As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams

Sound theater

Commissioned by Donaueschingen Festival and Land Baden-Württemberg

Description

World premiere: 1999 October – Donaueschingen
Ensemble Varianti Stuttgart

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

 

Based on excerpts from the diary of an unknown Japanese noblewoman
Language: English

 

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
5. The Moon
6. Mirror – dream
7. Dark Night
8. Remembrance
9. 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, 2005
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 Bieliauskas
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 Bieliauskas
Sound direction: Digital Masters Stuttgart
Sound supervisor: Peter Eötvös

Details

Genre:
Duration:
50 minutes
Date:
1998/1999

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
50'nar,​sop,​mez,​bar,​2tbn00300 0001 300 30222sax,​computer pfamp

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

Special instruments: trombone alto with double-bell, trombone contrabass with double-bell, sousaphon with light-module

Technique: multichannel harmoniser and sound-projection

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/

Sound

Recordings

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

Video

Hommage à Peter Eötvös