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Michel van der Aa’s film opera “Upload” gets its American premiere in NYC’s Park Ave. Armory.

Dutch composer Michel van der Aa (Oss, Netherlands, 1970) is an absolutely multidisciplinary figure in the field of contemporary music: in his work he often mixes musical composition with film narrative, stage direction and scriptwriting, as well as conventional acoustic instruments, electronics, theatre with actors and video.

With two chamber operas – One (2002) and Blank Out (2016) -, an opera – After Life (2006) – and a film opera – Sunket Garden (2012) – to his previous credit, on 29 July 2021 he premiered at the Bregenz Festival in Austria, his new film opera to date, Upload (2020), which also premiered at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam last October and today arrives in New York at the Park Avenue Armory for its North American premiere.

Upload examines our relationships with technology, mortality and identity, based on the story of a father (baritone Roderick Williams) who, in order to “be there” for his daughter (soprano Julia Bullock) after her inevitable death, has her thoughts and memories “uploaded” to achieve a “virtual resurrection”. The production uses both live orchestra (MusikFabrik conducted by Otto Tausk) and electronics, as well as parts recorded on video and can be seen live at the New York venue until Wednesday 30 March.

© Photograph by Marco Borggreve, downloaded from the Park Avenue Armory website.