From 14 October until 6 November the New Music Festival ARENA will be held in Latvia for the 14th time. This year it will offer to the audience in Riga, Sigulda and Liepaja ten acoustical and visually unusual programs of contemporary music and art. For the first time in the festival there will be a special program for children, welcoming them both to enjoy the performances of music and art as well as to make the music instruments in special workshops.
This year’s program of the festival ARENA will include three unique projects of contemporary academic music. They must be marked among others especially because of their surprising music, content and stage design. And they are – the electroacoustic chamber opera MARIENGLASS, the project of the Latvian Radio Choir CANTO 33 and the world premiere of the musical performance NO SAY NO WAY by the French composer François Sarhan.
The chamber opera of the Swiss composer Beat Gysin MARIENGLASS, created as an adaption of the Franz Kafka’s novel “The Castle”, will be also a special performance. You will experience transformed stage and public spaces, unusual relationships between the artists and the public and a performing way of the composition, which brings together live and electronic music simultaneously. Three performances of this chamber opera will take place on 16 and 17 October in Riga Reformed Church.
Latvian Radio Choir, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, in collaboration with the colorful Swiss composer Helena Winkelman has prepared for the audience of this festival the project CANTO 33. This is a 60 minutes long performance, which creation was inspired by the texts of the immortal “The Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri. The world first performance of this composition will take place on 24 October in Erfurt Cathedral in Germany. In Riga it will be heard on 30 October in St. Peter’s Church.
The French composer François Sarhan will contribute to this year’s festival program with the world premiere of his musical performance NO SAY NO WAY, which will take place on 1 November in the Culture Space “3 māsas”. The partaking artists of this event are the extraordinary percussionist Jennifer Torrence (USA/Norway) and the composer himself, who is also the stage designer of the performance. No classical percussion will be used on the stage, only the body percussion and household objects.
Along with the above mentioned performances the festival offers also two concerts of classical contemporary music given by two outstanding performers. The ensemble MISE-EN (USA) is one of the most remarkable performers of contemporary music in New York today. The newest compositions of American composers performed by the MISE-EN ensemble will be heard on 29 October in Riga Latvian Society House in the concert AMERICAN TV COMERCIALS. Rzewski and Young American Composers.EL CIMARRON DUO (Austria/Italy) is an ensemble of the guitar and percussion artists. On 20 October in the Gallery of the Artists’ Union of Latvia they will perform three new compositions by Oskars Herliņš, Gerhard Stäbler and Agustín Castilla-Ávila in the program COUNTERPOINT. UTOPIAN DIALOGUES.The well-known and recognized Latvian composer and ethnomusicologist Valdis Muktupāvles (Latvian folk music instrument kokle, voice) in collaboration with the Swiss artist and composer Helena Winkelman (violin, voice) invites to the improvisation concerts of folklore and contemporary music FROM THE ALPS TO THE GAIZIŅŠ. In these concerts, which will take place from 27 until 31 October, we will enjoy the conversation of the Latvian and Swiss traditional and contemporary music.A special event is also the reading of the most known Turkish singer Mustafa Dogan Dikmen ROOTS IN THE FUTURE about the meeting point of the Middle East and Western European music. On 5 November in Riga Latvian Society House he will perform together with the unique and world-recognized intercultural music ensemble SARBAND.But for the first time in its history the festival ARENA offers a special gift for the littlest music enjoyers. In the concerts of the program FOREST SONGS the Latvian musicians Baiba Renerte, Artūrs Noviks, Ilze Gagaine and Jēkabs Nīmanis will perform contemporary music for children. The composer Marina Gribinčika will lead the workshops of making the music instruments. You are welcome to participate in these programs in Riga, Sigulda and Liepaja.Tickets to the concerts can be purchased in the booking-office Biļešu paradīze www.bilesuparadize.lv.