Online Opera Performance
Co-created as part of the 2021 Westben Digital Performer-Composer Residency
Viktoria Nikolova, The Hague, The Netherlands
Rose Naggar-Tremblay, Montréal, Canada
Edward Enman, Montréal, Canada
Eric Lemmon, currently Berlin, Germany
"Three weeks ago, we were four strangers in two time zones speaking three different mother tongues, gathered together in a virtual space.
While wanting to address the theme of post-pandemic hopes, we felt compelled to observe the processes that could lead us to communicate about it in the first place.
How could we translate each other’s thoughts into our own musical or linguistic identities, and what could be found in that welcoming and active listening?
Could we really be seen through the lenses of our devices?"
Connections is an opera that retells the delicate and dramatic quest of human communication.
A note for light-sensitive viewers: this video contains moments of flashing lights and glitchy images. This video contains closed captions for the texts in their original languages.
Yannika Frank: Temporary Dissonance
Date: March 2021
A solo voice performance exploring the sonic space between traditions. Singers use vocal aesthetics in response to different landscapes, cultural and social surroundings. To embody these over time, the singer draws from personal experiences, emotions and memories. ‘Temporary Dissonance’ is an improvisation-based performance, exploring sounds and vocal aesthetics that emerge in the sonic space between Yannika Frank and the recorded voice of Viktoria Nikolova.
Journeys Festival International 2020 in Leicester, UK. Video performance
The video performance explores the body through its isolation in narrow contiguous spaces, all within a large area. That is, it enhances the concept of space within the space and how the body deals with objects within this isolated space, which prevents freedom of movement within those spaces isolated from each other. The performance video search for levels of freedom of movement, its connection to space, and its relationship to object. It is thus an attempt to transform acoustic spaces into visible ones through the speed of sound and the resulting dynamic movement.
Video performance by Bahzad Sulaiman
Vocal performance: Viktoria Nikolova, Andrew Hopper
Composer: Christopher Collings
Video Editing: Kadir Akgül
This project was funded by LIBERTY Creative Europe Programme 2020, Manchester, UK.
Penticton Art Gallery, Canada. Video performance
The video performance “Saarbrücken 14/03/2020” aims to be an artistically performative exploration of the state of quarantine of the body for 30 days. The focus will be on the perception of body mass at home during the quarantine period. This documentation deals with the review and reflection of predetermined questions and problems we are confronted with during the quarantine period. It is intended to be a journey of recovery and awareness of our body and our limited knowledge of the concept of the body and the psychological distance between it and the objects in the home. The search will be in the form of fear and loss of confidence. It is what the body feels after sudden isolation, through social separation.
Performance by: Bahzad Sulaiman Vocal performance: Viktoria Nikolova Music Composer: Christopher Collings Video Editing: Kadir Akgül This project was funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture in Saarland and Saarland-Sporttoto
NKK NXT 2019/2020 - STAAN & OPVALLEN
How often do you look in the mirror? Do you want to stand out, or do you prefer to blend in with the crowd? And why do so many women pursue the same beauty ideal? STAAN AND OPVALLEN is the performance of NKK NXT19/20, the talent development program of the Nederlands Kamerkoor. A performance about female strength and the female voice, about blending in and standing out. About a modern age in which everyone seems to work in overload by default, but where we look for silence. Nine young singers take up the challenge to create a new performance where the future of ensemble music is central. In a society in which everyone carries a pocket-sized digital mirror, NKK NXT holds up a different mirror to both the public and society. STANDING AND STANDING OUT is recognizable, funny, at times painful, and above all moving.
FIVE STEPS FOR ONE LEAP
Contemporary opera performance
Dutch National Opera - Opera Forward Festival 2020
The OFF Talents are students from various art schools. They are inspired by an Amsterdammer who makes a difference in his or her environment. This results in five brand new short operas from a new generation of music theater-makers, to be seen during the OFF Nights. No biographical representations, but an artistic response to the encounter with a special person.
Composition: Michiel Augustijn, Codarts University of the Arts, Rotterdam
Director - Catoo Lustig, Academy of Theater and Dance, Amsterdam,
Scenography - Mariska Werkman, Academy of Theater and Dance, Amsterdam,
Dramaturgy - Na'ama Hurwitz, University of Amsterdam
Production managers - Robin Ebing, Jorien Werkhoven -Academy of Theater and Dance, Amsterdam
Performers: Viktoria Nikolova – Voice, Mees Vervuurt – Piano, Rodo Nijhoff - Viola
METAMORPHOSIS OF A FEMALE CHARACTER
Music-theatre performance by Viktoria Nikolova
GrachtenFestival, Amsterdam 2019
Metamorphosis of a Female Character is a dramatic and humorous music theater performance about Nina Zarechnaya - an underexposed character from The Seagull by Anton Chekhov. Nina tells us a story of courage, endurance, empowerment, and maturing out of life’s hardships. Her overwhelming and confusing experiences can be compared to our experience of modern-day life in a fast-changing society. Through all this chaos, Nina chooses not to identify with the narrative of a victim; she goes through an unseen - until now - metamorphosis that transcends her grief and finds a strong inner connection to her true self and art. She serves as a powerful role model for us today.
Performers: Viktoria Nikolova (creator, voice), Bilyana Grudanska (piano),
Elisabeth Lusche (trumpet), Natalia Rogalski (voice, direction)
Electronics and composition: Domenic Jarlkaganova
Directors: Natalia Rogalski, Nele Menes, Caecilia Thunnissen (Oorkaan)
Video documentation and trailer: Sabijn Peeters
SILBERSEE - SPR!TZL LAB 2019
SPRITZL finale 2019
Performed by Viktoria Nikolova, Nagato Mugler, L U C Y L O V E
Place: Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam
With Spr!Tzl, the Dutch opera company, Silbersee identifies promising new talent and guides them in their makers on their way to the future. In this workshop for young makers, the disciplines of music and theater are further explored, deepened, and enriched.
This collaboration was build in four full days as part of the Small Labs project.
UNREQUITED LOVE POEM - GITA REBEKA DIRVEIKA
Spring Festival 2019
Premiere 04. 04. 2019
Music - Gita Rebeka Dirveika
Fragment of Sierra DeMulder's poem and Shakespeare's "Hamlet" You are always ticking inside of me and I dream of you more often than I don't. My body is a dead language and you pronounce each word perfectly. A dream itself is but a shadow.
Voice: Viktoria Nikolova, Zijing Meng
Accordion: Daumantas Stundžia
DIE BADKHONIM - "A TALE OF TWO LIGHTS"
Die Badkhonim - Melodramas & Tales
Story by Yotam Gaton
A Tale of Two Lights is a story of the Hasidic movement a few decades after its birth, in the cold frontiers between Russia and Poland, and those between the 18th and 19th centuries. This is the story of Shneor Zalman of Liadi, a spiritual leader and an enlightened rabbi during one of the darkest periods for the Jewish people. It is the story of the old worlds being rediscovered in the light of the Kabbalah, as a new world was formed by the Napoleonic wars. The concept of the performance derives from the melodrama genre that developed in the late 18th century. There, the fusion of recited text and music creates a breath-taking outcome. Other than composing music for a text as done in melodramas, here the process is reversed and text is written to fit the music.
Fortepiano – Ilil Danin
Cello - Shuhei Takezawa
Soprano - Viktoria Nikolova
Violin and Narration – Yotam Gaton
A HEARTWARMING BONE CRACKING
A Heartwarming Bone Cracking, 2018
Installation, Performance: 20 min., Audio MP3: 17:30 min
In A Heartwarming Bone Cracking three performers guide the audience into a non-linear narration of projection, desire and resistance towards an unknown other, a city or a lover. Through text and melodic sequences that reveal emotional conditions, memories, statements and speculation, the performance oscillates between monologue, choir and dialogue. The installation is built with construction materials normally implemented for absorption and diffusion of sound or insulation. These materials are re-implemented as room dividers that play with ranges of visibility and audibility. Without the performance, the installation is accompanied by the vocals as stereo audio piece on speakers.
Performers: Johanna Kotlaris, Sara Moreira Marques, Viktoria Nikolova
Video documentation: Marta Hryniuk
Sound recording and editing: Siamak Anvari
CALEFAX ENSEMBLE - PAN FESTIVAL 2016
Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ - 28.12.2016
A Bulgarian set on the Pan Festival by invitation from ensemble Calefax.
Bart de Kater – Clarinet
Joris van Beek – Violin
Wilco Oomkes - Accordeon
Radek Fedyk – Guitar
Michiel Bakkes – Tapan
Natalia Rogalski – Voice
Viktoria Nikolova – Voice
Ensemble Paloina – Dance