A Laugh to Cry

Opera 14.10

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A Laugh to Cry

A Laugh to Cry is a work saturated with paradoxes, a brilliantly colourful multimedia opera where music and advanced technology meet in a production that goes to the limit for language, voice and the boundaries of the art form.

Two vocalists – soprano Frances M. Lynch and baritone Nicholas Isherwood – portray an archetypal couple who move within a virtual set constructed of video projections that shift in real time using advanced 3D technology. But what is dream, and what is reality?
Are they perhaps the world's first people, or its last?

An almighty shaman and god-figure, interpreted by composer and poet Miguel Azguime himself, manipulates the set in the same manner as Shakespeare's Prospero, and narrates in a language that defies definition, though seeming to contain fragments of Armenian and Portuguese, Swedish and a host of other languages. Here, language is poetry and poetry is equivalent to music.

During 2013, Piteå Chamber Opera will further extend its large range of exciting collaborative projects by connecting with two pioneers in Portugal – Miguel Azguime, one of Portugal's most exciting composers and poets, and Paula Azguime, director and video producer. Through Miso Ensemble, the pair has produced exciting multimedia performances for both adults and younger audiences. The opera A Laugh to Cry summarises 25 years of joint work with such diverse art forms as music, performance, poetry, love, video, production and interactive electronics.

Existing in a globalised world and living on the brink of environmental disaster – these are the kinds of monumental issues addressed by the two artists in their new joint project. As its title suggests, the work is full of paradoxes; a brightly coloured multimedia opera that the Azguimes have chosen to call “New Op-Era”.

Director: Miguel Azguime, Paula Azguime
Sopranos: Frances M Lynch, Camilla Robert
Baritone: Nicholas Isherwood
Narrator: Miguel Azguime
Conductor: Petter Sundkvist
Musicians: Ensemble Norrbotten NEO

With the support of: Secretaria de Estado da Cultura/Direcção Geral das Artes, Goethe-Institut Portugal and Câmara Municipal de Cascais.