Thursday, March 24, 2016

Davone Tines premieres new Kaija Saariaho double-bill

Davon Tines in Only the Sound Remains (right)
Bass-barihunk Davone Tines is starring in Kaija Saariaho’s new double bill Only the Sound Remains, which includes Tsunemasa (Always Strong) and Hagoromo (Feather Mantle). The pieces are based n 14th-century Japanese Noh theatre works brought to the US by American art historian and Buddhist convert Ernest Fenollosa in the early 20th century and later pieced together by poet Ezra Pound. They are being directed by Peter Sellars.

The operas are scored for small ensemble of live electronics with acoustic sound and two singers — baritone and countertenor, who is famed countertenor Philippe Jaroussky. Both characters narrate encounters with the supernatural. Tines and Jaroussky perform the earth/spirit counterparts of the two pieces, the ghost and priest for Tsunemasa, and the fisherman and angel for Hagoromo.

Davon Tines sings Ol' Man River:

The Japanese Nôh theatre was born from the Buddhist idea that light is concealed largely in darkness, so as not to blind mere mortals. There is little action in Only the Sound Remains, which is meant to heighten the tension, concentration and symbolism.

There are performances remaining on March 27 and 29 and then it heads to the Finnish National Opera Helsinki, Opéra national de Paris, Teatro Real in Madrid and the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto. Tickets are available online

Tines is building an international career commanding a broad spectrum of opera and concert performances. Recent performances include programs of Bach and Rameau at Alice Tully Hall, the U.S. premiere of Meanachem Zur's Cartoons at Lincoln Center and Matthew Aucoin's new opera Crossing, which we featured on the site. He is a 2009 graduate of Harvard College and received a Masters degree in voice from The Juilliard School in 2013.

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