By Sabina Dewfield
1. Kahlo – The Concert, Denmark
The Swedish director and performer Charlotte Engelkes directs a theatrical concert inspired by Frida Kahlos’s self-portraits, exploring the painter’s life and examining the themes of pain, blood and loneliness. As the last part of the Republique trilogy, a project combining painting, music and body performance arts, this concert explores the impact of portraiture on storytelling. An intimate cabaret atmosphere will be captured by the onstage six-man big band, including violins, cello and accordion.
Republique, Copenhagen, June 1
2. Souvenir, Sweden
The Ljudkonstgalleriet showcases artworks arising from philosophical, political and spiritual questions, providing a platform for cross-disciplinary artists. In the current show, Souvenir, the composer-sound artists Anna Eriksson and Mansoor Hosseini join Ann Petersson Malmstedt, a visual artist, in a sound art event revolving around the theme of ‘souvenir and memory’, combining film, sound installations, sound objects and sculpture.
Ljudkonstgalleriet, Gothenburg, June 4
3. Eastern Spheres, Czech Republic
Organised in collaboration with the International Shakuhachi Festival Prague, Eastern Spheres is a meeting between the musics of the Orient and Occident. Performed in the U Hradeb Cinema in Prague, the programme includes the world premiere of Landscape: Mountains Lakes for Shakuhachi and Orchestra by the Czech composer Tomás Pálka, as well as Czech premieres of music by the Japanese composers Hosokawa, Mochizuki and Takemitsu.
U Hradeb Cinema, Prague, June 6
4. Bergen International Festival, Norway
Billed as a ‘festival across barriers’, this fifteen-day festival showcases 250 classical music and theatrical events across twenty venues. Highlights include Verklärte Nacht/Erwartung, a staging of Schoenburg’s late-Romantic works enhanced by the video art of Netia Jones; and Séance – The Making of a Murder Mystery, a concert performance of a new musical inspired by Ingeborg Kober, Norway’s infamous medium.
Venues around Bergen, until June 8
5. The Sea-Crossed Fisherman, Turkey
Celebrating the Turkish capital Istanbul, as well as its surrounding seas and marine life, The Sea-Crossed Fisherman is a music theatre adaptation from Yaşar Kemal’s 1978 novel of the same name. In this world premiere, the work has been transformed into a lyrical drama weaving Turkish traditional instruments into a contemporary musical and theatrical setting. Part of the Istanbul Music Festival, the opera features the music of the composer Michael Ellison, with an English libretto by Simon Jones and a performance from the Hezarfen Ensemble conducted by Michael Rafferty.
Sureyya Opera House, Istanbul, June 11
6. Priority Innfield, Canada
Priority Innfield is an exhibition merging video, sculpture, sound and installation from American artists Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin. Billed as ‘sculptural theatre’, the work explores the impact of technology on communication, language and identity, especially the cultural phenomenon of self-construction and performance on the internet.
Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, opening June 22
7. Re:Sound Sun, USA
Taking place in huge concrete munition storage units, Re:Sound Sun uses its venue’s architectural qualities to present sound trapped in reverberation. The creation of Daniel Menche, Chris Duncan, Zachary James Watkins and the cello and electronics group, mem1, this four-hour show explores the relationship between forgotten spaces, sound and the natural environment.
Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve, San Francisco, June 25
8. Beats, Bells and Bridges, Ireland
In a celebration of Cork’s landscapes, percussionist Alex Petcu and composer Tom Lane have reimagined spaces in the city as musical instruments, resulting in three pieces: Beats explores the acoustics of University College Cork’s historic quadrangle; Bridges transforms Mardyke Bridge itself into a percussion instrument; and Bells features a duet between Petcu, at ground level, and percussionist Brian O’Regan, who chimes the bells of St Anne’s Church. Part of this year’s Cork Midsummer Festival.
Venues around Cork, June 25-26
9. Hassan Khan performs Taraban, Lebanon
Taraban is a concert based on two early twentieth-century Egyptian songs by Youssef El Manialawy. Through his work with classical Arabic musicians and singers, Hassan Khan has reworked these pieces using a collection of feedbacking mixers, filters, processors, laptop manipulation, virtual synthesizers and live mikes.
Beirut Arts Center, Beirut, June 26
10. Convex vs. Concave, USA
In this collaboration between the composers Gene Pritsker and Arthur Kampel, we hear established works such as Kampela’s flute and electronics piece Happy Days, complemented by world premieres, including Techno Requiem for cello and DJ. The composers will be joined by the tap dancer and body percussionist Max Pollak.
Le Poisson Rouge, New York, June 30