Aède Of The Ocean and Land

A Digital Cinematic Opera

WINNER

Music Theatre NOW 2018

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

Twenty-two artists involved, 14 performing live simultaneously from Athens, New York, San Francisco, Den Haag and Rome and ten different time-zones.

Aède of the Ocean and Land is a digital cinematic new opera, one of the first LIVE operas on the digital stage: Cinematic = visual piece created live by Stephanie Sherriff & performers, new opera = a newly composed work by Shirish Korde. 

An innovative production based on the recently discovered play written by Noor Inayat Khan (1914-1944), a celebrated British spy and author known affectionately as “Noor”. Aède of the Ocean and Land is a Sufi fable that borrows Homer’s Odyssey as a framework but subverts and re-interprets the epic poem by challenging patriarchy in a magical way. Aède is best described as a literary blend of East and West that imparts important universal truths, the central themes concerning love – personal, transcendental, and spiritual – and renunciation. Aède the opera will express this tapestry of Eastern and Western musical and artistic traditions.

Composer Shirish Korde defines the production with a score that fuses contemporary and world music styles including Hindustani, South Asian, Greek folk music and Contemporary American and European idioms. 

This production balances fable and fantasy, myth and spirituality, patriarchy and feminism, inviting the audience on the personal and spiritual journeys.

 

“This mystical dramatization of the Odyssey, in the tradition of ancient Neoplatonic readings of Homer, melded with the influence of Sufism, is an important text for readers interested in the reception of Homer in the twentieth century.”

Emily Wilson, translator of The Odyssey

 

Credits

Playwright: Noor Inayat Khan
Director: Elli Papakonstantinou
Composer: Shirish Korde
Choreography: Valia Papachristou
Video Art Designer: Stephanie Sheriff
Director’s Assistant: Ero Lefa
Technical Director: Charikleia Petraki
De Facto Producer: Tarana Sara Jobin

Musicians: Srinivas Reddy (sitar), Amit Kavthekar (Tabla), Jonathan Hess (percussion)
Cassatt String Quartet: Muneko Otani (violin), Jennifer Leshnower (violin), Ah Ling Neu (viola), Elizabeth LatifaNoor Anderson (cello)

Cast: Dashon Burton (Ulys), Emily Pulley (Penelope/Ire), Jennifer Zetlan (Telemachus), Lito Messini (Euryclee/Calypso/Nymph/Siren/Aphrodite), Kelvin Chan (Laerte/Hermes/River/Suitor/Warrior of the army of Ulys), Gemma Carbone (Euryclee/Sirene/Suitor/Eros/Warrior of the army of Ulys), Elias Husiak (Shepherd/River/Sirene/Poseidon/Suitor/Warrior of the army of Ulys), Adrian Freiling (Suitor/ Warrior of the army of Ulys), Kat Papachristou (Sirene/Suitor/ Warrior of the army of Ulys), Valia Papachristou (Sirene/Suitor/Pallas Athenee/Warrior of the army of Ulys), Laura Jobin-Acosta (Sirene/Mentor/Zeus/Apollo/Suitor/Warrior of the army of Ulys), Julia Rabia Rahm (Sirene/Suitor/Warrior of the army of Ulys)

Co-produced by Sara Tarana Jobin on behalf of the Astana, and the ODC Ensemble in Athens, Greece:

 

Performances

Center for Contemporary Opera 2020,
Global premiere: 14 September

Co-presented by
the Center for Contemporary Opera

 

ABOUT NOOR INAYAT KHAN

Noor Inayat Khan is best known in Europe for her heroism as a clandestine wireless radio operator and a secret agent working with the allies in occupied France during World War II.

She was born on New Year’s Day 1914 in Moscow. She was a direct descendant of Tipu Sultan, the 18th century Muslim ruler of Mysore. Her father,  Hazrat Inayat Khan was a musician and Sufi teacher. Her mother was Amina Begum. Khan escaped to England after the fall of France and in November 1940 she joined the WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force). In late 1942, she was recruited to join SOE as a radio operator. In June 1943 she was flown to France to become the radio operator for the ‘Prosper’ resistance network in Paris, with the codename ‘Madeleine’.

In October, Khan was betrayed by a Frenchwoman and arrested by the Gestapo. For her courage, Noor Khan was posthumously awarded the George Cross in 1949.

 

Videos

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Reviews

Papakonstantinou took the allegory of The Cave from Plato's 'Republic'…
What we perceive as reality is exactly this: our perception. We don’t know the real reality. In The Cave by Elli Papakonstantinou – ODC Ensemble, this line is continued and applied to the discussion about fake news, the influence of social media, virtual reality and the concept of ‘post truth’. The music of Mousas is more than adequate: by creating loud, thumping noise, he creates a very claustrophobic musical landscape, perfectly suited to our imprisonment in the cave. And yes, this piece raises interesting questions, for example about the concept of ‘choice’. Just as we can choose a new phone, so we can choose to believe or not believe a certain conspiracy theory. Knowledge and facts have also become a product that we can handle freely and that are interchangeable. We can ‘like’ and ‘follow’. Through the overwhelming music, the flashing images and the swirling pace, the five performers manage to take us on an exciting, but also disturbing, trip.

Ben Taffijn | Nieuwe Noten | 21.05.2019

"The Cave" takes us by storm with its powerful sound and visuals from the very first minute…
What we perceive as reality is exactly this: our perception. We don’t know the real reality. In The Cave by Elli Papakonstantinou – ODC Ensemble, this line is continued and applied to the discussion about fake news, the influence of social media, virtual reality and the concept of ‘post truth’. The music of Mousas is more than adequate: by creating loud, thumping noise, he creates a very claustrophobic musical landscape, perfectly suited to our imprisonment in the cave. And yes, this piece raises interesting questions, for example about the concept of ‘choice’. Just as we can choose a new phone, so we can choose to believe or not believe a certain conspiracy theory. Knowledge and facts have also become a product that we can handle freely and that are interchangeable. We can ‘like’ and ‘follow’. Through the overwhelming music, the flashing images and the swirling pace, the five performers manage to take us on an exciting, but also disturbing, trip.

Peter ‘t Hart | Place de l’Opera | 20.05.2019

“This mystical dramatization of the Odyssey, in the tradition of ancient Neoplatonic readings of Homer, melded with the influence of Sufism, is an important text for readers interested in the reception of Homer in the twentieth century.”

Emily Wilson, translator of The Odyssey

An amazing cyber-punk new opera…

Korina Farmakori |  Lifo | 02.10.2018

Tremendous aesthetic craft… a perfect combination of different arts…

[…] Elli Papakonstantinou does not juxtapose the ideal of the Platonic truth with the fake news era (as it is so easily made by the “valid” information providers) […] Papakonstantinou seems to imply that the solution is linked to the search for a third dimension, which will reintroduce the sense of perspective into a universe where the subject of knowledge itself is dissolved into light […]

Manolis Patiniotis | Avgi | 11.02.2018

A veritable bombardment of all senses…

Eye, ear and not least brain fought to keep up.It’s strange and beautiful, ugly and cloudy….like everyone else in the chamber, I was blown away…

Bent Stenbakken |  Nordjyske | 11.08.2018

Redefining the meaning of modern musical theater with a social discourse, far from any realistic reference and trivial protest. Αn essential aesthetic event…

Dimitris Tsatsoulis
Greek-Theatre | Greek Play Project | 13.10.2018

Elli Papakonstantinou: The persistent representative of the Greek avant-garde…

ELLI’s THREE STRONG POINTS:
1. Interactivity with the audience: Elli shapes theatre into live experiences driving audiences to long promenades within industrial spaces.
2. Music: Music works in a transcendental way taking audiences into a space-time beyond the ordinary.
3. Extroversion: Her work evolves through international residencies and collaborations over time, while touring internationally.

Maria Kryou |  Athinorama | 27.01.2018

A substantial aesthetic event…

[…] Redefines the meaning of contemporary musical theatre with a social message away from any reference to prosaic complaints.

Dimitris Tsatsoulis
Greek-Theatre | Greek Play Project | 13.10.2018

A disruptive interpretation of Platon’s allegory, with punk, video art and shadow theater…​

A mix of opera, video, sound effects, shadow theater and soundtrack from Trump’s press conference, and if you think you’re true to reality, think again. Or should you?

Sceneblog | 08.08.2018

The Cave – active and dynamic – I saw it and definitely recommend it…​

[…] I saw it and definitely recommend it. Combining new media with new opera, this is an overwhelming show of visuals and music taking us through the philosophical perspective of a suffocating, dark era. From Plato’s allegorical cave to facebook’s fake life […]

Maria Markouli |  09.02.2018

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