Today, the Opera Vlaanderen in Gent presents the world première of Chaya Czernowin's opera Infinite Now, with a libretto by Luk Perceval and Chaya Czernowin based on texts by Erich Maria Remarque, Can Xue and letters of soldiers in World War I.
It is the composer's fourth opera, after Pnima...ins Innere (Munich, May 10, 2000), Zaïde / Adama (Salzburg, August 17, 2006) and And you will love me back (2011). The opera is in 6 acts.
Infinite Now by Chaya Czernowin is the fruit of a montage of a short story by the Chinese author Can Xue and a selection of texts written on the front during the First World War: a novel by Erich Maria Remarque, À l’Ouest, rien de nouveau. In the two situations, a deadlocked situation for which nobody knows the solution, a world war or intimate destitution. (reproduced from the IRCAM website)The cast includes soprano Karen Vourc'h, mezzo Kai Rüütel, alto Noa Frenkel, countertenor Terry Wey, baritone Vincenzo Neri and bass David Salsbery Fry, as well as actors Rainer Süβmilch (Paul Bäumer), Benjamin-Lew Klon (Katczinsky), Didier De Neck (Luitenant De Wit / Van Outryve), Gilles Welinski (Kolonel Magots) and Roy Aernouts (Soldier Seghers). Titus Engel conducts the Symfonisch Orkest Opera Vlaanderen with an extra quartett (guitar, electric guitar and 2 cellos). Luk Perceval directs.
The score is published by Schott Music. A perusal score is available on their website. The performance should last about 2 hours and 30 minutes.
The orchestral setting is the following :
- 3 flutes (3. also piccolo), 3 oboes (3. also English Horn), 3 clarinets (3. also bass clarinet), 3 bassoons (3. also contrabassoon) ;
- 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, 1 tuba ;
- percussion (3 players) ;
- strings and electronic designed with the collacoration of IRCAM, Paris.
The opera will be performed in Gent, Antwerp (April-May) and in Paris (June).