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by Luciano Berio & Sébastien Roux with Joris Lacoste & HYOID voices

‘Theatre of the ear’ : live performance with headphones, for 8 voices a cappella and electronics

  • Luciano Berio wrote two versions of ‘A-Ronne’. The first one for five actors and the second one for 8 voices. Joris Lacoste offers a new version of the latter in a contemporary and electronic listening format.
    Conceived as a kind of musical documentary on a poem by Edoardo Sanguineti, this musical piece mixes excerpts and allusions to numerous other texts: translations of the Bible, Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’, Goethe’s ‘Faust’, ‘The Communist Manifesto’ by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, and snippets of text by Roland Barthes.

    ‘A theatre of the ear’
    In this new stage version, Joris Lacoste brings forward, to its fullest dimension, what Berio called a ‘theatre of the ear’ and which he defined as a type of performance where theatricality is generated internally through vocal expression.
    In the words of Joris Lacoste: “There are no characters as such, let alone a plot or argument. The sentences themselves, the words and the voices, all amplified, are the real protagonists of the play. The language(s) is the whole narrative, from A to Z (Z = ‘Ronne’). It is theatre of the mind.”

    Live version with electronics and headphones, exploring several listening modes
    Equipped with wireless headphones, the spectator hears a version of ‘A-Ronne’ augmented by an electroacoustic prologue composed by Sébastien Roux. “This piece, lasting 20 minutes, will place the spectator in a radio-like listening situation which eventually leads them, almost as if by chance, to a live retransmission of Berio’s piece, exploring the ambiguities between voice and electronics, amplified voices or voices reverberating in the space, voices played in the headphones or ‘leaking in’ through the headphones.” (Joris Lacoste)

    Unconventional performance venues
    “The show is not intended for traditional theatres, but rather for large spaces such as empty warehouses or underground car parks: listening through headphones will allow for large distances between audience and singers, as well as between the singers themselves. The idea is to explore the disparity between what is heard (the same for everyone) and what is seen (depending on the movements of each person). The mobility of the singers and the conductor will make it possible to choreograph games of appearance, disappearance, gathering and dispersing, all in function of Berio’s score.” (Joris Lacoste)

    Distribution & Legal notices

    Luciano Berio, Sébastien Roux, composers
    Joris Lacoste, artistic and stage director
    Claire Croizé, choreographer and assistant director
    Filip Rathé, musical director

    HYOID voices
    Esther Rispens, Naomi Beeldens, Ellen Wils, Fabienne Seveillac, Andreas Halling, Eymeric Mosca, Arnout Leems, Pascal Zurek

    Florian Leduc, lights and scenography
    Fabienne Seveillac, artistic co-conception

    Patrick Delges (Centre Henri Pousseur), sound
    Camille Lézer/Marjolaine Carme, sound designer
    Jan-Simon De Lille, stage manager
    Veerle Vervoort, production assistant

    Executive Production : La Muse en Circuit – CNCM / HYOID voices
    Support: Flemish Government / Perpodium & Cohort production / Institut français in Paris
    Coproducers: Musica / Centre Henri Pousseur / de Bijloke / C-TAKT



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