Lepage's Eight-Hour Lipsynch and Huppert in Wilson's Quartett Set for BAM Next Wave

News   Lepage's Eight-Hour Lipsynch and Huppert in Wilson's Quartett Set for BAM Next Wave
Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) has unveiled programming for its fall 2009 Next Wave Festival, to feature 14 dance, theatre, music, opera, and "nouveau cirque" engagements.
Robert Lepage
Robert Lepage Photo by Sophie Grenier

The two theatrical experiences in Next Wave (which runs Sept. 15–Dec. 19) will be:

  • Renowned Canadian theatre director Robert Lepage's eight-hour epic Lipsynch, a production of Ex Machina and Théâtre sans Frontières, billed as "an epic drama exploring manifestations of modern vocal expression," presented in its U.S. premiere. Oct. 3-11 in the BAM Harvey Theater.
  • The U.S. premiere of Robert Wilson's Quartett, a production of Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe, based on Heiner Müller's play, featuring acclaimed French actress Isabelle Huppert and music by Michael Galasso. Nov. 4-14 in the BAM Harvey Theater. For complete information about Next Wave, visit bam.org.


    * Written by Frédérike Bédard, Carlos Belda, Rebecca Blankenship, Lisa Castonguay, John Cobb, Nuria Garcia, Marie Gignac, Sarah Kemp, Robert Lepage, Rick Miller and Hans Piesbergen, Lipsynch is a three-part, 8 1/2-hour performance "that spans 70 years and explores the voice as a compelling metaphor for human expression and interaction. The action journeys from war-torn Vienna and pre-revolutionary Nicaragua to contemporary London. Conjuring a panorama that connects nine lives through many decades, Lipsynch tracks a cluster of interwoven destinies where each voice searches for its own identity — from the precision of the dubbing studio to the world of voice forensics in criminal investigations. The narrative — co-authored by Lepage, Marie Gignac and the nine cast members — is structured in nine units, each focusing on a character from overlapping plots, ultimately connected in a moving climax. "

    It is performed in multiple languages (including English, French, German, and Spanish) with English titles.

    Lipsynch may be seen in its entirety during weekend marathons on Oct. 3, 4, 10 or 11 (with on-site meals available for purchase in advance). The production's three parts may also be seen on separate weeknights (Oct 6, 7, and 8).


    Conceived and directed by Robert Wilson, with music by Michael Galasso, the U.S. premiere of Quartett by Heiner Müller, will be presented in French with English titles.

    According to BAM notes, "Inspired by Choderlos de Laclos' novel 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses,' German playwright Heiner Müller’s (1929-1995) play Quartett is the basis for this visually stylized yet visceral production from director Robert Wilson. In this quintessentially Wilsonian war of the sexes, Müller's text (only 12 pages in the original) is expanded into a stately danced prologue and eight scenes featuring the director's signature spare, stunning tableaux, which turn every calculated movement into a gorgeous and provocative revelation of character. Cynical libertine Madame de Merteuil is played by iconic French actress Isabelle Huppert — this year's Cannes Film Festival Jury President, last seen at BAM in 4.48 Psychose (2005 Next Wave Festival) — opposite Ariel Garcia Valdès as scheming seducer Monsieur de Valmont. Rachel Eberhart, Philippe Lehembre, and Benoït Maréchal round out the cast."

    Wilson's relationship with BAM goes back to the 1969 premiere production of The Life and Times of Sigmund Freud, and includes the Philip Glass/Wilson epic Einstein on the Beach (1984 and 1992 Next Wave Festivals) and The CIVIL warS: a tree is best measured when it is down, Act V-the Rome Section (1986 Next Wave Festival), a work created with an international group of artists, including David Byrne.

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