Anna Clyne's Digital Short Between The Rooms debuts with LA Opera
Composer Anna Clyne sets poetry by Emily Dickinson in a film directed and choreographed by Kim Brandstrup.
Press Release from LA Opera
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 online at LAOpera.org at 11am (Pacific) on Friday, May 13, 2022.
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 Eric 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 hymnlike statements that are conjured by the instrumentation of string quintet with soprano voice."
"When the date of filming finally arose in early May of 2021, 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."
For more information, and to view the film upon its release, please visit LAOpera.org/BetweenTheRooms.
Click here to download stills from Between the Rooms.
About Digital Shorts
Presented through LA Opera's On Now digital platform, the Digital Shorts series brings cutting-edge opera to audiences worldwide. Between the Rooms is the 11th film in the notably diverse series, which launched in December 2020. The three films released in the 2021/22 season tackle themes relevant to our times: the mass incarceration of Black men (The First Bluebird of the Morning, released in September 2021), social justice (We Hold These Truths, March 2022) and isolation (Between the Rooms). Films in the series have subsequently won awards at international film festivals and have been televised on TCM.
All of the films in the series can be viewed at LAOpera.org/DigitalShorts.
About LA Opera
Los Angeles is a city of enormous diversity and creativity, and LA Opera is dedicated to reflecting that vibrancy by redefining what opera can be. Through imaginative new productions, world premiere commissions, and inventive performances that preserve foundational works while making them feel fresh and compelling, LA Opera has become one of America’s most exciting and ambitious opera companies.
In addition to its mainstage performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the company explores unusual repertoire each season through the LA Opera Off Grand initiative, featuring performances in a variety of venues throughout Los Angeles. The LA Opera Connects initiative offers a robust variety of educational programming and community engagement offerings that reaches people throughout every corner of Los Angeles County. The company also offers a multitude of online content via its LA Opera At Home digital offerings, which launched in March 2020. Learn more at LAOpera.org.
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Director of Communications
This project is generously supported by a consortium of donors to LA Opera's Contemporary Opera Initiative, chaired by Nancy and Barry Sanders.
> Further information on Work: Between the Rooms
Photo: Jennifer Taylor