The idea for Harold Nobens chamber opera À l'extrême bord du monde sprouted during his residency at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel. Curious to see how things fanned out, we followed the Belgian composer and his mentor Benoît Mernier during their sessions with the singers- and musicians-in-residence at the Chapel.
The bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner behind The Time of Our Singing would have loved to attend the world premiere of this opera adaptation. The promotional obligations surrounding his latest novel Bewilderment decided otherwise. A planned encounter with the author thus became an extended Zoom conversation that deserves to be shared here in its entirety - despite the occasional internet glitch and subpar pixel quality.
A few days before the world premiere, we talk to conductor Kwamé Ryan about the unique musical mix in The Time of Our Singing, his collaboration with composer Kris Defoort, and what it means to bring this immensely relevant opera to life in this day and age.
In this programme text, conductor Kwamé Ryan dissects from a personal point of view the topic of multi-ethnic identity and the musical eclecticism in The Time of Our Singing.
In The Time of Our Singing, Abigail Abraham plays Ruth Daley, a character at the crossroads of various musical influences. We followed the singer during a jam session at Kris Defoort's home and talked to her about her connection with Ruth.