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Music Text

text and voice: Paul Auster; song texts: Andrew Patner, Georgette Dee (E-G); film and virtual room: Dominique Gonzales-Foerster


Group I: ssax.tsax.bn-hn.tpt(=picctpt).tbn-perc(1):cym(med)/SD/2crot/glass/tam-t(med)/gong/timp(C)/cowbell/tgl/1tom-t(lg)/1claves-vln;
Group II: fl(=picc).ob.cl(=bcl)-elec.gtr-elec.pft-vla.vlc.db
(ob and hn doubling children's tpt and mouth org);

Abbreviations (PDF)

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

For full details on this stagework, including synopsis and roles, please visit our Opera section.

World Premiere
Helmut-List-Halle, Graz
Georgette Dee, special appearance / Ensemble Modern / Franck Ollu
Programme Note
Press Quotes

“Neuwirth’s “…ce qui arrive…” combines a taped autobiographical monologue spoken by Paul Auster with an orchestral soundscape (performed by the awesome Ensemble Modern) augmented by electronic samples and an amazingly synchronised video [by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster] of the transgendered chanteuse Georgette Dee… Somewhere over the rainbow of Auster’s banal-sounding fables… the work becomes inexplicably profound… Neuwirth’s music is not easy, but rarely is an intellectual challenge so enjoyable. Her dazzling sonic combinations strike nerves and funny bones.” (Larry L. Lash / James Woodall, Financial Times, 03 Nov 2004)

“Olga Neuwirth has for a long time been Austria’s best, most curious and consequential composer… Paul Auster’s murmurs came from all directions, a recitation virtually on one note that melted again and again blissfully with the sounds of the Ensemble Modern… Neuwirth creates out of Andrew Patner’s poetry three songs à la Kurt Weill in the swell of her rich primeval music… On the video Georgette Dee scrambles in front of the screen, sings, plays with veils, and mutates into a man. Whatever colour appears is overlaid upon the image of the coast that subsequently plunges into darkness. But Olga Neuwirth continually counterpoints the video performer and the suspicion of the cultured person, leading towards the never resting powers of nature…” (Reinhard J. Brembeck, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 23/24 Oct 2004)

“Georgette Dee… seems like an icon of desire, expectation become body and soul. Olga Neuwirth composed three songs for her in the style of Kurt Weill, a study of perfection in terms of their workmanship. In the course of the work the listener is treated to buzzing and clinking noises, sounds as of ice floes superimposing one another – a both tender and harsh cluster symphony with individual melodies bubbling to the surface in between. If listeners are ready to act as resonators, an existential experience awaits them, which is no less than a life poised between happiness and disaster, hope and desperation, transposed into the realm of art.” (Ulrich Weinzierl, Die Welt, 04 Nov 2004)

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