About The Opera
Composed by Jacob TV
A brilliantly colored collage culled from today's news—a competing kaleidoscope of politics, economics, religion, war, celebrity trivia, and commercials. Singing commentators create a vocal whirlwind over a brilliant eclectic score by Dutch composer JacobTV with a unique blend of classical, bluegrass, blues, jazz, rock, world music, and beyond. Filled with bitterly funny irony, the opera provides an eye-opening view of a society addicted to an endless stream of 24/7 infotainment.
"JacobTV is one of the most thought-provoking provocateurs working in today's new music. Also one of the most savagely entertaining."
–John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune
Jacob TV: "One cold morning in the winter of 2009 I came across the ABC studios in State Street Chicago. From outside I witnessed a live TV broadcast. While anchors presented the news from behind their desk, surrounded by cameras, monitors and lighting, the city was reflected in the huge glass walls. At once I knew I was going to make an opera about the media, about the "reality" of news. Most operas are based on fiction. As an artist, I am not interested in fiction. I agree with Mark Twain, that "Truth is stranger than fiction, because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn’t." The media are social institutions with a duty in society, but they have also become an industry that wants to make profit. And so a lot of news has become infotainment, sometimes drenched with emotion. A lot of what we see on TV has been manipulated in some kind of way. A non-stop mixture of reality and imagination. Today, the most obvious certainties of yesteryear, like moral and political ideologies, the financial system, religion, science, art, nature, even our globe seem to be under debate and subject to a non-stop tornado of topical and often negative reports in the media. Are there still world leaders, economists, scientists, artists, priests or journalists that we believe? It doesn’t make sense to try to keep up with the speed of the overwhelming quantities of "daily news". News is temporary and news value never lasts long. New news rapidly turns to old news. That is why I try to pick footage that possesses a timeless quality, telling us something about this world in which we live. In The News I use the melody and rhythm of speech samples as the leitmotif for the opera. As a composer I enjoy the beauty of authentic speech. I translate speech into musical notation. By zooming in on speech from everyday life, I try to zoom in on people’s thoughts and feelings, in search for meaning. The meaning of words is essential, and by turning speech into music, I am able to express "the indescribable", since music has the power to deepen the essence of language and image in an abstract way. The News libretto has not been "written", but it just comes into being, by selecting ready-made clips from the endless stream of ‘found footage’ from the media. The News is a never-ending opera, a work in progress. Every edition is different, and can last anything between from 15 minutes to an evening length production. The News is also suitable as installation in a museum.
Jacob TV (Jacob Ter Veldhuis, B.1951)
Dutch "avant pop" composer JacobTV (Jacob Ter Veldhuis, b.1951) started as a rock musician and studied composition and electronic music. He was awarded the Composition Prize of the Netherlands in 1980. "I pepper my music with sugar," he says. The press called him the "Andy Warhol of new music" and his "coming-out" as a composer of ultra-tonal, mellifluous music reached its climax with the video oratorio Paradiso, based on Dante's Divina Commedia. With some 1000 performances worldwide per year, JacobTV is one of the most performed European composers. In 2007 a 3 day JacobTV festival took place at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. Main works: The Rainbow-, Tallahatchie- and Goldrush Concertos, the video oratorio Paradiso, Mountain Top, the 2nd Pianoconcerto "Sky Falling", "NOW", String Quartets 1,2 & 3, Drei Stille Lieder, Diverso il Tempo, Laws of Science, Grab it!, Heartbreakers, Buku, Jesus is coming, May this Bliss never end, the Body of your Dreams, Les Soupirs de Rameau, Cities Change the Songs of Birds, the Postnuclear Winterscenarios, piano trio Nivea Hair Care Styling Mousse, Cheese Cake, Lipstick, The News.
JacobTV's works were performed by The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Tokyo City Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Russian State Academy, and by soloists such as Branford Marsalis, James Galway, and Evelyn Glennie. Choreographers Hans van Manen, Nanine Linning, Annabel Lopez-Ochoa, Dominique Dumais, Johan Inger and others have created ballets to his music in productions for the Nederlands Danstheater, Het Nationaal Ballet, Introdans, Scapino Ballet Rotterdam etc.
Philip Roth & Bob Dylan about "news"
"We live in an age", Philip Roth once wrote, "in which the imagination of the novelist lies helpless before what will appear in the morning newspaper: The actuality is continually outdoing our talents, and the culture tosses up figures daily that are the envy of any novelist." Roth observed that ‘the reality of celebrity culture stupefies, it sickens, it infuriates, and finally it is even a kind of embarrassment to one's own imagination (Empire of Illusion by Chris Hedges, Nation Books).
And according to Bob Dylan, "television and the media have killed poetry. These days the mass media have preempted the precious paths of communication that once belonged to poets and their readers. We see things on television now, more horrifying, sad or hilarious than we are likely to see in real life. The news shows people things that they couldn't even dream about. So what can a writer do when every idea is already exposed in the media before he can even grasp it and develop it?" (The Ballad of Bob Dylan by Daniel Mark Epstein, Harper).
The News is a reality show in which live music is synchronized with non-fiction footage from the international media, based on speech grooves. Two singing anchors present breaking news from their newsroom, accompanied by a nine-piece band and a huge screen that shows manipulated news items about politics, economy, religion, war and peace, showbiz and trivialities. The music by JacobTV is a blend of classical and world music, blues, jazz, rock, and pop.
Since 2003, Mitisek has been LBO's Artistic & General Director. Recent LBO directing credits: The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, King Gesar, Macbeth, Tell-Tale Heart, Van Gogh, The Paper Nautilus, Ainadamar, and Maria de Buenos Aires. Recent LBO conducting credits:Thérèse Raquin, I was Looking at the Ceiling and then I Saw the Sky, The Death of Klinghoffer, Camelia la Tejana, and The Fall of the House of Usher (co-production with COT). Other conducting credits: Joruri in Tokyo, Don Giovanni (Seattle Opera), Madama Butterfly (Orlando Opera), Jane Eyre (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis) and Eugene Onegin (Teatro Municipal in Santiago de Chile). Mitisek has also conducted the Austrian and Italian premieres of Nixon in China. In 2012, Andreas joined Chicago Opera Theater as General Director.
Rhythm Vocalist, Anchor
“TaKaDiMiTaKaDiMiPah..“ Don't ask. just listen. It’s a staccato swing explored by Rhythm Vocalist Loire Cotler whose life and music are defined by pure cadence and pulse and a mission to show the joyful power of the voice as a rhythm instrument. Recent critical praise- “Explosive” (The New York Times) “Peerless artistry” (The Jerusalem Post) “Jaw-dropping dexterity” (Chicago Classical Review). Bridging Medieval to Be-bop; World Music to Avant-Pop and blazing drum-language solos with American Composers Orch., National Chinese Orch., JacobTV THE NEWS and iconic Grammy winner Glen Velez. Loire is a passionate educator, presenting masterclasses at The Juilliard School and conservatories worldwide. Visit: www.rhythmvocalist.com
Maeve Höglund, Soprano For her recent performances of Carmina Burana (Tucson Symphony Orchestra), Green Valley News wrote that Maeve Höglund “possesses a crystalline range in both chest and head tones…. She had no trouble staying atop the large orchestra and chorus with powerful and a pleasantly penetrating timbre." In the summer of 2016, Ms. Höglund sings Frasquita in Carmen (PORTOpera). Her recent engagements include Giunia in Lucio Silla (Chicago Opera Theater), Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro (Sarasota Opera), The Blizzard Voices (Oratorio Society of New York at Carnegie Hall), and Sister in The Protagonist (Fire Island Opera Festival).
Director, choreographer and Artistic Director of Opera del Espacio. Credits include Tosca Jumps!, Carmen (Pacific Repertory Opera), Don Giovanni, The Barber of Seville (Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra), Civil Wars (LA Phil), La Traviata (Angels Vocal Art); Choreographer at Long Beach Opera for The Emperor from Atlantis, The Clever One and Moscow, Cherry Town; Assistant Director at LA Opera on Madama Butterfly, The Barber of Seville, Carmen; Associate Director to Barcelona director, Joan Font, on The Barber of Seville (Houston Grand Opera Theatre, L’Opera National de Bordeaux, Gran Teatro de Liceu, Canadian Opera Company), L’Italiana in Algers (Houston Grand Opera) and Cenerentola (LA Opera, Opera Omaha, Washington National Opera). Recently directed Savitri and River of Light (Festival Opera), Norma (Skagit Opera) and this July Anya17 with Angels Vocal Art.
Elizabeth Harper (Lighting Design) Immediate Family (The Mark Taper Forum); Woman Laughing Alone with Salad, and A Raisin in the Sun (The Kirk Douglas Theatre); Play Dead, Wait Until Dark, Good People, and Bad Jews (Geffen Playhouse); Crescent City (The Industry); Reunion, Venus in Fur, Office Hour and tokyo fish story (South Coast Rep). She is a five-time Ovation Award nominee. She has served as a lighting consultant for installations at LACMA and Greene Naftali. Her industrial lighting projects include shows and events for Microsoft, On-Live, Ubisoft and Universal Studios. She is a guest design lecturer at CalArts.