Ensemble BPM
Anaïs Nin awarded 4 stars by Bachtrack

Anaïs Nin’s incredible life is the subject of Louis Andriessen’s dynamic video opera, staged by Ensemble BPM at the Riverside Studios last weekend.

Over two nights, BPM played to captive audiences at the world’s largest festival for new opera, Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival.

Writing for Bachtrack, Ninfea Reade awarded the production Four Stars:

“A superb performance by Ensemble BPM”

“The musical ensemble, described in Andriessen’s own words as ‘a little circus band’, brilliantly evokes the 1930s Parisian Jazz scene. Saxophones, clarinets, and a prominent hi-hat call to mind the skittish yet sensual sound world of Sidney Bechet and Coleman Hawkins. Andriessen is able to switch deftly between public and private music. His richly textured score sees the emergence of soloists exuding their own sonorous charm, of instrumental groups vying playfully with the singer for precedence, and of the ensemble gathering together as a dazzling and virile orchestral force.”

“A superb performance by Ensemble BPM ensured that the music both underpinned and thrived on the changeability of Nin’s character. This was an impressive achievement, especially since the ensemble performed, as instructed by the score, without a conductor.”

“The incorporation of fragmented film and sound in this monodrama was a masterful stroke on Andriessen’s part, allowing not only for a detailed scrutinizing of Nin’s psyche, but also for a suggestive representation of men as her muses rather than her conquests.”

“Andriessen continues to force generic hybrids through his adventurous collisions of film, music, and theatre. This work certainly bears witness to some of his most compressed and radiant scoring, while simultaneously exhibiting the efforts of an intelligent and gifted dramatist. It was an excellent choice by Tête à Tête, and in this sensitive production served as a provocative offering on the final day of the festival.”

Read the full review on Bachtrack



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