Aéde of the Ocean and Land
Time & Location
About the Event
A Sufi fable inspired by Homer’s Odyssey. Directed by Elli Papakonstantinou. Music by Shirish Korde.
Video Art design and Live Performance by Stephanie Sherriff.
This is one of the first operas to be designed and performed exclusively for zoom, used here as an alternative stage. The 22 artists involved are spanning ten time zones, representing five countries.
Noor Inayat Khan (1914-1944) is widely remembered as a hero and martyr of the Second World War. Her play, Aède of the Ocean and Land, written in verse, uses Homer’s Odyssey as its framework. “Noor Inayat Khan delicately infuses Homer’s epic poem with Sufi philosophy and weaves a narrative that is at once an ode to her parents as well as her own interpretation of the journey of life.” (Shrabani Basu)
She creates a gripping retelling of Homer’s epic. The journey of Ulys in Aède is an allegory representing Noor’s father, the Indian mystic Hazrat Inayat Khan’s, spiritual journey in the West, while the seven acts and the structure of Aède recall the seven valleys traversed by the birds in Farid Attar’s medieval Sufi classic “The Conference of the Birds.
Aède is best described as a literary blend of East and West that imparts important universal truths, the central themes concerning love – personal, transcendental, and spiritual – and renunciation. Aède the opera expresses this tapestry of Eastern and Western musical and artistic traditions.
This innovative production is staged by Elli Papakonstantinou, who is well-versed in dissecting Ancient Greek theatrical traditions, and whose compelling contemporary theatrical works live in the territory between prose and music. Among her lattest creations are: Oedipus: Sex With Mum Was Blinding (presented at the BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) New York) that was included in the Observer‘s and the OperaWIRE‘s must-see lists, and the sold-out zoom performances Τraces of Antigone (Amazone Award Winner 2020, nominated for the Italian Critics Award) and Hotel “AntiOedipus” which had its world premiere at IRCAM/Centre Pompidou (Paris, France) this March.
Acclaimed composer Shirish Korde defines the production with a score that fuses contemporary and world music styles including Hindustani, South Asian, Greek folk music and Contemporary American and European idioms. The score of Aède, reflects the intersection of Eastern and Western notions (just as Noor's play does), and encompasses elements of diverse South Asian elements and styles (such as raga, tala, and qawali), jazz and folk music - within an essentially contemporary score.
Musical director Sara Tarana Jobin, a Grammy-nominated conductor known for championing new American opera, sculpts the context of this new opera that is scored for five vocal soloists, string quartet, sitar and an ensemble of ten actors/singers who perform as a Greek Chorus. Grammy winner Dashon Burton holds the lead part of Ulys.
The event had its LIVE world premiere on 14th September 2020. This show is created from a compilation of rehearsal footage.
This production balances fable and fantasy, myth and spirituality, patriarchy and feminism, inviting the audience on a spiritual journey.
Co-produced by The Astana (inayatiyya.org) and ODC Ensemble
- Live stream - one per device$20+$5.60 Tax & Fees$20+$5.60 Tax & Fees0$0