Michel van der Aa’s acclaimed music theatre work The Book of Water will continue its tour around Asia, with two performances in South Korea on 4 and 5 April at the Tongyeong International Music Festival. The multimedia opera had its Asian premiere in February 2023 at the Hong Kong Arts Festival, where it was enthusiastically received. Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post praised it as a “multimedia spectacle […] Samuel West’s was a virtuoso performance in its own right. […] Flawlessly put together, with striking visuals and a topical subject, The Book of Water reinvents melodrama after the fashion of a TED Talk for the opera stage.”
Actor Abel de Vries and the Esmé Quartet will perform live on stage, along with actor Timothy West and soprano Mary Bevan on film. General information about the festival is available on imf.org.
The music of Upload is now available for listening on the streaming platforms, Bandcamp, and in the vanderaanet webshop. You can find it all on disquietmedia.net. The ‘film opera’ features singers Julia Bullock and Roderick Williams, and the instrumental Ensemble MusikFabrik, conducted by Otto Tausk.
In November 2022, Upload won in the Best Digital Opera category at the International Opera Awards held in Madrid. Begun as part of the Dutch National Opera’s ‘Opera Forward’ festival, the opera’s live premiere had to be postponed due to the Covid pandemic, but a film version was put together and made available soon after. It was awarded the Best Digital Opera prize by a jury of international opera professionals, headed by the editor of Britain’s Opera magazine.