NEITHER opens up the special place where text, music and staging come together. This is a beautiful and paradoxical place where the listener can hear herself, composing poems and dreaming.
NEITHER is a one-act opera from 1977 for soprano and full orchestra. The music is by the American composer Morton Feldman (1926-1987), and the book is by the Irish-French writer and playwright Samuel Beckett (1906-1989).
The book consists of ten sentences. It revolves around what is and yet isn't, what is neither nor. In Feldman's hands this results in about 50 minutes of music.
NEITHER desists from traditional elements such as plot, conflict and psychological development. The soprano then is rather a part of the orchestra than a key element in the plot, it is a kind of inner monologue pinpointing the point of interference between neither and nor.
The music avoids using grand contrasts. But if you listen carefully, the work is extremely dynamic containing an astonishing number of nuances. Time works, and the listener experiences a kind of timelessness. The music expresses another place. The paradoxical place where the more rigorous definition and consistency of the individual elements begin to render the juxtaposition meaningful.
A neither-nor we try to keep in check by way of a linguistic and rational structuring of reality so as to avoid loosing our footing in a world where change is the only certain factor.
Music: Morton Feldman
Libretto: Samuel Beckett
Staging: Jacob F. Schokking
Soprano: Anu Komsi
Conductor: Susanna Malkki
Symphony orchestra: DR Radiosymfoniorkestret
Light design: Peter Plesner
Computer graphics: Arthur M. Steijn
Producer for Holland House: Traudi Palsbøll
Producer for The Danish Broadcasting Corporation: Preben Iwan
Produced by Holland House in collaboration with DR Radiosymfoniorkestret
The performance is supported by The Danish Arts Agency's Committee for Film and Theatre, US Embassy, Copenhagen
The Netherlands Embassy, Copenhagen, Kulturnet Danmark.