[Denmark,Latvia] War Sum Up
♥♥♥♥♥ - Politiken (DK)
★★★★★ - Gaffa (DK)
★★★★★ - Berlingske Tidende (DK)
Winner, Music Theatre Now completion 2013
Winner of Danish theatre prize for Best Stage Design 2012.
Nominated for Danish theatre prize for Opera of the Year, Latvian Cultural Prize and Latvian Performance of the Year in 2011.
War Sum Up: A Manga Opera on the Nature of War
By director Kirsten Dehlholm and Willie Flindt
War is as simple and as complicated as man itself. The nature of war is ever-changing, adapting to the era’s usable weapons and to the culture within which it takes place. War develops new technology, new strategies, new opinions.
War Sum Up tells of war through three main characters:
The Soldier is sent home from war. He suffers from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and he no longer feels at home in civilian society. He returns to the war and dies in an explosion. A monument is raised in his memory. His symptoms and fate exist today.
The Warrior is killed in battle. His unnatural death prevents his soul from a natural transition to the world on the other side. He becomes a spectre, a ghost, who must tell his story in order to find peace. An old superstition which still exists in many cultures.
The Spy is captured in the war. In order to be freed she must relearn her abilities in the martial arts and transform herself. She is transformed into a super-woman and escapes. She is a part of the fantasy-genre and popular culture.
All three stories are framed by the woman in yellow. She is the Gamemaster who begins the war. But she is also the person who perpetually continues working because everyday life must go on as a banality of evil even though there is a war. She is part of the of the Civilians´ choir that intensify and enlarge the never-ending story of war.
Light and darkness, colours and patterns in black and white together with manga drawings in XL format are intense visual narrators.
War Sum Up is inspired by the Japanese powerful expressions of poetry, pop, precision and brutality. The libretto is created with texts from Noh-theatre, written by Japanese masters. The old world meets with the new, when the deep tone of poetry unfold in the electronic musical universe. Several musical expressions and styles are combined. New composed classical music creates a spheric, electronic sound together with the sung voices. Newly written pop-music describes the three characters with a mix of chamber pop and electronica, where man and machine melt together. It all blends into a fusion of painfully beauty.
“The man-machine interface, the new environment or computer space, which machine and man inhabit together, is not an extension of the body but a total environment. It is the context for a new corporeal reality,(an entirely new world in which war is conducted, )a world into which we are sensorially and not only physically incorporated and assimilated.” (Christopher Coker from The Future of War)
Hotel Pro Forma, Latvian Radio Choir, Latvian National Opera
Hotel Pro Forma
Hotel Pro Forma is an international laboratory of performance and installations. Perception, perspective and themes from the world are blended into a conceptual, visual and musical art form. Each work is developed through an almost natural-science approach to study and research, and subject matter is often taken from this world-view. The artistic process is exploratory and transdisciplinary. The structure of the work is strongly anchored in music, visual arts and architecture and does not follow traditional theatrical structures. Instead the work presents visual and musical universes that investigate universal subjects such as evolution, world cultures, perspective and gravity.
Latvian Radio Choir
Founded in 1940 the Latvian Radio Choir is considered to be one of the most boldly-innovative choirs in Europe today. Their vast repertoire extends from early Renaissance to Baroque music to complex works of contemporary classical music.
Latvian Radio Choir gives up to 60 concerts a year around the world. This is their second collaboration with Hotel Pro Forma, where they also perform in their modern classic Operation : Orfeo. They are lead by conductors Sigvards Klava and Kaspars Putnins.
LATVIAN NATIONAL OPERA
Founded in 1912, the Latvian National Opera is repertoire theatre which focuses on opera and ballet.
While paying tribute to the traditional values of the classical and Romantic operas and ballets that are the cornerstones of its repertoire, the Latvian National Opera continually strives to seek contemporary forms of expression. The LNO stage regularly resounds with successful productions of modern operatic and ballet masterpieces, children's performances, and original Latvian works.
In the course of a season, the LNO will perform approx 200 performances. In a year, generally six new productions will be made, shared across both opera and ballets.
Cast & Crew
Vocals: Latvian Radio Choir
“Gamemaster” Ieva Ezeriete
“Soldier” Aigars Reinis
“Warrior” Gundars Dzilums
“Spy” Liga Paegle
Conductor: Sigvards Klava
Director: Kirsten Dehlholm
Concept: Willie Flindt, Kirsten Dehlholm
Music: The Irrepressibles, Santa Ratniece with Gilbert Nouno
Libretto: Texts from classic Noh theatre edited by Willie Flindt
Musical direction: Kaspars Putnins
Costumes: Henrik Vibskov
Light design: Jesper Kongshaug
Set design: Kirsten Dehlholm, Willie Flindt, Jesper Kongshaug
Video technique: Kasper Stouenborg
Video design: Sine Kristiansen
Manga drawings: Hikaru Hayashi
Black and white photos: Zoriah Miller, Dallas Sells, Timothy Fadek, Kirtan Patel, Mário Porral, Richard Bunce
Director’s assistant: Jon R. Skulberg
Technical director, Hotel Pro Forma Oskars Plataiskalns
Technical director, Latvian National Opera Vilmars Sadris
Sound engineer: Andris Uze
Video engineer: Ugis Ezerietis
Stage manager: Lauris Bimbers
Stage technician: Girts Bite
Light engineer: Oskars Plataiskalns
Props and set design assistant: Maria Legaard Kjeldsen
Architects: Nicole Vitner, Runa Johannesen
Makeup MAC Cosmetics
Production: Hotel Pro Forma, Latvian National Opera
Associate producer: Sarah Ford / Quaternaire
Producer, Latvian National Opera Dace Bula
Managing director, Latvian Radio Choir Egils Stals
Manager, Hotel Pro Forma Peter Jentzsch