Le Vin Herbé, Dance Opera

At the invitation of Ulrike Quade Company, we designed the entire stage for the chamber opera Le Vin Herbé by Swiss composer Frank Martin (1890 – 1974). The project is a collaboration with dance company ICK Amsterdam conducted by Pieter C. Scholten and Emio Greco and choir Cappella Amsterdam conducted by Daniel Reuss with the Dutch String Collective. Puppetry and lighting were developed by Tim Hammer and Floriaan Ganzevoort respectively.

Wool felt is bright and warm and is used for all parts in this performance. The use of color is linked to that of 13th century heraldry, in which each (geographical) area could be recognized by a number of colors and patterns, applied to flags, buildings and clothing. Minerals in bright colors provide a hopeful monumental backdrop to the story, in which two lovers try to reach each other, hindered by deceit and war, by monsters and seas. Sometimes the minerals look like castles of kings, sometimes the tents of armies or those of the fleeing lovers. Or they refer to remnants of mythical places, where the gods have free rein and the fate of the people is determined.

For us, the elaboration of this project is close to our projects about migration such as  “No One Is Illegal” in which we make images related to the refugees across Europe, in search of a new shelter, a home and their loved ones.