UPDATE: Between the Rooms will now premiere on May 13, 2022.
Composer Anna Clyne sets poetry by Emily Dickinson in a film directed and choreographed by Kim Brandstrup
(Los Angeles) December 3, 2021 — LA Opera's Digital Shorts series continues this month with Between the Rooms, a haunting film featuring newly commissioned music by composer Anna Clyne, premiering at 11am on Friday, December 10, 2021.
Clyne explores themes of isolation through her musical setting of poetry by Emily Dickinson, scored for soprano soloist and string quintet.
The film, which is directed and choreographed by Kim Brandstrup, features two internationally celebrated dancers: Alina Cojocaru, who has performed as a principal dancer with the Hamburg Ballet, London's Royal Ballet and English National Ballet, and Matthew Ball, a principal dancer with London's Royal Ballet.
Soprano Joélle Harvey is the vocal soloist, joined by musicians from the Brooklyn-based orchestra The Knights, conducted by Colin Jacobsen.
"Themes of solitude and creativity resonate with today’s experience of enforced isolation as a result of the pandemic," said composer Anna Clyne, noting that Emily Dickinson never left her house in the last two decades of her life. "Between the Rooms evokes the audible realm that envelopes this lonely figure and explores her journey from solitude to an imaginary world—weaving melodic fragments with hymn-like statements that are conjured by the instrumentation of string quintet with soprano voice."
"When the date of filming finally arose in early May, when the masks and distance were abandoned, the sheer exhilaration of the dancers being able to freely move and touch again was palpable," said Kim Brandstrup. "It was the first time Alina and Matthew had ever danced together and the chemistry was instantaneous—the liberating sense of close physical proximity and touch were unmistakable and very moving. Emily Dickinson’s solitary life was a clear and personal choice and the film celebrates her poetry’s powerful ability to evoke the physical world outside the room—a celebration of our ability to conjure up, through poetry, music, movement, an imaginary otherness even when we are alone in our rooms."
Presented through LA Opera's On Now digital platform, the Digital Shorts series brings cutting-edge opera to audiences worldwide. The series, which launched in December 2020, has showcased nine wildly diverse new films to date, pairing today's most exciting composers with acclaimed filmmakers. Films in the series have subsequently won awards at international film festivals and have been televised on TCM.
For more information, and to view the film on December 10, please visit LAOpera.org/BetweenTheRooms.
Click here to download stills from Between the Rooms.
About LA OperaLos Angeles is a city of enormous diversity and creativity, and LA Opera is dedicated to reflecting that vibrancy by redefining what opera can be, with thrilling performances, thought-provoking productions and innovative programming that preserves foundational works while making them feel fresh and compelling. The communal and curative power of opera is needed now more than ever before, given the extraordinary challenges of the time.
Even as LA Opera returns to the stage with world-class productions in theaters, the company will continue to create a wide range of digital content via its LA Opera On Now platform, which launched in the spring of 2020. The company is grateful to its supporters for helping to ensure that it has the resources needed to get through this unprecedented period. Those wanting to support LA Opera can visit LAOpera.org/donate.
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