Thursday, 22 August 2019

War is my Condition.

Stained glass by Brian Clarke
Stained glass by Brian Clarke
War is my Condition is a new interpretation of Monteverdi's Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda presented by Ante Terminum Productions, a new company that aims to bring out the dramatic potential of music whether in opera, concert or music installation. Their new version of Monteverdi's operatic scena will feature two dancers in the roles of Tancredi and Clorinda, and in fact much of Monteverdi's narrative is allocated to the narrator figure, and to Monteverdi's original the company is adding further of his madrigals to create a piece lasting around an hour.

To add further interest to this cross-arts project the stained-glass artist Brian Clarke (best known for his monumental pieces and his collaboration on major architectural projects) is loaning three of his stained class screens to be used within the staging. The choreography is by Kat Collings, the artistic director is Peter Thickett and the musical director is Frederick Waxmann.

Monteverdi's work sets an extended passage for Torquato Tasso's epic poem Gerusalemme liberata, and was premiered in Venice in 1624, and eventually published in his Eighth book of Madrigals in 1638. But commentators cannot quite agree how to classify it, is it an extended madrigal (after all the majority of the vocal line is allocated to the narrator), or an operatic scena! But it seems that Monteverdi intended the piece to be acted out by the to characters representing Tancredi and Clorinda, even though the majority of the narrative is given to the narrator.


Monteverdi: War is my Condition - Rehearsal pictures taken by Mathew Prichard (@matprichard) at the English National Ballet School - Ante-Terminum Productions
Monteverdi: War is my Condition - Rehearsal pictures taken by Mathew Prichard (@matprichard) at the English National Ballet School - Ante-Terminum Productions
Ante-Terminum Productions previous performances have included staging Karlheinz Stockhausen's Stimmung in the Barts Pathology Museum [see my article]. The performances of War is my condition take place in the atmospheric Brunel Museum in Rotherhithe, on 28 August and 2 to 5 September 2019.


Full details from the Ante-Terminum Productions' website.

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