Nonesuch releases Louis Andriessen's stagework Theatre of the World—recorded live during the Los Angeles Philharmonic's 2016 world premiere performances with conductor Reinbert de Leeuw and director Pierre Audi—on September 29, 2017. The nine-scene multi-media work, which was commissioned by the Philharmonic with generous support from the Lenore S. and Bernard A. Greenberg Fund, features a libretto by Helmut Krausser. Theatre of the World is a far-ranging exploration of the German Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher (1601–1680). Kircher, the author of thirty books, "made a determined effort to summarize all of contemporary knowledge, and link it to Christian theology," according to John Henken's program note. The Los Angeles Times says: "Brilliant and deep, Andriessen's music compels from start to finish." Theatre of the World, Andriessen's eighth Nonesuch recording, is available to pre-order at iTunes and in the Nonesuch Store.
Leigh Melrose performs the role of Kircher; Lindsay Kesselman is a boy who leads Kircher and his patron, Pope Innocenzo XI (sung by Marcel Beekman), on a journey. Steven van Watermeulen is Janssonius, Kircher's Amsterdam publisher; Mattijs van de Woerd is Carnifex, the hangman; and Cristina Zavalloni is Sor Juana. The Los Angeles Times calls her "ravenously ecstatic … the real vocal soul of the opera."