Aniara

I dreamt a life but forgot to exist

Sombrero Galaxy, M104; NASA

Sombrero Galaxy, M104; NASA

The Project

 

The last space ship to leave a dying earth veers off course and heads into eternity; her passengers are left to face the emptiness within and without. Martinson's epic novel contemplates science, the nature and necessity of art, governance, and society; sometimes cold and brutal, at other times touching, it is a ruthlessly honest view of human nature.

 

The Crossing will collaborate with composer Robert Maggio and Finland's Klockriketeatern and its artistic director Dan Henriksson to create a 90-minute, interdisciplinary choral theatre work based on the poem Aniara by Swedish Nobel laureate Harry Martinson.

Aniara and its process will explore the relationship between disparate practices and genres of art, while asking questions about our relationship to one another, to Earth, and to the passage of time. The process will be part devised theatre, part composed music. We are excited to find out what we can achieve with the collective talents of singers, actors, a choreographer specializing in Peking Opera style, a director, a conductor, production designers and technical staff. We will use new projection technology for long-distance rehearsing in real time. Aniara will premiere in June 2019 and there are plans to take it to Helsinki later that year.

The Aniara Team
Produced by The Crossing, Philadelphia
with Klockrike Theatre, Helsinki

The Ensemble

The Crossing is a professional chamber choir dedicated to new music and conducted by Donald Nally; five CD releases during the 2016-17 season including Gavin Bryars' The Fifth Century (named one of The Chicago Tribune's Top 10 Classical CDs of 2016) and Thomas Lloyd's Bonhoeffer (nominated for the 2017 Grammy as Best Choral Performance); The Crossing has sung with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the American Composers Orchestra, Network for New Music, Lyric Fest, the baroque orchestra Quicksilver, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, Toshimaru Nakamura, and The Rolling Stones; the ensemble has sung at Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Big Ears Music Festival in Knoxville, National Sawdust in Brooklyn, the Gardner Museum in Boston, the Cleveland Art Museum, Colgate University, and the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

The Crossing is the recipient of the 2015 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, two ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, as well as the Dale Warland Singers Commission Award from Chorus America; the choir is represented by Alliance Artists Management.

http://www.crossingchoir.com/

 
The Crossing in Northern Liberties; Becky Oehlers Photography

The Crossing in Northern Liberties; Becky Oehlers Photography

 

The Composer

Robert Maggio is an accomplished composer and long-time member of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop in New York City; he has composed songs and incidental music for numerous professional theaters, including productions at Yale Repertory Theater, Philadelphia Theater Company, Peoples Light and Theater Company, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, and Shakespeare Santa Cruz; his music for theater has received several Barrymore Award nominations in Philadelphia. His new work Touch Tones will receive its premiere at The Arden Theater next season.

Dance companies across the United States have commissioned Maggio for new scores and some of the nation's top orchestras have performed Maggio's orchestral music across North America; Maggio is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Pew Fellowships in the Arts, the American Composers Forum, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, ASCAP, BMI, New Music USA and Meet the Composer.

http://www.robertmaggio.com/

 
Robert Maggio

Robert Maggio

 
 
 

The Crossing and Robert Maggio

The Author

Harry Martinson (1904 -1978) was a Swedish author and poet; in 1949 he was elected into the Swedish Academy; he was awarded a joint Nobel Prize in Literature in 1974 together with fellow Swede Eyvind Johnson; his Aniara was published in 1956.

The Co-Directors

Dan Henriksson has been the Artistic Director and General Manager of Klockriketeatern since 2005, carrying out many national and international co-productions; he has directed both theater and opera works and worked as a professional actor for theater, film, TV and radio in Swedish, Finnish and Russian languages; his dramaturgical works include librettos, translations and adaptations; he has taught for twenty years at the University of the Arts/Theater Academy of Helsinki.

http://www.klockrike.fi/sv/start/

 
Dan Henriksson

Dan Henriksson

 

Donald Nally is responsible for imagining, programming, commissioning, and conducting The Crossing of Philadelphia; he is the John W. Beattie Chair in Music and director of choral organizations at Northwestern University; he has served as chorus master for Lyric Opera of Chicago, Welsh National Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Spoleto USA, The Chicago Bach Project, Haymarket Opera Company, and the Spoleto Festival in Italy. He is the recipient of the distinguished alumni merit award from Westminster Choir College, and both the Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal and the Michael Korn Founders Award from Chorus America; he is the only conductor to have two ensembles receive the Margaret Hillis Award for Excellence in Choral Music: The Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia and The Crossing.

 
Donald Nally; Becky Oehlers Photography

Donald Nally; Becky Oehlers Photography

 

The Choreographer/Dancer

Antti Silvennoinen is an actor, director and choreographer; he is artistic director of Wusheng Company, a unique group specializing in Chinese Peking Opera; he studied traditional acting and directing of Chinese Peking Opera at the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts (NACTA); he has taught at the National Theatre Academy since 2012.

 
 

The Actors

Matti Raita began working with Klockriketeatern in 2004 and completed his MA degree at the Theatre Academy of Helsinki in 2013; he has worked with theater companies in 40 different cities in 14 countries in Europe; he has worked as a lighting designer, technician, and actor in a production of The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire with Theatre Institutet.

 
Matti Raita; Photo by Kasper Gustavsson

Matti Raita; Photo by Kasper Gustavsson

 

Carl Alm completed an MA in acting at the Swedish Department of Acting at the Theatre Academy of  Helsinki; he works professionally across Europe, including with Klockriketeatern; he played the lead role of Joseph K in Der Prozess, under the direction of internationally renowned Russian director Andrey Mogughy.

 
Carl Alm

Carl Alm

 

The Costume Designer

Erika Turunen brings a firm foundation in costuming for opera and contemporary dance; she has worked regularly at the Finnish National Opera and Ballet since 1995; she will design costumes for choreography by Tero Saarinen to the music of Bernd Alois Zimmermann's Cello Concerto, premiering at the Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2018.

http://www.narodni-divadlo.cz/en/artist/erika-turunen

The Sound Designer

Nick Tipp (USA) is a recording engineer, mixer, and audio/video producer in Los Angeles, specializing in live recording, concerts (both acoustic and amplified), as well as live tracking in studio; he is a Grammy-winner for Best Classical Album and Best Opera Recording for his work on LA Opera's recording of Kurt Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.

http://www.nicktipp.com/

The Venue

Christ Church Neighborhood House is an arts incubator that supports artists and audiences by providing a platform for the creation and presentation of new work; in addition to housing the Christ Church Parish and Preservation Trust offices, Neighborhood House serves a core constituency of cross-disciplinary performing artists who imagine new and experimental works in their 120-seat theater. 

 
Neighborhood House Performing Space

Neighborhood House Performing Space

 
 
 

Aniara has been supported by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.