Thursday 1st & Friday 2nd August, 2013
THE END OF CIVILISATION AS WE KNOW IT was written during a winter residency in Venice 2010/11.
It was inspired not only by that sinking city but also by a fascination with astrophysics and comedy.
Imagine you are alive in four billion years time, when the sun is reduced to a red dwarf, dies and explodes, and our solar system turns into a massive fireball. You have built the mother of all panic rooms. What would you save? Who would you take with you?
This is the situation that our protagonist finds herself in. She takes with her as many operas as she can, in addition to large chunks of Venice – the city where opera was born (according to the singer). Who does she take with her, knowing that they will only last as long as the supply of cake andwine does? She observes her audience and chooses one of them to join her, and her trusty pianist, in their last few moments together, discussing life, death, art, music and food.
THE END OF CIVILISATION AS WE KNOW IT is very much in its earlystages.
I’m fascinated by the postmodern recycling of old ideas that I’ve seen – new versions of Purcell, orchestrations of Monteverdi using accordions and kazoos; it’s almost as though the forms are feeding on themselves. I wanted to attempt dissolving the form further by trying to use surveillance and interview as operatic/musical/dramatic material. I also wanted to create a character or role that could be developed into a form of operatic ‘stand-‐up’. This isn’t so much a narrative opera; it’s an installation. In the first half, the unseen character observes. In the second half, she is observed.
The End of Civilisation As We Know It: Lore Lixenberg
Singer: Lore Lixenberg
Pianist: Leon Michener
Lore Lixenberg has performed in recitals and music-‐theatre worldwide. She has also arranged and directed projects using early and electro-‐acoustic music combined with film. Her work goes from an exploration of and fascination with a genuine avant-‐garde, combined with a spirit of experimentation, to physical theatre and comedy. In 2014/15, she will tour her show Manifesto – a presentation of artist manifestos from futurism to fluxus – with composer Frederic Acquaviva.
Leon Michener is an unclassifiable pianist and composer born and residing in London. His work primarily seeks to find new techniques and methods of structuring and directing improvisation and draws inspiration from the whole corpus of the piano repertoire, encompassing electronics, video and sound design.