Vocal Heroes choir project: Andrew Norman’s “A Trip to the Moon”

18 Jun 2017
Vocal Heroes choir project

Sir Simon Rattle

Vocal Heroes

  • free

    Andrew Norman
    A Trip to the Moon (première) (77 min.)

    Vocal Heroes, Ela Baumann Stage Direction, Simon Halsey Chorus Master

After participating in the performances of the children’s operas What’s lurking in the labyrinth by Jonathan Dove (2015) and The Two Fiddlers by Peter Maxwell Davies (2016), another large-scale Vocal Heroes choir project was performed at the end of the 2016/17 season. Besides the Vocal Heroes children’s choirs, amateur singers of youth and adult choirs were involved in a joint concert with the Berliner Philharmoniker and young instrumentalists conducted by Sir Simon Rattle: the premiere of a new theatrical musical work composed especially for this project by the American composer Andrew Norman, who was born in 1979 into a family of dyed-in-the-wool Star Wars fans: “We watched it every weekend for, seriously, years on end ...”

Fascinated by John Williams’s famous film music, Norman decided already at a young age to become a composer; in fact, his career has already got off to a very good start, as the graduate of the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California and the Yale School of Music has been literally showered with composition prizes: “He’s a wonderful orchestrator, and his imagination is just so exceptional”, is the judgment of the pianist and composer Jeffrey Kahane, who in December 2015 premiered Norman’s piano concerto Split with the New York Philharmonic conducted by James Gaffigan. His new opera A Trip to the Moon Norman composed in his typical way of working: “I go away and hide in my cave for six months and come out with this fully formed piece, and people play it,” he says (whereby with “cave” he means the converted garage adjacent to his house in El Sereno northeast of Los Angeles). Of course the work plays in the vastness of outer space …

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