As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams

Sound theater

Commissioned by Donaueschingen Festival and Land Baden-Württemberg

Description

World premiere: 16 October 1999, Donaueschingen
Ensemble Varianti Stuttgart

Conductor: Manfred Schreier
Staging: Thea Brejzek
Claire Bloom, recitant, Mike Svoboda, solo trombone Gerard Buquet, cbass trombone

 

Libretto: Mari Mezei, based on the diary of Lady Sarashina, Year 1008, Japan
Based on excerpts from the diary of an unknown Japanese noblewoman
Language: English
English translation: Ivan Morris

 

This “dream play” is based on excerpts from the diary of an unknown Japanese noblewoman known as Lady Sarashina (“Sarashina Nikki”) who lived during Japans´s “Golden Age” in the 11th century.
The author takes us on a voyage of desire through supposedly real episodes of her life, showing us magical characters and the wonders of nature, blending together her subjective perceptions and subtle shocks in a rather curious way.

Synopsis

Parts:

1. Spring
2. Dream with the Cat / Requiem
3. The Moon
4. Mirror – dream
5. Dark Night
6. Remembrance
7. Bells

 

The libretto focuses on some of Lady Sarashina’s poems and also on events from her life. As to its genre, the composition can be considered vocal theatre or a vocal play, the world of the 11th century Japan  comes to life through vocal solutions. Its atmosphere creates a context for odd stories embedded half in a dream, half in reality. As weepers lament in prose only up to the point where emotions reach a climax, and they feel forced to continue by singing, also in this theatrical piece similar tools serve to express emotional escalation.  Escalation is carried out by two characters in the piece: when the narrator is just about to reach the point of singing (these are the poetic parts of the text), the solo trombone takes over. This way, the trombone is the continuation of the character of the narrator, only with escalated emotions.

This „character” has a distant, dream-like alter-ego, a contrabass trombone, which we can see and hear only from afar in dream-like scenes.
The form of these two instruments is also unique and exists only in the dream: two-bell trombones especially constructed for this composition. Not only do the narrator-protagonist and the characters of the stories play roles but also the solo instruments, while the other instrument create an atmosphere between reality and dreams.

Performances

10 Jul, 2007
London, UK

Eötvös: As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams

Almeida Theatre

English version
Staging: Patrick Dickie
Designer : Adam Wiltshire
Lighting designer: Neil Austin
Sound Design: Ian Dearden / sound Intermedia
Sound consultant: Bryan J. Wolf
Music director: Yuval Zorn

Cast:
Lady Sarashina: Kathryn Harries
Dream speakers: Natasha Lohan, Anne Marie Gibbons, Richard Jackson
Speaking cello: Zoe Martlew
Alto trombone: Mike Svoboda
Contrabass trombone/sousaphone: Gérard Buquet

9 Jul, 2007
London, UK

Eötvös: As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams

Almeida Theatre

English version
Staging: Patrick Dickie
Designer : Adam Wiltshire
Lighting designer: Neil Austin
Sound Design: Ian Dearden / sound Intermedia
Sound consultant: Bryan J. Wolf
Music director: Yuval Zorn

Cast:
Lady Sarashina: Kathryn Harries
Dream speakers: Natasha Lohan, Anne Marie Gibbons, Richard Jackson
Speaking cello: Zoe Martlew
Alto trombone: Mike Svoboda
Contrabass trombone/sousaphone: Gérard Buquet

2 Jun, 2006
Schwetzingen, Germany

Eötvös: As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams

English version
Staging: Cornelia Heger
Scene: Janina Mendroch
Costume: Sabine Hilscher
Sound direction: Bryan Wolf
Conductor: Philip Mayers

Cast:
Lady Sarashina: Vivian Lüdorf
"Alter ego" - Posaune: Jürgen Schaal
Schatten des "alter ego" - Kontrabassposaune: Volkmar Jäger
Mondgänger - sousaphon: Volkmar Jäger
Traumstimmen: Shira Karmon, Elisabeth Zündel, Jonathan de la Paz Zaens

18 Mar, 2006
Berlin, Germany

Eötvös: As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams

März Musik Festival

English version
Staging: Cornelia Heger
Scene: Janina Mendroch
Costume: Sabine Hilscher
Sound direction: Bryan Wolf
Conductor: Philip Mayers

Cast:
Lady Sarashina: Vivian Lüdorf
"Alter ego" - Posaune: Jürgen Schaal
Schatten des "alter ego" - Kontrabassposaune: Volkmar Jäger
Mondgänger - sousaphon: Volkmar Jäger
Traumstimmen: Shira Karmon, Elisabeth Zündel, Jonathan de la Paz Zaens

17 Mar, 2006
Berlin, Germany

Eötvös: As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams

März Musik Festival

English version
Staging: Cornelia Heger
Scene: Janina Mendroch
Costume: Sabine Hilscher
Sound direction: Bryan Wolf
Conductor: Philip Mayers

Cast:
Lady Sarashina: Vivian Lüdorf
"Alter ego" - Posaune: Jürgen Schaal
Schatten des "alter ego" - Kontrabassposaune: Volkmar Jäger
Mondgänger - sousaphon: Volkmar Jäger
Traumstimmen: Shira Karmon, Elisabeth Zündel, Jonathan de la Paz Zaens

16 Mar, 2006
Berlin, Germany

Eötvös: As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams

März Musik Festival

English version
Staging: Cornelia Heger
Scene: Janina Mendroch
Costume: Sabine Hilscher
Sound direction: Bryan Wolf
Conductor: Philip Mayers

Cast:
Lady Sarashina: Vivian Lüdorf
"Alter ego" - Posaune: Jürgen Schaal
Schatten des "alter ego" - Kontrabassposaune: Volkmar Jäger
Mondgänger - sousaphon: Volkmar Jäger
Traumstimmen: Shira Karmon, Elisabeth Zündel, Jonathan de la Paz Zaens

3 Apr, 2004
Budapest, Hungary

Eötvös: As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams

As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams (Hungarian version)

Cond: András Almásy-Tóth

Thalia Theatre Budapest
Budapest Spring Festival

20 Oct, 2002
Chemnitz, Germany

Eötvös: As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams

Kulturfabrik Schönherr
Chemnitzer Kulturfestival
Staging: Sabine Sterken
Conductor: Niksa Bareza
Cast:
Lady Sarashina: Christine Gloger
"Counterpart": Jürge Schaal, alt-trombone
"Shadow" : Volkmar Jäger, contrabass-trombone
"Moon": Edgar Schilling, Sousaphon
"Dream-speakers": Heidrun Göpfert, Regine Köbler, Dietrich Greve
Ensemble: Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie
Sound direction: Gerald Kassube

15 Mar, 2002
Vienna, Austria

Eötvös: As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams

Schauspielhaus
Klangforum Ensemble

Cond: Gergely Vajda
directed by Michael Scheidl

25 Mar, 2001
Budapest, Hungary

Eötvös: As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams

Budapest, Thalia Theatre

Budapest Spring Festival
Hungarian version translation: Kornél Hamvai
Staging: András Almási-Tóth
Scene and costume: Zsuzsa Molnár
Conductor: Gergely Vajda
Cast:
Lady Sarashina: Adél Kováts
"Counterpart": Mike Svoboda, alt-trombone
"Shadow" and "Moon": Gérard Buquet, contrabass-trombone
"Dream-speakers": Johanna Bodor, Borbála Németh, Sándor Almási
Ensemble: UMZE Budapest
Sound direction: Peter Böhm

17 Dec, 2000
Vienna, Austria

Eötvös: As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams

Vienna, Schauspielhaus

Staging: Michael Scheidl
Scene and costume: Nora Scheidl
Conductor: Gergely Vajda
Cast:
Lady Sarashina: Birgit Doll
"Counterpart": Mike Svoboda, alt-trombone
"Shadow" and "Moon": Gérard Buquet, contrabass-trombone
"Dream-speakers": Roberta Cortese, Margarete Jungen, Johann Leutgeb
Ensemble: Klangforum Wien
Sound direction: Peter Böhm

16 Dec, 2000
Vienna, Austria

Eötvös: As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams

Vienna, Schauspielhaus

Staging: Michael Scheidl
Scene and costume: Nora Scheidl
Conductor: Gergely Vajda
Cast:
Lady Sarashina: Birgit Doll
"Counterpart": Mike Svoboda, alt-trombone
"Shadow" and "Moon": Gérard Buquet, contrabass-trombone
"Dream-speakers": Roberta Cortese, Margarete Jungen, Johann Leutgeb
Ensemble: Klangforum Wien
Sound direction: Peter Böhm

15 Dec, 2000
Vienna, Austria

Eötvös: As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams

Vienna, Schauspielhaus

Staging: Michael Scheidl
Scene and costume: Nora Scheidl
Conductor: Gergely Vajda
Cast:
Lady Sarashina: Birgit Doll
"Counterpart": Mike Svoboda, alt-trombone
"Shadow" and "Moon": Gérard Buquet, contrabass-trombone
"Dream-speakers": Roberta Cortese, Margarete Jungen, Johann Leutgeb
Ensemble: Klangforum Wien
Sound direction: Peter Böhm

14 Dec, 2000
Vienna, Austria

Eötvös: As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams

Vienna, Schauspielhaus

Staging: Michael Scheidl
Scene and costume: Nora Scheidl
Conductor: Gergely Vajda
Cast:
Lady Sarashina: Birgit Doll
"Counterpart": Mike Svoboda, alt-trombone
"Shadow" and "Moon": Gérard Buquet, contrabass-trombone
"Dream-speakers": Roberta Cortese, Margarete Jungen, Johann Leutgeb
Ensemble: Klangforum Wien
Sound direction: Peter Böhm

9 Dec, 2000
Vienna, Austria

Eötvös: As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams

Vienna, Schauspielhaus

Staging: Michael Scheidl
Scene and costume: Nora Scheidl
Conductor: Gergely Vajda
Cast:
Lady Sarashina: Birgit Doll
"Counterpart": Mike Svoboda, alt-trombone
"Shadow" and "Moon": Gérard Buquet, contrabass-trombone
"Dream-speakers": Roberta Cortese, Margarete Jungen, Johann Leutgeb
Ensemble: Klangforum Wien
Sound direction: Peter Böhm

7 Dec, 2000
Vienna, Austria

Eötvös: As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams

Vienna, Schauspielhaus

Staging: Michael Scheidl
Scene and costume: Nora Scheidl
Conductor: Gergely Vajda
Cast:
Lady Sarashina: Birgit Doll
"Counterpart": Mike Svoboda, alt-trombone
"Shadow" and "Moon": Gérard Buquet, contrabass-trombone
"Dream-speakers": Roberta Cortese, Margarete Jungen, Johann Leutgeb
Ensemble: Klangforum Wien
Sound direction: Peter Böhm

27 Jan, 2000
Paris, France

Eötvös: As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams

Venue: Cité de la Musique

Staging: Thea Brejzek
Scene and light: Lawrence Wallen
Conductor: Gergely Vajda
Cast:
Lady Sarashina: Claire Bloom
"Counterpart": Benny Sluchin, alt-trombone
"Shadow": Gérard Buquet, contrabass-trombone
"Moon": Klaus Burger, sousaphon
"Dream-speakers": Christine Schmeling, mezzo; Stephanie Field, alto; Matthias Horn, barytone
Ensemble InterContemporain, Paris
Computer-piano programmed by Vykintas Baltakas
Sound direction: IRCAM Paris
Sound supervisor: Peter Eötvös

16 Oct, 1999
Donaueschingen, Germany

Eötvös: As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams

World premiere
Donaueschingen Festival (Germany)

Commissioned by "Südwestrundfunk" and "Land Baden-Württemberg"
Staging: Thea Brejzek
Scene and light: Lawrence Wallen
Conductor: Manfred Schreier
Cast:
Lady Sarashina: Claire Bloom
"Counterpart": Mike Svoboda, alt-trombone
"Shadow": Gérard Buquet, contrabass-trombone
"Moon": Klaus Burger, sousaphon
"Dream-speakers": Christine Schmeling, mezzo; Stephanie Field, alto; Matthias Horn, barytone
Ensemble Varianti, Stuttgart
Computer-piano programmed by Vykintas Baltakas
Sound direction: Digital Masters Stuttgart
Sound supervisor: Peter Eötvös

Details

Genre:
Duration:
45 minutes
Date:
1998/1999

Publisher information

Edition Ricordi (performing material on hire:
SY 3458 and SY 3741)
https://www.ricordi.com/en-US/Composers/E/Eotvos-Peter.aspx

Cast

1 recitant (actress)
3 singers: sopran, mezzo, bariton

Orchestration     

TITLE Dur. Soloists & choir fl ob cl bcl bn   hn tpt tbn tba   perc pf hp   vn1 vn2 va vc db Other Tech
As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams
Opera - Music Theatre
45'nar,​sop,​mez,​bar,​2tbn00300 0001 300 30222sax,​computer pfamp

1 trombone alto with double bell (solo) amplified
1 trombone cbass with double bell (solo) amplified
3 cl (3. also bcl, cbcl)
1 sax (alto, also bariton)
1 sousaphon amplified
3 percussions
9 strings: 3.0.2.2.2.
1 computer piano without player

Special instruments: sousaphon with light-module

Technique: multichannel harmoniser and sound-projection

Technical information

 

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The sound material is available for download

                                       here >

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Further information

“… its British premiere by Almeida Opera was something special.
Sprung from the Japanese diary written by the 11th-century noblewoman known as Lady Sarashina, here was an hour of mysterious, compelling beauty. Lady S wrote about dreams, death, orange blossoms, a hundred autumn nights. Eötvös’s triumph is to embody the diary’s wistful moods in sounds without ever shattering their fragility.”
/Geoff Brown, London, The Times, 12.07.07/

 

“… the work encapsulates the fastidious sensibility of the subject in an audio-visual spectacle of rarefied elegance. …Eotvos transported us for an hour away from trendy Islington to another world so refined that one could hardly bear the spell to be broken.”
/Barry Millington, London, Evening Standard, 11.07.07/

 

Als “Klangtheater” bezeichnet Peter Eötvös seine 1999 uraufgeführte Komposition – und tatsächlich vollstreckt sich in As I crossed… das Theatralische im Klanglichen, gehen Sehen und Hören ineinander über und ineinander auf, erweitert und entgrenzt sich der Text hinein in die Musik, die ihrerseits in klanglichen Spiegelungen ein assoziatives Traumspiel imaginiert. Im Zentrum dieses Traumspiels stehen Tagebuchaufzeichnungen einer anonymen japanischen Hofdame, der so genannten Lady Sarashina (“Sarashina Nikki”) aus dem “Goldenen Zeitalter” Japans (11. Jahrhundert).

Mit zartem, poetischen Sinn führt die Autorin über vermeintlich reale Episoden ihres Lebens, über zauberhafte Figuren und Naturerlebnisse in eine Art Sehnsuchtsreise, innerhalb derer die subjektiven Wahrnehmungen und feinen Erschütterungen auf eigentümliche Weise vermischt werden.

Dies findet eine kongeniale Entsprechung in den vielschichtigen Klangräumen der Musik. In der Kongruenz zwischen Bild- und Klangwelt kommen die entgrenzten Phantasien der Protagonistin zum Ausdruck und werden in mehreren instrumentalen Klangschichten gespiegelt. Das Innenleben der Lady wird seinerseits in klingenden Klangschatten (Posaune und Bassposaune sowie drei Stimmen) fortgeführt. Andere Instrumente, elektronisch verstärkt und überformt, bilden einen atmosphärisch dichten Klangraum, der den Zuhörer umschließt.

 

 

Töredékek Lady Sharashina naplójából, 1008-ból

“Egy nő ezer évvel ezelőtt Japánban névtelenül és cím nélkül írt egy könyvet.” Így kezdődik a fordító, Ivan Morris bevezetője az As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams című könyvhöz, amelyben összegyűjtötte ennek – a Lady Sarashina néven ismert hölgynek – a 11. századi Japánban írt verseit és napló-jegyzeteit.
A libretto kiemel néhányat Lady Sarashina verseiből és életének eseményeiből. A kompozíció műfaját tekintve hangszínháznak, hangjátéknak nevezhető, különleges hangi megoldások realizálják a hallgató számára a 11. századi Japán életformát, hangulatilag megjelenítve a furcsa, félig álom, félig valóság történeteket.
Ahogyan a siratóasszonyok csak addig mondják prózában a szöveget (kántálnak), amíg az érzelmi töltés olyan fokra nem emelkedik, ahonnan már csak énekben lehet folytatni, ugyanúgy ebben a színpadi műben is ilyen eszközök szolgálnak a fokozásra. A darabban két szerepre oszlik fel a fokozás: amikor a mesélő eljut arra a pontra, ahol már a dal következne (ezek a szöveg verses részei), ott átveszi tőle a szerepet a szóló harsona. Így a hasona ugyanannak a személynek a folytatása, az érzelmi töltés fokának megfelelően.
Ennek a “szereplőnek” van egy távoli, álombeli alteregója, a kontrabasszus harsona, amelyet messziről, mindig csak az álombeli jelentekben látunk.
Ennek a két hangszernek a formája is különleges, csak az álomban létező, külön erre a kompozícióra épített két-tölcséres hangszerek. Nemcsak a visszaemlékezéseit mesélő föszereplő és a történeteiben megjelenő szereplők, hanem a szóló hangszerek is szerepeket játszanak, a többi hangszer pedig az atmoszférát teremti meg a realitás és az álmok között.

/Eötvös Péter/

 

Sound

Recordings

As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams
As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams / Tale

Video

Hommage à Peter Eötvös