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Austerlitz – For 6 Musicians and Actor

Over at Entartete Musik, Gavin Plumly is reporting on a new work of musical theater based upon W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz.  The work, by Jérôme Combier and Pierre Nouvel, will be performed by the Brussels-based musicians Ensemble Ictus and a single actor, the Belgian Johan Leysen, and will premiere at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence on July 19 and 20, 2011.  Subtitled Eine KindheitsreiseUn voyage d’enfance, it will also include projections of some sort.  For a few days last August, Combier and Nouvel also kept a blog as they traveled and researched for the opera.  Scroll down the blog a bit and on the left side there is an audio clip of a solo violin piece composed by Combier called Noir-Gris.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Austerlitz – The Musical?!?

    February 22, 2011
  2. Caspar, It’s the nickname of the novel’s central character, named by a history teacher after an important 19th c. battle, right? Not to be confused with Auschwitz, a quite inappropriate title for a musical, but for a battle and a nicknamed character, its okay as a title to music.

    February 26, 2011
    • I’m not objecting to the name, just the notion of it. Hopefully I’ll be proven wrong but I remain skeptical. ;)

      February 27, 2011
  3. Hi,
    I love your blog,I am an artist and a huge fan of Sebald. I just wanted to let you know of my show coming up in Los Angeles where I use text from Austerlitz in grouping of works on paper. I think you can see one of them in the announcement below. The show opens this Thursday at LACE, in Los Angeles. Thank you again for a wonderful blog.
    Sarah Seager

    View Images & Media » Share Event

    LACE is thrilled to announce On the Line, a group show curated by emerging artist and curator Cody Trepte. On the Line features work from Meg Cranston, Larry Johnson, Sarah Seager, and Mitchell Syrop.

    Since its inception in the late ‘60s, Conceptualism has shaken the art world, giving rise to a new type of art that prioritized ideas over form. As it developed, Conceptual Art began to spill over into other facets of art making, but its heavy reliance on language fueled criticism that it was inaccessible and insider.

    A new generation of artists gaining prominence in Los Angeles during the ‘80s sought to tackle this problem head on. On The Line looks to four artists — Meg Cranston, Larry Johnson, Sarah Seager, and Mitchell Syrop — whose use of language can be seen as an evolution of Conceptualism. They parsed the discipline, and introduced a content that was more emotive while still maintaining the rigorous investment in ideas that artists like Sol Lewitt and Joseph Kosuth set forth.

    With a casual commitment to systems, a heavy injection of reclaimed subjectivity, and the reintroduction of formal concerns, the artists in this exhibition continue to morph the use of text-in-art from its early rigid applications to a more humorous and pathos filled practice. The result is a simultaneous questioning and affirmation of Conceptualism which allows the discourse to continually reinvent itself.

    February 28, 2011

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