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Belgian composer Nicholas Lens previews his fourth chamber opera, “Is this the Gate?”, with a libretto by Nobel Prize winner John Coetzee, at the Adelaide Festival.

This Friday, 8 March, the Adelaide Festival in Australia will host the world premiere of a major concert version of Is this the Gate?, the fourth chamber opera by Belgian composer Nicholas Lens (Ypres, 1957). The concert will be held at 12:30 noon in the Elder Hall of the University of Adelaide.

Is this the Gate? is the second opera composed by Nicholas Lens on a text by the South African-Australian writer and Nobel Prize winner John Maxwell Coetzee. The first was Slow Man, premiered in 2012, based on Coetzee’s novel of the same title, the first he wrote after winning the Nobel Prize in 2003. This time, Is this the Gate? is based on the last chapter of the crime novel Elizabeth Costello, published precisely the year Coetzee was awarded the Nobel Prize.

The concert version of Is this the gate? will be performed by soprano Judith Dodsworth, with a chamber orchestra comprising violinists Elizabeth Layton and Helen Ayres, violist Stephen King, cellist Thomas Marlin, pianist Michael Ierace and bassoonist Matthew Kneale.

The other two chamber operas composed by Nicholas Lens are Shell Shock and L.I.T.A.N.I.E.S, both with libretto written by Australian singer and musician Nick Cave.

© Photograph of Nicholas Lens downloaded from the composer’s website.