Uncovering the psychology behind incest and domestic abuse
Danish composer, Louise Alenius, has written the libretto and composed the music for the much-lauded chamber opera, Silent Zone. With the seasoned director, Tue Biering, and the upcoming set designer, Ida Grarup Nielsen, providing a groundbreaking staging, the opera was premiered during the Copenhagen Opera Festival in August 2017 with overwhelmingly positive press reviews. Following the performances in Copenhagen, the work received the prestigious Danish ”Reumert Award” in 2018 for ”Best stage direction” and was also nominated in the categories for ”Best opera” and ”Best set design”.
As a composer, Louise Alenius brings us to places where words alone are not able fully to grasp the existential dilemmas and disasters of everyday life. In ”Silent Zone”, Alenius’ minimalist music of fragments and melodies provides a musical backdrop that gently propels the story about a family, which, on the surface, appears to be normal. But looking through the windows and glass facade of their home, we as an audience, choosing our own perspectives of the unfolding story, witness slow-moving events with eerie undertones of what has happened and is about to happen.
In a collaboration between Copenhagen Opera Festival and Norobo, Silent Zone is now available for international touring.
Louise Alenius hacks into formats, unsettles her musicians, challenges her audience, dissects the concert form.
Her career as a composer for classical ensembles began in 2008 with new music for the second act of August Bournonville’s ballet Napoli, which had its premiere at the Royal Danish Theatre in 2009. In 2008 Alenius wrote the music for Louise Midjord’s modern ballet The Egg, The Monk and The Warrior. She composed the music for Constantine Baecher’s ballet Palimpsest in 2011 and for Cathy Marston’s ballet Elephant Man in 2013.
Photo: Sascha Oda
In Rouge, a duet for strings from 2016, during their performance of the work, a cellist and a viola player are bound to their seats with gaffer tape by the composer herself, who then proceeds to tear at their skin with her nails.
Since 2014 Alenius has presented six different versions of La Poreuse, a work designed for an audience of just one person at a time. 2016 saw the premiere of Prequiem, a work to be performed for one terminally ill patient at a time.
She has also supplied the dramatic atmospherics and haunting mood for a succession of advertising films for such companies as Peugeot (2011), Turkcell (2014) and Interflora (2015).
Louise Alenius lives primarily in Copenhagen, but has a base in Paris as well. In addition to her work with the Royal Danish Theatre she also carries out freelance commissions, composing works for ensembles large and small, choirs, films, adverts and dance companies.
”Despite its constant moments of cruelty, Silent Zone, with its intensity and artistic consistency, is a gripping production.”
Kristeligt Dagblad, August 2017
“SILENT ZONE is a work of structured music theater. In a way, a silent performance - despite the words - about some of the most horrific things you can imagine. (…) Exactly how the interplay between memory, displacement, survival strategies, accusations and repression passes, is not easy fully to grasp while the 70-minute nightmare is unfolded. (…) As a work of art, its impact is exceptional."
Politiken, August 2017
"No family is without its problems. Fortunately, physical abuse is rare. But as individuals, we have all felt some kind of mental abuse at one point or the other. And everyone will be able to sense and identify with the sorrow, pain, and taboos of a small family. Louise Alenius demonstrates a unique talent of providing a beautiful musical setting to a hurting and uncomfortable silence. Silent Zone is without doubt the most uncompromising production in the history of CPH Opera Festival."
Berlingske Tidende, August 2017
Danish Radio P2 Award 2018: “Best Concert Experience”
The “Carl” Award 2018: “Best composer for small ensemble”
Reumert Award 2018: ”Best stage direction”
Also nominated in the categories for ”Best opera” and ”Best set design”.
The Mother: Gitta-Maria Sjöberg
The Father: Sten Byriel
The Son: Morten Grove Frandsen
The Daughter: Ying-Hsueh Chen
Violin: Louise Gorm
Viola: Jenny Lüning
Cello: Lea Emilie Brøndal Pedersen
Piano: Louise Schøder
Alfred Kann (son), Mona Alenius Kaniewski (daughter), Jeanette Lindbæk Birk (mother), Kenneth Andersson (father). 3 children.
Composer and Librettist: Louise Alenius
Stage Director: Tue Biering
Set Design: Ida Grarup Nielsen
Light Design: Martin Danielsen
Executive producer: Rasmus Adrian
Artistic consultant: Anne Mette Fisker Langkjer
Production/Touring manager: Mikkel Iversen
Silent Zone was originally produced by Copenhagen Opera Festival in 2017. After its final performances at the festival, norobo has taken over management and representation of the production.