Nonesuch releases Louis Andriessen’s stagework Theatre of the World—recorded live during the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 2016 world premiere performances with conductor Reinbert de Leeuw and director Pierre Audi—on September 29, 2017. The nine-scene multi-media work, which was commissioned by the Philharmonic with generous support from the Lenore S. and Bernard A. Greenberg Fund, features a libretto by Helmut Krausser. Theatre of the World is a far-ranging exploration of the German Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher (1601–1680). Kircher, the author of thirty books, “made a determined effort to summarize all of contemporary knowledge, and link it to Christian theology,” according to John Henken’s program note. The Los Angeles Times says: “Brilliant and deep, Andriessen’s music compels from start to finish.” Theatre of the World, Andriessen’s eighth Nonesuch recording, is available to pre-order now.
Leigh Melrose performs the role of Kircher; Lindsay Kesselman is a boy who leads Kircher and his patron, Pope Innocenzo XI (sung by Marcel Beekman), on a journey. Steven van Watermeulen is Janssonius, Kircher’s Amsterdam publisher; Mattijs van de Woerd is Carnifex, the hangman; and Cristina Zavalloni is Sor Juana. The Los Angeles Times calls her “ravenously ecstatic … the real vocal soul of the opera.”
Louis Andriessen, according to London’s Guardian, is “not only the leading Dutch composer of our time, but one of the most important figures in European music in the last half century, whose influence has spread far beyond that of his own works.” His music has explored politics, time, velocity, matter, and mortality in five works for large ensemble: De Staat (Nonesuch, 1991), De Tijd (Nonesuch, 1993), De Snelheid, De Materie (Nonesuch, 1996), and Trilogy of the Last Day. In addition to Theatre of the World, his stage works include the La Commedia (Nonesuch, 2014), Writing to Vermeer (Nonesuch, 2006), and Rosa: The Death of a Composer (Nonesuch, 2000), as well as the monodrama Anaïs Nin. Nonesuch also released an album with his De Stijl and M is for Man, Music, Mozart in 1994. Andriessen’s recent awards include the Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music, the Caecilia Prize, and the Grawemeyer Award.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the vibrant leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, presents an inspiring array of music from all genres—orchestral, chamber, and Baroque music, organ and celebrity recitals, new music, jazz, world music and pop—at two of L.A.’s iconic venues, Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. The LA Phil’s season at Walt Disney Concert Hall extends from September through May, and throughout the summer at the Hollywood Bowl. With the preeminent Los Angeles Philharmonic at the foundation of its offerings, the LA Phil aims to enrich and transform lives through music, with a robust mix of artistic, education, and community programs.