dream seminar / drömseminarium dream seminar, drömseminarium
Review: 5 September 2011, Sten Sjöström, Sveriges Radio

Originally Published: http://sverigesradio.se
 

For the first time, the poet Tomas Tranströmers words become an opera, dream Seminar - it is the composer Ellen Lindquist of Swedish heritage who wrote the music and the day was in New York.

- There is such passion and inner significance to the poet's words

But it is still in an unfinished form - the actual premiere will be in a year, in Sweden . Last Thursday it was in a small theater in Queens in New York that Dream Seminar was heard for the first time in its entirety, but in concert form. An opera in a chamber format, eleven musicians and two singers, the soprano Kathleen Flynn and the bass Michael Douglas Jones, and he, Michael, believes that the poet's poetry is perfect to make music of...

- The poet's prose is filled with such passion and content - I love to sing it, says Michael Douglas Jones.

Actually the idea for the opera started with him. When he appeared in Sweden a few years ago, he received a Tranströmer-book, and he was fascinated - and then he was interested in the composer Ellen Lindquist to translate the words into music, first in a song cycle format ...

- When we were working on the idea of a song cycle and selected the poems we realized that there was so much there that we wanted to do something bigger, says Ellen Lindquist, so it turned into operational plans.

The work on the dream Seminar has been going on for years and is an interplay between the musicians and the composer, much of the music based on improvisations by all the artists which Ellen Lindquist then processed further. There are many composers who have taken up the poet's works but this is the first time it will be an opera.

The music is unmistakably modern, sometimes atonal but almost invariably warm and lyrical. The eleven musicians have a very active role, they are definitely not in the orchestra pit in either the literal or transferred sense, they are on the scene and they use their bodies together with their instruments to illustrate the various themes of the poet's poetry, one of the musicians in the orchestra and one of the Swedes flutist Malin Trast...

- It's really exciting and great fun, but sometimes you have performance anxiety, you think maybe the musicians should stick to what they can do and not begin to act. It can be very contrived and weird, but I guess that's the challenge in this; finding the balance, not to do things that feel contrived, but to play and do what you do with the instrument.

Dream Seminar will now be further refined and next year there will be a full stage production and premiere.