Olga Neuwirth: The Outcast

http://rso.orf.at/enORF Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna, Austria

To mark the 50th birthday of the composer Olga Neuwirth the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna is planning the elaborate performance of one of her more recent major works at Vienna’s Konzerthaus: “The Outcast – Homage to Herman Melville”.

Since celebrating her first major successes in 1990s thanks to performances at Klangforum Wien, Olga Neuwirth has enjoyed international acclaim as a composer with a both unusually tonal and also formal imagination. Beyond her generation she is considered one of the most exciting composers of the present day. Her collaboration with Elfriede Jelinek set standards and her involvement with David Lynch, Klaus Nomi and Herman Melville prompted a series of fantastic pieces of work.

In the footsteps of the American writer Herman Melville with his world-famous novel “Moby Dick” Neuwirth traveled around New York gathering experiences that she captured in a photographic volume entitled “O Melville!”. “The Outcast” looks back on her examination of the author and is, at the same time, a strong and experimental contribution to contemporary musical theater where elements of oratory, performance, film and installation overlay one another.

RSO Wien presents “The Outcast” at Vienna’s Konzerthaus and at Elbphilharmonie Hamburg in an exemplary visual performance now finally doing justice to the work after such a long wait since it was written. The essential conditions are now in place: two aesthetically open and forward-looking venues with an inquisitive audience, a line-up of singers already with  experience of Olga Neuwirth’s music (Andrew Watts, Susanne Elmark and others), conductor Ilan Volkov, who made a name for himself with outstanding performances of contemporary music, and last but not least, two choirs that stand for high artistic standards: the Munich boys’ choir Münchner Knabenchor for the "secret main role" of the piece and the Company of Music. An essential component of the performance is also a video production that is being elaborated by Olga Neuwirth’s internationally acclaimed director of choice Netia Jones.


November 14, 2018
Wiener Konzerthaus, Austria

March 4, 2019
Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Germany


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