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ICA is delighted to present the Asian premiere of Musikkonzept Wien’s ‘Black Cat’: a stage work for tenor, two dancers and Baroque ensemble, based on the novella ‘The Black Cat’ by Edgar Allen Poe. Conceived by conductor Martin Haselböck, director Frank Hoffmann and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Virgil Widrich, the project showcases dancers Sylvia Camarda and Jean-Guillaume Weis, tenor James Oxley, and the Soloists of Orchester Wiener Akademie in a mixture of dance, film and music, combining the arias of J.S. Bach with a collection of songs by David Sylvian. Following on from critically acclaimed performances throughout Europe, this extraordinary multimedia dance work will be performed at the National Concert Hall, Taipei, on Friday 13 March 2015.
19.30 Friday 13 March NTCH Taipei
Since its founding in 1985, by the distinguished conductor and organist Martin Haselböck, Orchester Wiener Akademie has gained international praise for its unmistakably Austrian musicality, virtuosity, refinement and energy.
Orchester Wiener Akademie is the only Austrian orchestra to offer performances of repertoire from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and early Twentieth-Century eras on period instruments, as well as performances of contemporary repertoire on modern instruments. It is as renowned for its performances of Bach, Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven as it is for its performances of Schumann, Brahms, Liszt and Bruckner.
The orchestra’s annual cycle of concerts in Vienna’s Musikverein has become a popular fixture in the city’s musical calendar, with past guest-artists that include Daniel Hope, Thomas Hampson, Elisabeth Kulman, Cyprien Katsaris, Isabelle Faust, Soile Isokoski, Cecilia Bartoli, and many others.
As Orchestra-in-Residence of the International Liszt Festival in the composer’s birthplace of Raiding, Burgenland, Wiener Akademie has received international acclaim for its ongoing series of groundbreaking concerts and recordings (NCA) of the complete orchestral music of Franz Liszt. The first CD release in the series, of the Dante-Symphony, was awarded several prizes, including the 2011 Grand Prix du Disque of the Liszt Society, Budapest. The subsequent releases of the tone poems have all been received with unanimous critical praise. Forthcoming releases in this series include the Faust Symphony, Piano Concertos and complete Hungarian Rhapsodies.
In addition to its ongoing Liszt discography, Orchester Wiener Akademie has released more than 40 recordings in a wide range of repertoire, including the masses of Schubert, Bruckner’s First Symphony, Haydn’s three ‘Times of the Day’ symphonies (selected by Gramophone Magazine as the best available period-instrument recording of these works) and rarer works by Fux, Porpora and Graun.
Orchester Wiener Akademie tours extensively. In the past two seasons the orchestra has performed in more than 20 countries on three continents, including South America in 2013. They have appeared at international music festivals and concert series such as the Prague Spring Festival, Frankfurter Fest, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Wiener Festwochen, Klangbogen, Carinthischer Sommer, Cuenca Festival, Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart, Handel Festival Halle and many others. The orchestra has appeared in major concert halls worldwide, including Barbican Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Toronto’s Massey Hall, Château de Versailles, Palais Garnier, Suntory Hall Tokyo, Izumi Hall Osaka, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Philharmonie Köln, Palau de la Musica and Concertgebouw Amsterdam.
Opera and Theatre is a very important aspect of the work of Orchester Wiener Akademie, both in its own productions and in collaboration. Recent series have included productions of all the major Mozart operas, Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice and many Haydn operas. The orchestra has performed Handel’s Il Trionfo di Tempo e del Disenganno at the Salzburg Festival Barock at Whitsun, Mozart’s Il Sogno di Scipione and Il Re Pastore for the Vienna Festival Klangbogen and Zaide at the Musikverein in Vienna. Since 2007 Orchester Wiener Akademie has been the official orchestra of the Burgfestspiele Reinsberg, where they have presented productions of Weber´s Der Freischütz, Beethoven´s Fidelio (released on DVD by NCA) and Handel’s Acis & Galatea. With the actor John Malkovich, Orchester Wiener Akademie premiered two works by Michael Sturminger in 2009 and 2011 respectively: The Infernal Comedy and The Giacomo Variations. The orchestra and Mr Malkovich continue to tour the works extensively throughout the world.
The Austrian conductor Martin Haselböck hails from a famous family of musicians. Early in his career he gained an international reputation as an organ soloist, working with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Lorin Maazel, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Riccardo Muti and many others.
In 1985 he established the period- instrument Orchester Wiener Akademie. In addition to performing an annual series of concerts in Vienna’s Musikverein, he and his orchestra are regular guests and resident artists in concert halls and opera productions around the world.
He now enjoys a busy career as a guest conductor with the world’s leading orchestras, and has enjoyed a distinguished career as an opera conductor since making his debut at the Göttingen Handel Festival. He was the first to stage new productions in Germany of the great Mozart operas on period instruments, and in 1991 his production of Don Giovanni was awarded the Mozart prize by the City of Prague. Martin Haselböck was appointed Music Director of the Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra in Los Angeles in 2004.
With the American actor John Malkovich and Austrian director Michael Sturminger, Martin Haselböck developed the theatre dramas The Infernal Comedy about the killer Jack Unterweger and The Giacomo Variations about the life of Giacomo Casanova.
Martin Haselböck has received numerous honours and awards, including the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art (das Österreichische Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst), the Prague Mozart Prize in 1991, and the 2011 and 2012 Hungarian Liszt Prizes.
Frank Hoffmann studied Romance and German philology, as well as philosophy in Luxembourg and Heidelberg, Germany, where he received a doctorate in 1983. He worked as freelance director among others in Berlin, Paris, Cologne, Basel, and Stockholm.
In 1996, Hoffmann founded the “Théâtre National du Luxembourg”, supported by the Cultural Ministry of Luxembourg, of which he is still the director. In September 2004, he took over as artistic director and chief executive officer of the “Ruhrfestspiele Recklingshausen”. In 2011, his contract was extended until 2015 by the festival’s board of directors.
Since 1984, Frank Hoffmann has directed more than 100 national and international productions in Germany,
France, Luxembourg, and Switzerland. His productions have been invited to numerous international festivals, including the Bonn Biennale, Mülheimer Theatertage, Mannheimer Schillertage, Heidelberger Stückemarkt, Ibsen Festival in Oslo, the Festival of European Theatre and the Strindberg-Festival, Stockholm, the Plodiv International Festival (Bulgaria), Sibiu International Festival (Romania), International Festival of Classical Theatre, Almagro (Spain), and the Prague Festival of the German Language.
For his work, Frank Hoffmann received several prizes and awards, among them the prize for best director for his movie “Schacko Klak“ at the Festival in Tehran, and the Prix Lions for his complete theatrical work. In addition, “Theater Heute” named him ‘Young Director of the Year’.
Stage, Visuals and Film Projections
Virgil Widrich, born 1967 in Salzburg, works on numerous exhibitions, multimedia- and film productions. His short film “Copy Shop” won 35 international awards and was nominated for the Oscar. “Fast Film” premiered in Cannes 2003 and won 36 awards.
In 2009 he was the artistic director of the exhibition “Linz. City in Luck“ which was part of that city‘s year as European Capital of Culture, in 2010 he was responsible for the exhibition “90 Years of the Salzburg Festival“.
Virgil Widrich is co-founder and CEO of checkpointmedia AG in Vienna, which is one of the most successful companies of the “Vienna creative industry”. He is also Professor for “Art & Science” at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Virgil Widrich lives and works in Vienna.
Digital Painting and Animation
Oleg Prodeus is a multimedia artist and producer, a graphic & motion graphic designer, a songwriter and singer, a multi-instrumentalist and a music producer. He was born in the former Soviet Union and has been living and working in Vienna since 1990.
In the 90s, Prodeus worked mainly in various theatres as singer, musician and actor. In 1997 he wrote and produced his first solo music album with a second following in 2000. In 2004 he wrote and produced his first film music. During this period, he also occasionally toured Austria with his various musical projects.
In the year 2000, Prodeus founded his own multimedia and music company, and – as creative director, animator, graphic, multimedia and sound designer – successfully produced and completed many animation films, advertising and multimedia projects. Within the last few years, he has started to increase his work in the fields of modern visual arts, graphic- and film collages, digital paintings and has been awarded various commissions for art exhibitions at various museums, both in Austria and abroad. In the year 2012, Oleg published his third solo music project “The 13“.
After growing up in Switzerland, Katharina Polheim studied at fashion school ESMOD in Paris. In Vienna, she successfully completed the master class for stage- and film design at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Since 1995, she has been working as freelance stage- and costume designer in Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Austria. Her works so far at the Landestheater Niederoesterreich: set and costumes for “Sinbad the Sailor” and “Puenktchen and Anton”, as well as costumes for “Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver”.
Jean-Guillaume Weis has danced with Pina Bausch Tanztheater, Mark Morris Dance Group, Tanztheater Basel and others. Through his own and other companies‘ work he has participated and collaborated with many composers, conductors, musicians, actors and directors across the world. Since 1998 he has danced mostly in his own work and choreographs for his company, ‘Jean-Guillaume Weis & Dancers’.
Weis performs regularly as a guest-artist with other companies and in various art and theatre projects as a dancer, choreographer, performer and actor. Since 1998 he has choreographed numerous full length and shorter pieces that were performed in Belgium, Germany, France, Poland, Luxembourg and the United States.
Jean-Guillaume Weis has taught classes and workshops over many years in ballet, modern/contemporary dance as well as his own work – repertoire, creating new material, improvisation and movement research – in Luxembourg and abroad.
Young dance virtuoso and choreographer; Sylvia Carmarda develops a universe and a style appropriate to each production. She endeavours to use her technique and boundless energy in the service of a physical and generous dance, notable for the carnal presence of the body. She then presents this in choreographic and theatrical language of obvious force and sexuality.
Sylvia Carmarda studied at the Rosella Hightower School in Cannes and at the London Contemporary Dance School, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in 2000. As a dancer, having worked on various projects with Philippe Egli in Switzerland and Philippe Talard in Luxembourg, she joined the Ballets C. de la B. in 2002 for the production of Koen Augustijen’s Just another landscape for some jukebox money. She then worked with Jan Fabre on three different productions: Je suis sang in 2005; as a co-producer and dancer in Requiem pour une metamorphose in 2007; as a dancer in I am a mistake also in 2007. In 2005-2006 she joined the adventure of Cirque du Soleil and participated in their North American tour with the show Delirium.
As a young choreographer Carmarda produced three shows: Only the lonely, a solo that premiered at Hivernales of the Festival d’Avignon; Crash, a solo presented at the festival of Sibiu, and lastly she choreographed Absolutely Fabulous, a trio about football. She also choreographed the dance extracts for the films of Luxembourgish director Andy Bausch, and proudly participated as Royston Maldoom’s assistant for the Dance2007 project – part of Luxembourg’s year of culture.
Carmarda’s company Missdeluxedanceco! presented her newest production Conscienza di terrore at the Grand Théâtre in June 2009. In 2009 she has also continued touring with Jan Fabre with their earlier productions. In Luxembourg, Sylvia Camarda was responsible for the choreography of various dance productions, two of them for the Theatre National.
James Oxley has appeared at all the major concert halls in London, at Symphony Hall Birmingham and Philharmonic Hall Liverpool, and notable UK concert credits include Missa Solemnis with Heinrich Schiff and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Stravinsky Renard with Psappha at the BBC Proms, Haydn Creation and Mozart Great Mass with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Handel Alexander’s Feast with Northern Sinfonia and Nicholas McGegan. Oxley’s engagements have taken him throughout Europe, especially to France where he has worked with Philippe Herreweghe, Hervé Niquet and Christophe Rousset.
Equally at home on the operatic stage, Oxley has sung the roles of Lensky and Belmonte at the Opera de Rennes, Lucano in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea at English National Opera, and Ferrando Cosi fan tutte, Steersman Der Fliegende Holländer, the title role in Candide at the Opera de Rouen, Bob Boles Peter Grimes for Opéra-Théâtre de St-Etienne, and Acis Acis and Galatea at the Reinsberg Festival conducted by Martin Haselböck. This year he will make his debut at Theater Dortmund singing the title role in the high-tenor version of Gluck’s Orphée.
At the beginning of the 1980s, David Sylvian was the lead singer of the band ‘Japan’ and was epitomized as the androgynous embodiment of the New-Romantic-movement. Twenty years and two handfuls of impressive solo albums later, the pop-critics described him as “creative aesthete” (Berliner Morgenpost), and as “aristocrat of darkness” (Berliner Zeitung).
Sylvian’s solo career started in 1982 and was influenced by styles such as Jazz, Avant-garde, Ambient, Electronic Music, and Progressive Rock; albums in cooperation with Robert Fripp and Can-pioneer Holger Czukay were released.
In the last 15 years, Sylvian has freed himself more and more from the influence of the music companies, setting up his own record label Samadhi Sound, on which he has released several acclaimed solo albums and recorded the work of other uncompromising artists.
The permission for the use and adaptation of David Sylvian’s recordings has been granted upon arrangement with the composer and his management, Opium Arts Ltd.