Country Chile

Discipline Opera

Recomended for General Audience

Duration 90 minutes

Dates January 10, 11 and 12, 20.00h

Keywords Classics

The troupe in charge of the visual concept does the technology superbly. The singers become a seamless part of the animation

LA Times

Mahler’s penultimate completed work defies classification: it’s neither song cycle, symphony nor operatic drama. Inspired by ancient Chinese poems, La canción de la tierra (Song of the Earth) is impregnated with an existentialism that navigates its way through chaos, confusion, contemplation, beauty and death in an emotional portrait of the sometimes cruel, sometimes beautiful cycle of life.

Performed by the eighty musicians of the Chilean National Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Chilean Paolo Bortolameolli, Gustav Maher’s renowned composition expands its musical limits this time and takes on a life and form of its own. This is thanks to the multidisciplinary style of Chilean company TeatroCinema, well-known for its innovative merging of live performance with video effects. Their images and projections, daydreams and symbolism - accompanying and interpreting Mahler’s music - tower over the two renowned Chilean opera singers involved: the baritone Javier Weibel and the mezzosoprano Evelyn Ramírez. This piece had its world premiere in April 2018 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and was conducted by Gustavo Dudamel and performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.

| Multimedia

Direction

TeatroCinema

Orchestral Conducting

Paolo Bortolameolli

(Chile, 1981)

Paolo Bortolameolli is a pianist and orchestra conductor, considered one of the most interesting and versatile South American conductors of his generation. He is assistant director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and has collaborated with important names from the world music scene, including Gustavo Dudamel, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Marin Alsop. He was a Dudamel Fellow in 2017 and, in 2018, performed with the Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, as well as making his debut at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He studied conducting under masters such as Bernard Haitink, Neeme Järvi and Pavo Järvi.

Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Chile

By Gustav Mahler | Conductor Paolo Bortolameolli with the Chilean National Symphony Orchestra | Written and directed by Juan Carlos Zagal | Art director, storyboard and post-production Vittorio Meschi | Multimedia scriptwriter, editor and director Montserrat Antileo Antequera | Multimedia programmer and operator Mirko Petrovich 3D models, animatics and post-production Max Rosenthal | Post-production Sebastián Pinto | Lighting designer and operator Luis Alcaide | Assistant director and producer Laura Pizarro | Scriptwriter, actress and rigging object handler Sofía Zagal | Scriptwriter, actor and rigging object handler Julián Marras | Actor and rigging object handler Daniel Gallo | Actor and rigging object handler Christian Aguilera | Actor and rigging object handler Esteban Cerda | Producer Sally Silva

These performances of La canción de la tierra in Chile were made possible thanks to an alliance between the Teatro a Mil Foundation and the University of Chile’s Artistic and Cultural Center (CEAC).

This project was commissioned by Los Angeles Philharmonic | Conductor and artistic director Gustavo Dudamel | Direction Juan Carlos Zagal | Codirection Yuval Sharon | April 2018

  • La canción de la Tierra is an multidisciplinary piece that fuses theater, film, comics, opera and orchestra, all with the unmistakable touches of TeatroCinema, the renowned Chilean Symphony Orchestra and conductor Paolo Bortolameolli. Two well-known Chilean opera singers also take part in the performance.

  • La canción de la tierra was one of TeatroCinema’s greatest challenges in a career spanning more than 13 years. It was first performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra under acclaimed conductor Gustavo Dudamel at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in the United States. Ninety musicians, as well as Canadian mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford and North American tenor Russell Thomas, performed to more than 2,000 spectators over five nights.

  • “Given contemporary operatic trends and new musical theater, where the role of the narrative is often replaced by experiences and atmosphere, the time is right for a theatrical presentation of Mahler’s score”, says Yuval Sharon, the LAPhil’s director and artist in residence. One of the people who headed up this project, Sharon is renowned for his contemporary and expansive vision of opera.

  • Juan Carlos Zagal and Laura Pizarro – former members of the disbanded La Troppa company – are the founders of TeatroCinema, renowned worldwide for their talent at merging different styles. Theater, cinema and comics are some of the forms that have inspired their pieces, part of creative and multidisciplinary collaborations. Sin Sangre (winner of the 2008 Altazor award), El hombre que daba de beber a las mariposas and Historia de amor particularly stand out among their work, with which they have toured the world thanks to their originality.

  • Paolo Bortolameolli is one of Chile’s most successful international musicians and orchestra conductors: at 37, he has conducted orchestras at several important venues and is assistant director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra under Gustavo Dudamel.
  • Song of the Earth (La canción de la Tierra). One of Mahler’s last and most unclassifiable pieces, this is a song cycle like a symphony but with elements of opera. Composed at a critical time in his life – he was coming to the end of his time in charge of the Vienna Opera, his eldest daughter had recently passed away and he was diagnosed with a heart condition – this work is impregnated with an existentialism that navigates its way through chaos, confusion, contemplation, beauty and death. In an emotional depiction of the cycle of life, Mahler found inspiration and a written basis for his compositions in, among others, the poems of Li-Tai-Po and Tchang-Tsi, featured in The Chinese Flute compilation by the German, Hans Bethge.

  • Staging. TeatroCinema’s visuals evoke “paintings, cinematographic shots and scenes splashed with color, humor and animatics”. Originally divided into six movements, the company turned La canción de la tierra into six songs: each lied – a brief song for a solo voice – involves an idea, a moment, a journey, as if it were a stand-alone piece. “The first is based on romance; the second on the work of Austrian artist Gustav Klimt; the third explores the esthetics of Chinese ceramics; the fourth is inspired by Georges Méliès’ film work; the fifth is based on origami and the last on surrealism”, they said in La Tercera.

  • Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) was an Austrian composer and orchestra conductor, nowadays considered one of the most important and original symphony composers of his time and one of the most relevant figures in post-romanticism together with Richard Strauss. During his lifetime, he received recognition mainly as an orchestra and operatic conductor – particularly of Wagner and Mozart – working at the Metropolitan Opera House and with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. He used his compositions to express his ideas about the human condition and life, death and the universe.

The troupe in charge of the visual concept does the technology superbly. The singers become a seamless part of the animation

LA Times

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