Bis has continued to release albums of Auerbach's music at the rate of about one a year, including one played by Auerbach herself, Lera Auerbach Plays Her Preludes and Dreams, in 2006. This should not be taken to mean that her work is a cottage industry, as Auerbach's music has been widely commissioned and taken on by performers from around the globe, including the Peterson Quartett, David Finckel and Wu Han, and the Royal Danish Ballet. Gogol, her first full opera, based on her own play, was premiered in 2011. www.leraauerbach.com

bouchardiereJOHN LA BOUCHARDIERE
(stage director)
John La Bouchardière was born in Hampshire, was a chorister at Magdalen College, Oxford, and studied music, drama and opera to post-graduate level at Birmingham University. He worked as an assistant and revival director for companies including BBC, Channel 4 (Operatunity), English National Opera (where he was on staff from 1996 to 2000), New Israeli Opera, Opera Graz, Opéra National du Rhin, Opera North, Scottish Opera, Teatro Liceu (Barcelona) Vlaamse Opera, Teatro São Carlos (Lisbon), La Fenice and Opera Zurich. As a director in his own right, his productions include The Full Monteverdi with I Fagiolini, international tour and winning a Royal Philharmonic Society Award; The Medium and Ten Belles for RWCMD; Rigoletto for Opera Holland Park; Eugene Onegin and Tamerlano for Scottish Opera; Don Giovanni in Varna, Bulgaria; Kvinneliv for Sommersang, Ringve; Semele for Scottish Opera and Florentine Opera, Milwaukee; Carmen for Opera Nordfjordeid, Norway; Giasone for Royal Academy of Music and Idomeneo for Florentine Opera. John's acclaimed film The Full Monteverdi, based on his live production, has been released worldwide in cinemas, on television and DVD, and was awarded a Choc du monde de la musique. He also wrote and directed Music Room, a new eight-part TV series for Sky Arts. www.johnlabouchardiere.com

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VIDEO/AUDIO

 
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PHOTO GALLERY

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PRESS

PRESS QUOTES FOR THE BLIND EXPERIENCE
Quote sheet for THE BLIND EXPERIENCE Premiere production at Lincoln Center Festival 2013 and Norway 2013

December 18, 2013 - WQXR.COM
Year-end review : "12 Pivotal Moments in Opera in 2013"

September 25, 2013 - ADRESSA.NO
Opera review : THE BLIND production at Trondheim Festival (Norway) 2013

October 2, 2013 - HARPER'S BAZAAR
Opera profile : "First you are blindfolded..."

October 2013 - OPERA NEWS
Opera review : THE BLIND Premiere production at Lincoln Center Festival 2013

October 2013 - WHITE LIGHTS FESTIVAL PLAYBILL
Opera/Industry profile : "Extrasensory Perceptions"

July 31, 2013 - THE NEW YORK TIMES
Festival review : THE BLIND Premiere production at Lincoln Center Festival 2013

July 17, 2013 - ARTS JOURNAL
Opera review : THE BLIND Premiere production at Lincoln Center Festival 2013

July 15, 2013 - BACHTRACK
Opera review : THE BLIND Premiere production at Lincoln Center Festival 2013

July 15, 2013 - NEW MUSIC BOX
Opera review : THE BLIND Premiere production at Lincoln Center Festival 2013

July 15, 2013 - THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Opera review : THE BLIND Premiere production at Lincoln Center Festival 2013

July 13, 2013 - NJ STAR LEDGER
Opera review : THE BLIND Premiere production at Lincoln Center Festival 2013

July 12, 2013 - SEQUENZA 21
Opera review : THE BLIND Premiere production at Lincoln Center Festival 2013

July 11, 2013 - FINANCIAL TIMES
Opera review : THE BLIND Premiere production at Lincoln Center Festival 2013

July 10, 2013 - NY POST
Opera review : THE BLIND Premiere production at Lincoln Center Festival 2013

July 10, 2013 - THE NEW YORK TIMES
Opera review : THE BLIND Premiere production at Lincoln Center Festival 2013

July 5, 2013 - THE NEW YORK TIMES
Opera profile : "Listening to a Disconnected Society"

July 8, 2013 - WQXR blog
Opera profile : "Audience to be Blindfolded for Lera Auerbach's Opera, The Blind"

 

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AOP PERFORMANCES

July 9-14, 2013
WORLD PREMIERE PRODUCTION
Lincoln Center Festival 2013
Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse
70 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023
Co-produced by Lincoln Center Festival
Performances by Yulia Van Doren, Sarah Brailey, Faith Sherman, Barbara Rearick, Nicole Mitchell, Rosalie Sullivan, Dominic Armstrong, John McVeigh, Kyle Pfortmiller, David Schmidt, Branch Fields, Liam Moran. Assistant Conductor: Mila Henry. Sound design by Jody Elff. Directed by John La Bouchardière. Music direction by Julian Wachner.

Major support for Lincoln Center Festival 2013 and AOP provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

April 16, 2013
Invited Development Workshop
Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse
70 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023
Co-produced by Lincoln Center Festival
Performances by Yulia Van Doren, Sarah Brailey, Faith Sherman, Barbara Rearick, Nicole Mitchell, Rosalie Sullivan, John Bellemer, John McVeigh, Kyle Pfortmiller, David Schmidt, Branch Fields, Liam Moran. Assistant Conductor: Mila Henry. Sound design by Jody Elff. Directed by John La Bouchardière. Music direction by Julian Wachner.

OTHER PERFORMANCES

June 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11, 2017
Presented by UrbanArias
Signature Theatre, Arlington, VA
www.urbanarias.org/performances/2016-17-season

September 24 & 25, 2013
Trondheim Chamber Music Festival
Dokkhuset
Pb 8867, N-7481, Trondheim, Norway
MUSIC DIRECTION: Julian Wachner
In cooperation with TSO Musikkteater, Ny Musikk Trondheim, Lincoln Center Festival and American Opera Projects.
www.kamfest.no/en-GB/program/the+blind

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