Tuesday, February 27, 2024

THE SCOOP | R.U.R. A Torrent of Mild First Canadian Opera Awarded MCANA Greatest New Opera Title


R.U.R. A Torrent of Light (Photo: Dahlia Katz)
R.U.R. A Torrent of Mild (Photograph: Dahlia Katz)

R.U.R. A Torrent of Mild is the primary Canadian work to win the 2023 Award for BEST NEW OPERA from the Music Critics Affiliation of North America (MCANA). The excellence for the Tapestry Opera/OCAD (Ontario Faculty of Artwork and Design) College co-production, introduced immediately, was awarded to composer Nicole Lizée and librettist Nicolas Billon.

Competitors for the award was stiff, significantly so on condition that many productions had been delayed by the pandemic. The Awards Committee of MCANA consists of LvT’s personal Arthur Kaptainis.

The positioning-specific work premiered on the Nice Corridor at OCAD on Might 28, 2022, and dominated the Dora Awards for that yr to win in six of seven classes, together with:

  • Excellent Manufacturing;
  • Excellent Efficiency by an Ensemble: Maeve Palmer, Annie Ramos, Jennifer Routhier, Sofi Gudiño,
  • Katherine Semchuk, Emily Spearing and Brayden Cairns;
  • Excellent New Opera: Nicole Lizée (composer) and Nicolas Billon (librettist);
  • Excellent Musical Course: Gregory Oh;
  • Excellent Course: Michael Hidetoshi Mori;
  • Excellent Achievement in Design: Debashis Sinha.

Greater than 20 artists in numerous media collaborated on the inventive staff. The MCANA Committee additionally particularly famous, “the putting set by Cameron Anderson and costumes by Joanna Yu included retro components that made the setting appear each futuristic and common.”

The award-winning R.U.R. A Torrent of Lights composer and librettist are being celebrated throughout the MCANA annual assembly immediately, June 22, on the College Membership of Chicago.

In regards to the Opera

R.U.R. stands for Rossumovi Univerzální Roboti or Rossum’s Common Robots, and relies on the sci-fi play by Czech author Karel Čapek. The play, which premiered in 1921, was fairly influential in its day; it’s the literary work credited with including the phrase robotic to the English language.

The Tapestry/OCAD modern interpretation provides a feminist slant, and pushes the motion to the close to future-now, the place AI is inextricably entwined with on a regular basis life. The androids {that a} tech firm has created, nonetheless, start to activate them in a rising rebellion of independence as the 2 homeowners of the corporate grapple with what to do about it.

OCAD College’s Social Physique Lab helped to develop wearable tech that enhances and amplifies the performances of the singers and dancers with lighting or audio system. Different improvements created for the manufacturing embrace a cello bow that produces hen calls. The rating makes use of unconventional devices corresponding to a typewriter to provide a futuristic soundscape.

L: Nicole Lizée (Photo by Richmond Lam); R: Nicolas Billon (Photo by David Leyes)
L: Nicole Lizée (Photograph by Richmond Lam); R: Nicolas Billon (Photograph by David Leyes)

Reactions

Each winners commented in an announcement.

“For R.U.R. A Torrent of Mild to be acknowledged with this prestigious award from MCANA is actually an honour. When Nicolas and I started our collaboration these a few years in the past, I by no means in my wildest desires thought it could be awarded North America’s greatest new opera. Nic and I want to prolong our deepest thanks and gratitude to Michael Mori, Tapestry Opera, and the unimaginable performers and artistic staff we had the pleasure of working with.”— composer Nicole Lizée

“R.U.R. A Torrent of Mild has been a labour of affection for Nicky and myself, and we’re deeply honoured to have our opera acknowledged by MCANA with this award. We additionally wish to acknowledge the manufacturing’s inventive staff for his or her great and awe-inspiring work in bringing R.U.R. to life.” — librettist Nicolas Billon

The Awards Committee had this to say in regards to the music:

“R.U.R. A Torrent of Mild is completed on many ranges, however we have been impressed significantly by the freshness and vitality of Nicole Lizée’s rating. Whereas rooted within the minimalist custom, the music is ingenious, expressive and expertly written for the voice. Nicolas Billon’s libretto cleverly employs repetition to characterize the efforts of machines to precise themselves. A determine of specific curiosity is the android Alex. It’s uncommon for a non-human character to ask deep sympathy. The dilemma of Alex scans as authentically operatic.”

Congratulations to Nicole Lizée, Nicolas Billon, and the whole manufacturing staff.

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