• A Project by Sjaron Minailo
    • Music by Morton Feldman and new compositions by Anat Spiegel
    • Digital opera, computer-game and visual ritual in one
    • Starring American vocal artist Joan La Barbara and Boyan Delattre
    • Choreography by Nicole Beutler and installation by Jennifer Tee
    • Filmed with Virtual Reality camera
    • Commissioned by Holland Festival
    • Co-commissioned by La Monnaie / De Munt Brussels
    • To be experienced fully digital and for free at www.mortonf.net

The worlds of opera, visual ritual and computer-gaming coalesce in The Transmigration of Morton F.. Commissioned by the Holland Festival, director Sjaron Minailo and composer Anat Spiegel’s creation is a fully digital music theatre performance to be experienced entirely on the internet. It is inspired by the works of science fiction writer Philip K. Dick (in particular The Transmigration of Timothy Archer), film director David Lynch, and composer Morton Feldman.

Last year the Holland Festival started to include digital art as a structural part of its programming. In 2015 the festival launched the interactive digital song cycle The Book of Sand by the Dutch composer Michel van der Aa. This year Minailo and Spiegel are presenting their digital interactive opera The Transmigration of Morton F., starring the legendary American singer Joan La Barbara.

The opera consists of pieces composed by Morton Feldman and Anat Spiegel. Overture is Feldman’s The Straits of Magellan, which can be heard during the opening scene when the viewers meet the character La Barbara (who plays herself) up to her encounter with a mysterious boy who bears a striking resemblance to Feldman. After this overture the viewer, together with La Barbara, enters various manifestations of her unconscious. Each scene is a visualisation of a short composition by Feldman. The compositions also use The Straits of Magellan: Chorus and Instruments II, Vertical Thoughts V and Only. In addition, there is a new composition by Anat Spiegel. As she has previously done with pieces by Bach and Björk, Spiegel has made distorted mirror images of Feldman’s music. According to Spiegel, the new composition is an ‘incantation’ that evokes Feldman’s spirit. ‘Feldman reincarnated as contemporary music.’ This scene also includes choreography by Nicole Beutler and a performance by Jennifer Tee.

Sjaron Minailo specialises in creating genre-crossing music theatre. He is no stranger to Morton Feldman’s work. With his Studio Minailo company, he created Rothko Chapel, a theatrical music video in which he used Feldman’s eponymous composition while adding associated imagery inspired by Mark Rothko’s paintings. Last year, Minailo directed Feldman’s Three Voices for Joan La Barbara at Brussels’ De Munt opera house, in which young singers were coached by La Barbara herself.

Composer, singer and performer Anat Spiegel is one of Minailo’s long-term collaborators and, like Minailo, specialises in interdisciplinary performing arts. Together, they staged their opera Medúlla at De Munt in 2015. Based on singer Björk’s eponymous concept album, the performance featured a cast of four opera singers, a one hundred strong children’s choir, a throat singer and live electronics. In 2012 they collaborated on their internet opera Soul Seek. Spiegel’s works have been performed in Europe, the United States, Israel and Japan.

The Transmigration of Morton F. www.mortonf.net
Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckzVD4gZY1U
360 video preview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCAWkufg1IQ
Live stream of launch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNOaGM2R5xw
Background information http://www.hollandfestival.nl/en/program/2016/the-transmigration-of-morton-f/