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U.S. Premiere of BOOK OF MOUNTAINS & SEAS to be Presented by St. Ann's Warehouse and PROTOTYPE: Opera | Theatre | Now


Performing Book of Mountains & Seas at St. Ann’s Warehouse will be singers Carina Tybjerg Madsen (soprano), Ann Christin H Wesser Ingels (soprano), and more.

U.S. Premiere of BOOK OF MOUNTAINS & SEAS to be Presented by St. Ann's Warehouse and PROTOTYPE: Opera | Theatre | Now

St. Ann's Warehouse will again join forces with PROTOTYPE: Opera | Theatre | Now to present the U.S. premiere of the sonically rich and visually arresting Book of Mountains & Seas, January 11-15, as part of the tenth anniversary PROTOTYPE Festival. With a score and libretto by Huang Ruo, and direction and design by the iconic Basil Twist, this very 21st century Book of Mountains & Seas is inspired by the ancient Chinese compilation of early myths of the same name, first transcribed in the 4th century B.C. It is performed by 12 singers and 2 percussionists from Denmark's Ars Nova Copenhagen, led by music director Paul Hillier, and a team of local puppeteers.

The myths in The Book of Mountains & Seas are part of Chinese written and oral history, shifted and shaped to fit contemporary times. In four musical and visual tableaux, Ruo and Twist adapt them through the lens of our modern-day relationship with the natural world, with the creation stories conjuring respect and awe for the environment, and the water stories challenging us to be good stewards of the resources we have been given.

The Book of Mountains & Seas brings together two visionary artists at high points in their careers. Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times included Ruo's An American Soldier (with libretto by David Henry Hwang) in his list of the Best Classical Music Events of 2018, writing, "This inventive and searing opera could not have been more relevant in an America riven by issues of race, war and bullying." Tommasini named Ruo's The Sonic Great Wall, which the composer conducted at National Sawdust in 2019, a Critic's Pick. Basil Twist's staging of Titon et l'Aurore for the Opéra Comique in January 2021 won rave reviews, including from Heidi Waleson of The Wall Street Journal, who called the production "delicious."

St. Ann's Warehouse Artistic Director Susan Feldman said, "We're so pleased to be sharing our recovery season with PROTOTYPE and such special artists as Huang Ruo and Basil Twist. The music and the puppetry are just what we need, a feast or ear and eye."

Performing Book of Mountains & Seas at St. Ann's Warehouse will be singers Carina Tybjerg Madsen (soprano), Ann Christin H Wesser Ingels (soprano), Mari Øyrehagen (soprano), Hanne Marie le Fevre (mezzo-soprano), Laura Lamph (mezzo-soprano), Elenor Wiman (mezzo-soprano), Luís Toscano (tenor), Nils Greenhow (tenor), Jakob Skjoldborg (tenor), Asger Lynge Petersen (bass), Rasmus Thomsen (bass), and Mikkel Tuxen (bass), and Paul Hillier (Chief Conductor/Artistic Director) and

Miles Lallemant (Assistant Conductor), of Ars Nova Copenhagen; percussionists Michael Murphy and Ryan Scott; and puppeteers Lute Breuer, Ben Elling, Rosa Elling, Alexandra Goss, Rachel Schapira, and Ashley Winkfield.

The design team includes Basil Twist (Director/Production Designer), Poe Saegusa (Lighting Designer), and Lynne Buckson (Costume Construction).

Book of Mountains & Seas is produced by Ars Nova Copenhagen, Beth Morrison Projects, Toronto Soundstreams, and Koorbiennale, and developed by Beth Morrison Projects and Ars Nova Copenhagen.

Book of Mountains & Seas makes its world premiere at the Royal Danish Opera House November 3-7, 2021. It follows highly successful collaborations between St. Ann's Warehouse and PROTOTYPE on the U.S. premieres of the Donnacha Dennehy / Enda Walsh opera The Last Hotel (2016) and Carmina Slovenica's Toxic Psalms (2015).

American Express is a proud partner of the St. Ann's Warehouse 2021-2022 season.

Performance Schedule, Running Time, Tickets, and COVID-19 Protocol

Performances of Book of Mountains & Seas take place January 11-14 at 8pm and January 15 at 2pm.

Running time is approximately 75 minutes.

Tickets, starting at $35, are on sale to St. Ann's Warehouse Members today, American Express Card Members from November 8 at 11:00am ET - November 9 at 11:59pm ET, and to the general public on November 10, at and 718.254.8779.

To reach full capacity safely, ID and proof of full vaccination will be required of all audience members. St. Ann's Warehouse will be following CDC, New York State, and New York City mandates and recommendations for audience members to wear masks when attending indoor events. Visit the St. Ann's Warehouse Health & Safety page for more information.

St. Ann's Warehouse is located in Brooklyn Bridge Park, at 45 Water Street|DUMBO|Brooklyn, NY 11201.

Photo credit: Maria Baranova

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