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Kaija Saariaho: L’Amour de loin

Kaija Saariaho L’Amour de loin (2000)
Libretto Amin Maalouf
operatic concert with a mediaartistic design by Jean-Baptiste Barrière

Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
Kent Nagano · conductor
Magali de Prelle · soprano
Marie-Ange Todorovitch · mezzo soprano
Daniel Belcher · baritone
Isabelle Voßkühler · soprano
Rundfunkchor Berlin
Simon Halsey · choir direction

Visual Presentation
Jean-Baptiste Barrière · concept and computer graphics
Pierre-Jean Bouyer · computer graphics
Isabelle Barrière · live video and computer graphics
David Sheppard, Sound Intermedia · sound effects
Image Auditive · production | With the support of CiTu

An event of DSO Berlin/ROC-GmbH in cooperation with
MaerzMusik | Berliner Festspiele and Rundfunkchor Berlin

A performance promising a high degree of authenticity. In August 2000, Kent Nagano conducted the première of Kaija Saariaho’s opera L’amour de loin at Salzburger Festspiele. The libretto was written by Franco-Lebanese author Amin Maalouf, who artistically develops his story with an ever-shifting focus of suspense.

The plot, set in a (for us) imaginary world, shifts between Near East and Occident and tells the story of troubadour Jaufré Rudel. Tales about the Princess of Tripolis awaken in him the “love from afar”. He decides to set out in search of the woman of his longing. On his way to Lebanon he falls ill. His “love” comes to visit him on his deathbed; he dies in her arms.

Electronic, traditional, instrumental and vocal music melt in Kaija Saariaho’s score. Composed purely from sound, it endows the vocal parts with a graphic quality that makes the characters appear in their true mental and emotional being. It sounds out the sonic world of the Middle Ages, the charged interplay between oriental and occidental traditions. It gives the different stages of the plot their own colour and character. The score becomes the true scene.