De Materie

“Mr. Goebbels’s inspired production brings out the philosophical resonances that run through the work and revels in its literary crosscurrents. And this performance — featuring two fine solo singers; the impressive Chorwerk Ruhr; a roster of dancers; and the brilliant International Contemporary Ensemble — was colorful, exciting and, during reflective episodes, raptly beautiful.”The New York Times

“...sensuously philosophical. Visually, it’s a triumph… a don’t-miss event.”
Time Out New York, Critic’s Pick!

Louis Andriessen is one of Europe’s most eminent and influential composers, whose music is marked by the combination of forward propulsion, sparseness, and clarity from large blocks of sound to minimalism. But there is nothing minimal about De Materie, starting with its all-encompassing theme: the relationship between matter and spirit. Like four voluminous chapters of a book or movements of a symphony, this exceptional music theater masterwork is better thought of as a series of visions, as much choreographic as it is operatic.

Visionary director Heiner Goebbels stages this monumental work in a highly-imaginative production that infuses the work’s journey through a sequence of non-narrative tableaus with stunning visual imagery to help convey its meaning, with references to Mondrian and Madame Curie as well as floating zeppelins and a flock of sheep. The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) under the direction of Peter Rundel takes on the sonically varied score, which serves as its own journey through eras and styles of music history from early Renaissance, to the jazz-tinged roaring 20s, to contemporary music of today. The vastness of the Wade Thompson Drill Hall is the perfect setting to fully realize this rarely-performed work, which premiered more than 25 years ago and only now makes its highly-anticipated North American stage premiere.

Join us for libations after the performance at a bar in one of our historic period rooms until 11:00pm.

De Materie: Matter & Spirit – Thursday, March 24 at 6:00pm
Four Different Ways: Celebrating Louis Andriessen – Friday, March 25 at 6:00pm
De Materie Artist Talk – Saturday, March 26 at 6:00pm

Composer: Louis Andriessen
Director: Heiner Goebbels
Stage and Lighting Designer: Klaus Gruenberg
Costume Designer: Florence von Gerkan
Sound Designer: Norbert Ommer
Dramaturg: Matthias Mohr
International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)
Conductor: Peter Rundel
ChorWerk Ruhr

Read about the 1911 Solvay Conference on our blog
Excellent Sheep - The New Yorker
Zeppelins, Confusion, and the ’80s Avant-Garde at the Armory - Vulture
Andriessen’s ‘De Materie’ grazes into Park Avenue Armory - Associated Press
Sheep at the Armory and Other Spring Classical Highlights - The New York Times

A production of the Ruhrtriennale – Festival of the Arts.
Adapted by Park Avenue Armory.

De Materie is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Image: Wonge Bergmann.


March 22–30, 2016

Wade Thompson Drill Hall

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