Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Climate change, environment and new opera at Norwegian premiere

Gisle Kverndokk (Photo Svein Finneide)
Gisle Kverndokk (Photo Svein Finneide)
Norwegian composer Gisle Kverndokk's opera Upon this Handful of Earth premiered in New York in 2017, commissioned by the New York Opera Society, and now the piece is to receive its Norwegian premiere on 24 March 2019 at Trinity Church Oslo as part of the Oslo International Church Music Festival. The new production directed by Aksel-Otto Bull and conducted by Vivianne Sydnes will feature Oslo Cathedral Choir, Oslo Sinfonietta, Oslo Cathedral Boys’ Choir, Trefoldighet Girl’s Choir and six soloists.

Inspired by Pope Francis' ground-breaking 2015 encyclical about the environment, the opera, with a libretto by Aksel-Otto Bull and Gisle Kverndokk, explores the intersection of faith and science through the story of six people whose lives have been irrevocably altered by environmental catastrophe. The project draws parallels between the Pope’s encyclical and the texts of Jesuit paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

Gisle Kverndokk studied composition at The Norwegian State Academy of Music, and with John Corigliano and David Diamond at The Juilliard School in New York. The Norwegian State Academy of Music premiered his first full-scale opera The Falcon Tower in 1990.

Further information from the Oslo International Church Music Festival website.

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