Mette Edvardsen, François Chaignaud and Sarah Vanhee premiered at Kunstenfestivaldesarts and Wiener Festwochen
Mette Edvardsen, François Chaignaud and Sarah Vanhee premiered at Kunstenfestivaldesarts and Wiener Festwochen

Mette Edvardsen and Matteo Fargion

Penelope Sleeps

 Penelope sleeps is an opera in essay form by Mette Edvardsen and Matteo Fargion. The idea for this piece developed out from their first collaboration oslo (2017), a piece by Mette Edvardsen in which Matteo Fargion was invited to write music for a choir. A setting of one long text, the music played an important role in the piece, an anti-choir dispersed amongst the audience and without a conductor. In Penelope sleeps the experimental approach and work with the format of the medium is still in question. The relation between voice and music, space and scale are important, but perhaps rather than alluding to operatic images we think of drawing lines to trace a horizon. Opera as a starting point, a long hidden and shared secret desire to tackle this medium, although perhaps motivated slightly differently for each of them. The text is written in prose form, like an essay. Essay from the French essayer, means to tryto attempt. Opera in Italian means to workto labour. In this attempt to work a space opens up, bringing the two artists into unknown landscapes while at the same time allowing them to pursue their own artistic paths.

 From May 10th to May 14th at Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels

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François Chaignaud & Marie-Pierre Brébant

Symphonia Harmoniæ Cælestium Revelationum

Symphonia Harmoniae Caelestium Revelationum is the title of the musical oeuvre of Hildegard von Bingen, the twelfth-century Benedictine abbess, mystic, theologian, physician and musician. François Chaignaud and Marie-Pierre Brébant invite the audience to immerse itself in her complete cycle of 69 monodies during a three-hour session. They recite the songs from memory, accompanied by the bandura, a traditional Ukrainian string instrument. Their bodies form a musical archive which, song after song, confronts us with another perspective on the roots of Western culture. The work of Hildegard von Bingen is characterized by the use of keys that can easily sound strange with regard to the European musical tradition. Chaignaud and Brébant give voice to the unexpected tonal anomalies that once formed the core of Western culture but have now vanished from the modern canon. Their exploration of our musical and spiritual past straddles the border between a meditative installation, a concert and a contemplative choreography. Body, voice and bandura culminate in an ecstatic vision that exposes once more the physical relationship with the divine.

 From May 10th to May 19th at Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels

 Read more and watch the video here


Sarah Vanhee


 »Every sound we make is a bit of autobiography. It has a totally private interior yet its trajectory is public. A piece of inside projected to the outside.« Anne Carson.

In 2013, the Belgian artist Sarah Vanhee started to investigate the scream in its aesthetic and political potential. This ongoing research has led to several expressions, formats and frameworks in which she creates the possibility for people to scream. Understanding that every person screams from a different place, she developed various techniques and methodologies to include those who have never screamed before, insisting on screaming as a basic right and democratic tool. For their opening weekend, the Wiener Festwochen invited Vanhee to create a work with local inhabitants of Donaustadt, each of whom has their own singular motivation to scream and their idiosyncratic way of doing so. This “screamscape” allows the listeners to momentarily sink under society’s surface and creates a connection with a wider and wilder sense of being.

 May 11th and 12th and last chance June 15th in combination with the new lecture-performance collected screams at Wiener Festwochen.

 Read more here