Glass Handel | Box Burners

Glass Handel | Box Burners

[ Handel’s “Amadigi di Gaula:
Pena Tiranna” playing ]♪♪♪♪[ Singing in Italian ]♪♪The reason that opera
is so powerfulis that the human voice
is very primal.And if you think aboutthe sound from one
human body traveling through airand entering another human body,that is so intimate.[ Continues singing in Italian ]♪♪The freak nature of being
a boy who sings like a girland singing
in this high registeris what has enableda lot of the creative thinking
about the art form.As a countertenor,the repertoire
is very specialized.It’s either baroque
or contemporary, usually.And so I felt I had
to forge my own pathand change the paradigm
a little bit.[ Vocalizing ]Condo:
Anthony called and he said,“You know, I’m working
on this kind of crazy idea.It’s Philip Glass’s music
and Handel’s music together.”And I thought,
“Oh, that’s interesting.”You know, use your two legs
as your support.Yeah.It turned out to be
an amazing combination.Glass so different, we think,
from Handel.But oh, no,
there’s so many similarities.♪♪Parker: Handel has this
wonderful transparency to itand honesty and access,a message of melody, of harmony.It’s very beautifully
structured.It also has — In baroque music,
it has a constancy of rhythm.Your ear gets very comfortablewith those rhythmic
what we call ostinatoor the kind of
the repetition of the music.[ Singing in Italian ]When you think of Philip Glass,he has many
of the same qualities —the rhythm that will just —It locks you in emotionally
and aurally,and you just can’t get out of
this trance that he puts you in.But Philip’s music
is way beyond that.There is an emotional honesty
and rawness to his music.♪ Love likes me ♪♪ Love takes it shoes off ♪Anthony talked about
wanting to dosome sort of a performance
or a recitalbut wanted it to be
completely differentfrom what he had done before.And what is the norm
in classical music?[ Instruments tuning ]♪♪I wanted to create somethingthat went beyond
a concert performance.I wanted to create
this installationand connect with visual artists,filmmakers, choreographers,
and a fashion designerto create something which really
included all of the disciplines.Now, is this a new idea?
No, it’s what opera always was,the first interdisciplinary
art form.[ Singing in Italian ]♪♪But I do think it’s unique
that we’ve gotten the stars,I mean, the highest pinnacle
of all of these art formsin various waysand people who don’t often work
with classical musicto take it and to give them
the freedom,to say, “What do you want
to do with it?”to say to Raf Simons,
“This is the music.What does it inspire in you?”And then to see
what his vision is.♪♪Raf Simons designed
the costumes,and Calvin Klein built them all.♪♪Justin Peck choreographed the
dancers in addition to dancing.I sent him all the music
so he had this wide palette,and he developed
a 10-minute phrase,to different pieces of music,knowing that these dancers
would just repeat the phrase,but the music would change.[ Vocalizing ]♪♪I thought it would be really
imperative to do music videosso that we could
post them online.We could do social media clips.We could, like, have all these
people who have huge followingspost opera music videos.Costanzo:
♪ Street without you ♪George Condo was
really interested in this ideaof painting live,and I couldn’t imagine an artist
I’d rather be making music with.Condo: I thought of the idea
of, like,“While you’re on, I could —Given that it’s 55 minutes,
I could do a painting live.It’ll be a daredevil act,
but it’s gonna be fun.”I said, “I don’t want to be
in front of the people.I want to be behind the fabric.”♪♪Sometimes what would happen
would beI’d have an expression
on a person’s faceand then another movement
would come in,and that expression would change
with the sound of the music.So the piece was
constantly evolvingthroughout the performance.[ Costanzo singing in Italian ]Dean: Anthony talked about
a moving stage.I was like, “That sounds
really hard to do,but there’s this fantastic
artist named Ryan McNamara,and instead of moving the stage,
he moves people.”Costanzo: The idea really came
from listening to Philip Glasson a bicycle
riding through London,and I realized that this music
in motion was so incredible.And that’s when the idea
began to hit me.Glass Handel is a mobile concertwhere the audience
is doing the movinginstead of the performers.There are stations,
and the stations,as it were,
have different art forms.And the audience is going
from station to station,but they don’t get to choose
when and how.They’re moved by a person
on a dollywho wheels them from one station
to anotherat a sort of random moment.And the music is all acoustic.There’s no microphones, but you
can hear it wherever you are.So it becomes a soundtrack
to a film that you’re watching.It becomes the score
to a dance that’s happening,or it becomes the impetusfor a painting
which is developing behind it.And what’s great
about Glass Handel —It is ultimately
incredibly democratic,because if you start
in the front row and get moved,you might be
in the back row next time.If you start next to
your boyfriend or girlfriend,you will be separated
very quickly.So it breaks down this idea
that if you have more money,you get a better view.♪ How all living things
breathe ♪I would like to have
the common thread of the showbe the music,but I want people
to arrive at the showfrom all different
areas of life.♪ To the moon spreading
on the stones of the house ♪The big goal of this performanceand of Glass Handel
in generalis to reach new audiences.So, someone might come
to Glass Handelbecause they’re a huge fan
of Raf Simons and Calvin Kleinand not care about opera.And then they’ll be exposed
to opera.Or someone might be a fan
of Ryan McNamara’s workand come for himand then be exposed
to classical musicor dance, for that matter.♪♪[ Costanzo singing
indistinctly ]Yarnell: I think as they come
for Handel and hear Glassbeautifully performed,
mixed in —It’s not all Handel in one
and then all Glass.No, it’s all intertwined —that you can’t help but say,“Oh, my God. That’s just
as beautiful as the Handel.”And I think the young people
who are into Glasswho they come in droves
to Glass’ operas,they will realize, “Oh, my God.Handel is just as interesting,
just as magical.”[ Singing in Italian ]♪♪I love the,
what I want to say —what I call
the “old opera” audiences.I love that they’re so engaged.And I want to provide them
with a new experience.And I want to provide
the new audienceswith an old experience,this old art form
that’s 400 years oldand get them to arrive at it
in a way they’re excited about.♪ Drink me, drink me ♪♪ Drink me, drink me ♪Parker: Anthony’s performance
absolutely provokes.And I think, yes, in general,classical music could do more
to challenge itselfto think of where we perform,
how we perform,why we perform
the combinations of the piecesso that people just in general
feel, “I can give that a try.”♪ It is much further ♪I think the future of operais in interdisciplinary
collaborations,in finding other voicesoutside of the classical worldand having them interpret
the music with their medium.[ Vocalizing ]♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪

One thought on “Glass Handel | Box Burners”

  • wow, actually epic — and such a pleasure to hear from all the artists that brought it together, a window into the artistic process that we don't often get to see. also omggg ARC in raf simons kill me!

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