Seventh Edition Of Opera21 Presents Three World Creations

Exciting, lively, adventurous and always surprising. For the seventh year in succession, Opera21 is concentrating all the latest in music theatre into a single festival. This year it will be on in Antwerp and will include no less than six premieres, three of which are new creations.

Although no specific theme has been chosen for this year's festival, strong women form a conspicuous thread that runs through the programme.

From the mysterious Myriam, who enjoys eternal life, to the equally mysterious smile on the lips of an unknown dead woman who has fascinated us for centuries. From the heroism of Harriet Tubman, who used music to free slaves in the southern United States, to the moving diaries of the American poet Sylvia Plath. But we also encounter Regine Beer, Florence Nightingale and Simone De Beauvoir.

A second thread that links the productions together is that of polarisation in society and its dramatic consequences. In Les Bienveillantes we descend into the diseased mind of the cultivated Nazi Max Aue. In Play Court of Choice the thirst for power becomes an almost erotic addiction. Third Space examines what is left of us when our reality is manipulated, and in The Valley (An Apocalypse) the composer Eric Sleichim and artist Hans Op de Beeck bring a tragic lifestory of the arena to the stage.

The programme this time includes no less than three world premieres of new creations: Les Bienveillantes (Opera Ballet Vlaanderen), Play Court of Choice (One Trick Pony) and The Valley (an apocalypse) (Muziektheater Transparant). In addition, there are four productions that will be on in Antwerp for the first time: In the penal colony (Opera Vlaanderen), Harriet (Muziektheater Transparant), Third Space (Hiatus) and Myriam (Stichting MONO).

Female talent is also prominent among the performers: Liesa van der Aa, An Pierl , Claron McFadden, Naomi Beeldens, Els Mondelaers and Lieselot De Wilde are just a few of the names that will be familiar to the theatre audience and who during this festival will appear on stage at deSingel, Toneelhuis or Opera Antwerp.

Furthermore, Opera21 stretches the boundaries of music theatre. Interactive performances, opera through wireless headsets, dance and new forms of presentation see to it that the definition and range of the festival is broadened.

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