The valley (an apocalypse)
A compelling story about the banality of violence, truth and reconciliation.
A man is sitting in the middle of a small arena. He tells us his incredible life-story. He is surrounded by musicians who underpin, colour and comment on his tragic narrative. Amongst them is a mysterious woman. Is she a guardian angel, his conscience, his supposedly lost daughter? Soprano Claron McFadden or Lore Binon and actor Dirk Roofthooft are flanked by the BL!NDMAN saxophone quartet in this partly narrated, partly sung story that is musically inspired by the 15th-century Missa Gaudeamus by Josquin des Prez. For this production, visual artist Hans Op de Beeck and composer Eric Sleichim are collaborating for the first time.
|Zeeland Nazomer Festival (Middelburg)|
+31 118 68 11 00
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|ROMAEUROPA FESTIVAL (Rome)|
+39 6 455 530 50
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|Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ (Amsterdam)|
+31 20 788 20 00
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Concept: Eric Sleichim • Hans Op de Beeck • Composer | Musical Director: Eric Sleichim • Text | Director | Decor | Costumes: Hans Op de Beeck • Dramaturgy: Tobias Kokkelmans • Artistic advice: Alex Mallems • Light Design: Peter Quasters • Vocals: Claron McFadden • or Lore Binon • Actor: Dirk Roofthooft • Ensemble: BL!NDMAN • Bl!ndman Saxophonists: Raf Minten • Koen Maas • Piet Rebel • Pieter Pellens • Translation: Prof. Mark Janse
'The Valley' is intriguing for its powerful script combined with the first-class lighting by Peter Quasters … The platform for the musicians, and sometimes also for Claron McFadden, is a stylistic triumph and stands up in its own right. … So 'The Valley' captivated us … the foundations are strong and this music-theatre performance will very probably continue to develop the more it is performed.
Concertnews.be ***1/2 - 3 mei 2019
'The Valley' has something of a gothic story. It seems as if Op de Beeck is bringing one of his art installations to life. Gradually we explore dark chambers, evoked in age-old stories about love, death and mourning for a lost world. ... The music is based loosely on the structure of a mass by Josquin Des Prez, translated by the saxophone quartet into an almost unearthly serenity. In the meantime, Op de Beeck's colorful sentences curl around imaginative landscapes.
De Standaard *** - 6 May 2019
Binon sings like an angel, has an ideal voice for this old music and moves comfortably on the bed of the saxophone sounds of Bl!ndman.
Theaterkrant - 29 August 2019
The location performance is a wonderful stream of words and a fascinating sound palette ... The performance 'The Valley' is one beautiful metaphor ... That the subtitle 'An apocalypse' points to an end of time is not frightening. Or it should be that it is frightening beautiful ... Ideosyncratic, but in harmony with the course of things. An apocalypse to look forward to.
AD ***** - 30 August 2019